- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Meth Use and Symptoms - What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Someone Using Methamphetamines?
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
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
sense of well-being
user is careless in their appearance
poor personal hygiene
increased heart rate
extreme rise in body temperature (as high as 108 degrees which can cause brain damage and death)
uncontrollable movements (twitching, jerking, etc...)
dry and itchy skin
rotting teeth - aka "meth mouth"
loss of appetite
bad acne on the arms,back and neck
sores and skin lesions
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:
days of staying awake
days of sleeping
nervousness and /or restlessness
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
Early Warning Signs of Meth Use
Test for meth
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
permanent psychological problems
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:
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.