Meth Use and Symptoms - What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Someone Using Methamphetamines?

If you think someone you love is on Meth, this is a good place to look for signs and symptoms of the drug.
If you think someone you love is on Meth, this is a good place to look for signs and symptoms of the drug. | Source

Meth Drug Overdose

She was only 35 years old, the single mother of 2 young children, ages 11 and 15. I had known her only a brief time but knew enough about her to know that she had a drug addiction problem - methamphetamine use to be specific. Two nights ago this young talented photographer was taken off life support after cardiac arrest, massive amounts of methamphetamine in her system. She had promised to "stop" using on Jan, 1, 2010, and ironically, that was the day she did stop using forever, because just hours before that her life support was disconnected in the ICU. CW died just hours before her promised time to "quit drugs".

This whole situation makes me mad, not mad at her but just mad at life. Mad that 2 little girls have to go through life without their mother because of a drug overdose. The only way I can process this senseless death is to write about it, talking about the signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use (aka commonly known as meth) - in the hopes that somewhere out there these words may help someone they love and care about, and hopefully help them get some help with their meth addiction . I will be attending a memorial for my young friend this Saturday, and this hub is devoted to her, her family and her friends.

The Many Types of Meth

Methamphetamine can come in various colors, and be ingested many different ways. By inhalation, needle, smoked and even pill form.
Methamphetamine can come in various colors, and be ingested many different ways. By inhalation, needle, smoked and even pill form. | Source

"Meth Mouth"

Also known as "Meth Mouth", one can see how devastating the use of methamphetamine is on the body, including the teeth
Also known as "Meth Mouth", one can see how devastating the use of methamphetamine is on the body, including the teeth | Source

Drug Addiction Can End in Tragedy

From what I understand, in CW's case (her name has been shortened to protect her families privacy) she had been abusing methamphetamine for about 11 years. Her family and loved ones struggled to help her over the years, but after her mother died just weeks ago, it looks like the stress and the addiction caught up to her - to end in tragedy. Despite our best efforts to help our family members, sometimes it is never enough, and family and friends should NEVER blame themselves for someone else's drug addiction. Using drugs is a personal choice, and addiction can be very hard to kick. I know because I used to use a lot of drugs back in the 70's and 80's, including "speed" and "crank". The only reason I stopped is because I started having severe panic attacks. Looking back I'm glad that this happened to me because I too could have ended up like CW, despite everyone's best intentions.

When it comes to methamphetamine, or meth, signs and symptoms can vary but any or part of these could indicate that someone you know is using:

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Someone Using Methamphetamine's?

Short term meth abuse symptoms can include:

rapid weight loss

dilated pupils and rapid darting eyes

increased alertness

rambling conversation

sense of well-being

user is careless in their appearance

paranoia

frequent sweating

poor personal hygiene

tooth decay

intense high

hallucinations

aggressive behavior

increased heart rate

convulsions

extreme rise in body temperature (as high as 108 degrees which can cause brain damage and death)

uncontrollable movements (twitching, jerking, etc...)

violent behavior

insomnia

impaired speech

dry and itchy skin

premature aging

rotting teeth - aka "meth mouth"

loss of appetite

bad acne on the arms,back and neck

sores and skin lesions

numbness


Methamphetamine Effects on the Mind

Methamphetamine also effects the brain and mental stability and can cause the following signs and symptoms of meth drug use:

disturbed sleep

days of staying awake

days of sleeping

excessive excitation

excessive talking

panic

anxiousness

nervousness and /or restlessness

agitation

paranoia

deception, secretiveness and lying

moodiness and irritability

absence from work or school

false sense of confidence and power

delusions of grandeur leading to aggressive behavior

uninterested in friends, sex, or food, aggressive and violent behavior

severe depression

Visible Signs of Meth Use

Methamphetamine is referred to by many names, including "Meth", "speed", "crank", "chald," "go-fast", "zip," and "cristy". The smokable form of this drug is ofen called "L.A.", "ice", "crystal or chrystal", "64glass", or "quartz."

Visible signs of meth use in a users home that may indicate methamphetamine usage:

burned aluminum foil or light bulbs that have been converted to smoking devices.

Small Ziploc baggies

cut drinking straws

butane fuel or windproof butane lighters could be an indication of use

small smoking pipes

Without intervention and rehabilitation, the long term effects of extended methamphetamine use can be devastating, and fatal as in CW's case: Long term effects of meth use lead to:

fatal kidney and lung disorders

brain damage

depression

permanent psychological problems

liver damage

stroke

cardiac arrest

death

Online Help for Methamphetamine Use

If you know someone that is displaying any of the above mentioned symptoms there is a lot of help online and also in most communities. Online help can be found here:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/links/crystalmeth.htsymtpomsml

http://frankiesgirl6yr.hubpages.com/hub/A-Little-Meth-Will-Go-a-Long-Way

Don't let someone tell you that they will get help "later". Don't accept later as acceptable. Tell them that later could be "too late". Later could mean dead, it could mean their children being parent less and their families devastated. If necessary, stage an "intervention" to help your loved one. It could mean the difference between their life and death. I hope reviewing the signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use have helped you in identifying and being better prepared to be on the look out for possible drug use in someone you care about. If this hub helps one person then it has served it's purpose.

(This hub is dedicated to the family of C.W. and her children. It's too late to help her but not too late to help someone else. May your family be comforted in the fact that you loved them very much. That your drug addiction was a powerful force and that no one is to blame.....RIP CW)

-Dorsi Diaz is a freelance/writer and publisher on the Internet.

Poll on Meth Use

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Photography by CW
Photography by CW | Source

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Comments 38 comments

Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

This is terribly scary. The disintegration happens so fast! (I saw the photos in the link.) How terribly sad. Thorough hub. Thanks much for the info.


rvsrinivasan profile image

rvsrinivasan 6 years ago

Drug addiction has become a social problem. People get into these habits. They are not able to leave. It is an evil to society. I have written certain hubs on health. May please go through these hubs.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I think the root lies with the drug dealer and drug barons. I very strongly belief there should be the death penalty. The harm they do is unmeasurable. Why let them get rich on other people's heartache and it is a heartache. They have to live with it all their lives. It is nothing but a life sentence. It also involves robbery with violence in various forms. I am not normally a person like but in that case I think the death penalty would be the only solution and with DNA there aren't many mistakes. People get beaten to death because they tell them not to make a racket at night, or for not given them the money, or being found in the house - broken in and mostly because of drugs. So many old people met a very violent death because they know that they can't fight back.

Thank you for being my fan


robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey

A beautifu tribute to CW Dorsi and you shine a light on the uselessness of it all. I think the problem is societal denial-- we all tend to make excuses for the addict and not recognize the seriousness of the addiction. Addiction is a real illness and it always ends in death unless there is real intervention and a strong desire on the part of the addict to get well-- I am so sorry CW didn't get help sooner and I hope this hub will be a wake up call for some person who reads it who either knows an addict or is one.


Elena. profile image

Elena. 6 years ago from Madrid

Hi Dorsi - Thanks for writing this article, which must have been hard as hell. One of my brothers passed away of AIDS, which he got by sharing a needle to use heroine. He was 37 when he passed, around the same age as CW. He was clean in the end, and he made peace with all of us, but what useless losses and what terrible pain the families and the addicts go through. I SO understand that you are mad, I was there so many times with my brother, and supporting my mother... Hang in there is all I can say.


bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

This is the scurge of our society. I have spoken to smack addicts whacked out of their minds and they could always make some sense. Not with this crap biker speed. The ice, all of it, is crushing the life out of society. I have no answers only pain. Thanks for reminding me that this is still a major social question.


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 6 years ago from USA

An informative article Dorsi and very well written considering the emotional pain you must be feeling. Meth is a horribly destructive drug both physically, mentally and socially. Drugs can tear families apart especially when death is the result…CW is at peace now and free from the devil that plagued her.

The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hand of God. ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994


dusanotes profile image

dusanotes 6 years ago from Windermere, FL

Thanks, Dorsi. You described what has to be one of the most painful, degrading ways to die. And so young, too, only 37. Family to CW was very important, especially her mother, for when she died CW lost hope. After all the family can do, it is often not enough. But the teaching moments must not start when the kids are teenagers experimenting with drugs. It must start much earlier. There must be some great role models where that person lives, some great friends. Unfortunately, in many parts of America the role models are not such good models. I suspect, Dorsi, that CW had friends who used drugs and she was merely following along. Maybe they were strong enough - or got intervention and family help sooner - we don't know. It is not for us to judge, but just to thank God and his son Jesus Christ that in the life to come, and in the spirit world, where CW resides now, there will be help in the form of people who have been through these kinds of things. It is my faith that we will have another chance to learn the truth and how we should act at a later date. All is not lost. Thanks for this important Hub. Don White


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Thank you for sharing this great hub with us. God Bless


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Wow, a very dramatic hub. Well done. If it doesn't change some minds, nothing will.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Susan) Yes, it was exceptionally sad. Especially with the promise of her to quit drugs just hours before she died. And those 2 beautiful girls she left behind. Just so tragic. Thanks for stopping by.


ccdursina profile image

ccdursina 6 years ago from Spring Green WI

Wow, very great article;


Tina Womack 6 years ago

I am an addict, and want to quit. I live in Texarkana, TX and meth is very easy to get here.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Tina) I am so sorry. Send me an email, maybe I can help you find some help in your area. Keep in touch.

ccdursina) Thanks for stopping by.


Vanessa 6 years ago

I just found out my husband has had a relapse for four months. I am four months pregnant and now really frightened about our future. I'm hoping he means it when he says this was it for him, he's done. I've never tried it and can't imagine why anyone would put this drug in their body.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Vanessa) I'm sorry to hear about that. E mail me privately is you want to talk. Most important, take care of yourself and the baby. That's number #1 priority. Dad needs to take full responsibility for his addiction and get the help he needs and only he can do that for himself.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Dorsi - This is so sad. I checked out those before and after meth use pics and they were scary. Those poor people had such a desperate and sad look about them. I think that Vanessa needs to move home with her parents for a year or two until she is sure that her husband is clean. The one thing all addicts have in common is that they lie.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Dolores) I agree. Addiction leads to lie after lie, including even lying to yourself. I hope Vanessa got some space. Thanks for coming by.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Your hub touched me deeply, Dorsi. For around 3 years, I was addicted to crack, crank, you name it. Thankfully I survived. This hub reminds me that this drug is evil-and I don't use that word lightly.

Thank you.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

lorlie6) Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your atory. It isn't easy to turn your life around and I commend you. Thanks again for sharing.


Tom Harrison 5 years ago

We have just taken in a very hurt and angry 15 yr.old boy,and am fostering him.He has been diagnosed with adhd,however,I am a little concerned,and forgive me,if I am over reacting.This young man is unusually thirsty.He drinks water in "unhealthy"Ammounts.I know that water is good,but highly unusual,in the ammount that he drinks.I find no mention in all of the articles,I have read.Has anyone here,seen this kind of symtom.My wife thinks it may be the early onset of diabetes,and has discussed this with him.He refuses to take a blood test,to see his blood sugar count.I really want to give him,every chance in life,with trust,respect and dignity,however.I have a seventeen year old son,and don't want a bad influence in his life.Help!!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Tom) Thanks for reading. I am not sure what the excessive thirst could be. Can you talk to your own health provider about that? I understand and agree with your concerns. Let me know how things are going.


Joel Dawson 4 years ago

hi i know someone who did meth once, (but is not addict)

he said it was very scary and would never do it again.

and have a brother who does drugs, very sad,

and i think i know someone who does meth.


marlene 4 years ago

My friend thinks I think she does not do it any more but i can tell for sure thanks to this article she is still on it, now i have to confront her.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Joel) I'm sorry to hear about your brother. I hope he gets some help. Maybe you can show him this hub?

@marlene) I'm glad this helped but sorry to know your friend is still on meth. I hope things turn around and good luck.


NarcononVistaBay profile image

NarcononVistaBay 4 years ago from California

Dorsi this is a great way to increase awareness about meth and any other drug. Talking about a real experience is what people relate to. Meth is a terrible drug,there is hope only for those who find a right rehab on time.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Narcon) Thank you and that's my goal - to increase awareness. Meth is a HORRIBLE drug.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

The meth mouth thing is totally ridiculous propaganda.

I've got all of my teeth, thanks, and have never had a cavity.

Actually, all meth fear mongering is total drug war prison industrial complex and police state propaganda.

Most people realize, of course, that the US Gov and Big Pharma corporations gave meth out as if it were candy for many years prior to making it illegal.

You could say that the population had been well prepped for an illicit meth trade.

Ignorance is bliss, but what actually happened was that a brilliant chemist put a chemical blocking agent in P2P - and that made the traditional meth manufacturing process no longer doable without P2P manufactured in another country.

Following that, the pharmaceutical corporations made the planned and predicted profits from the sell of pseudo ephedrine.

Pseudo ephedrine is used most often in what is known as The Birch Reduction method of meth manufacture - it's the manufacturing method that typically employs someone's stolen anhydrous ammonia.

Listen, meth is perfectly safe when manufactured correctly - but when every tom, dick, and harry is cooking dope from The Birch Reduction Method - what you most often get is the street grade poison that you're talking about in this article.

It doesn't take much of a chemist to clean that garbage up and make it into a drug that is every bit as safe and clean as was the methamphetamine that the pharmaceutical industry gave out to house wives as a diet pill for many years.

I do not advocate the use of methamphetamine - but you'd have to do some work to find someone who's used more of it in their time than I have.

No, it's certainly not a "good thing" to use, but you should also know that prescription Vyvanse or Adderall is exactly the same thing with an ever so slightly different chemical compound...and EXACTLY the same effect as clean methamphetamine.

Since the pseudo ephedrine has been put behind the counters (very wise move) - meth is imported from Mexico, and most often this is in a very clean form known as "ice."

"Ice" is often prescription grade stuff, the days of Joe Bob cooking poison in a motel with a coffee pot are over.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Wesman) Thank you for the informative comment. Yes I understand that stimulants used for various treatments (like ADHD) have similar properties but don't carry the high risk of addiction like Meth does.


zach 4 years ago

i think it funny how most the people on thes sites talk about things like meth like thay care but relly thay dont. How can somebody say thay truly care when thay have never been there them selfs people hve no clue what meth is like and never will so if u have never smoked it how can u stand back and juge people for smoking it. ps sory about CW


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@zach) Thank you Zach for coming by and your thoughts about meth use. Unless you have experienced it, it is hard to understand sometimes.


aaron 4 years ago

Your comment "using drugs is a personal choice" is 99% inaccurate. The choice was made in the beginning to try the drug, however for most people the choice is largely out of their control after that initial use. Addiction to methamphetamine (or any other psychostimulant) is a neurological brain DISEASE, not a matter of moral character. These people have abnormalities in brain chemistry induced by the drug that do not go away even if they stop using.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@aaron) I understand where you are coming from but choosing to stay "addicted" is a choice. I know it's hard, all addictive things are hard to break but at some point we have to make a choice to either fight against it or let it's have it's way, sadly. But yes, the brain wants to keep getting that "high".


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Well that would be just what the pharmaceutical corporations would say and want you to believe.

Having done lots of Vyvanse and tons of meth, I assure you their "high" is exactly the same.


anonymous 3 years ago

Thank you to the Gallatin Co Sheriff's Dept for all of their hard work getting the meth off of the seterts in Gallatin Co. I always knew there was a lot of drugs around here but never could have imagined how many until I seen all the labs they have been shutting down & all the arrests they have been making. Way to go to all the officers. Keep up the good work.


Bishop55 profile image

Bishop55 3 years ago from USA

I'm sorry to hear of your friend. This drug has personally affected my life as well (not me using, but my stepsons mother), we now have full custody of him as she has not been able to kick the habit. This is a good hub. I've written about meth use a lot to because of how it's affected my life. This is a horrible drug and ruins the lives of users and everyone around them. A very sad and destructive substance.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 2 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Bishop) I am so sorry to hear of this. I am also sorry I just saw your comment. I need to go in and adjust my settings. I pray your stepsons mom kicks it - I've seen it done....hard but it can be overcome. In fact, one of my friends has been clean now for about a year!


Justin Whitney profile image

Justin Whitney 5 months ago

I've been clean for about 2 months.. I've used and abused uppers like adderal and Meth for almost 11 years . I wanted to note that another thing that can happen is ones feet can feel like they caught fire . My ankle swelled up like a balloon during a "run" this year. The skin on my hand was coming off. If I wanted to I could have pulled all the skin off my hand as it would never heal even with a little sleep. A huge part of me (even having talked to and seeing gargoyle type demons and hearing voices when trying to pray ) wants it everyday still . I'm only 26 but I'm tired and struggling because if I wanted to any day now I can find it ANYWHERE and it's not hard to come up with 70 bucks and spend a week on it which would lead to hell again but that first high feels like freedom . Everytime and I love it. I'm recently employed at taco bell and about to have a vehicle again but I'm on bail and have court for theft because of my last run supporting my habit .. I may lose my job anyway . I see myself back on it before or during next year.. perhaps I will stay clean but after 11 years of this "shit" I doubt it . :(

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