Is your loved one doing one of the most addictive and most harmful drugs in the world? For years, doctors have given that title to meth, but fentanyl may be giving it a run for its money.
That doesn’t mean meth is any less risky, though. Getting answers to the question “What does meth look like?” is the key to getting someone help before it’s too late.
Suspect that your loved one is doing meth? Or at least abusing some sort of stimulant? Learn what to look for below.
What Does Meth Look Like in Beginning Users?
We’ve all seen photos of someone who’s let their body be ravaged by meth. Their teeth are falling out, and it almost looks like they have cankerous open sores all over their faces.
But what does it look like when someone just starts using—when the telltale advanced signs haven’t developed yet? If you suspect a loved one is using, you need to know the signs.
Here’s what you should keep an eye out for.
Meth Use Symptoms
Meth is an upper—in that it gives you energy. It’s like cocaine in that way, and some of the behavioral symptoms are the same.
Like cocaine users, meth users have high levels of energy, which seem to come out of nowhere. We say nowhere because meth stops people from sleeping.
Essentially, the drug keeps your brain so awake that people on meth will stay up for days on end. Staying up for long periods of times can indicate continuous use or that someone is tweaking.
Tweaking is when someone comes off the drug and feels anxious/desperate to get more. The aftereffects of the drug keep them from sleeping, and that extreme tiredness, along with withdrawal, can cause some nasty issues. More on that later.
Along with having a lot of energy, meth users don’t eat much. Stimulants kill your appetite, as caffeine does, but on a much higher level.
The stimulant effect also quickens the heartbeat, which, in turn, raises blood pressure. You can’t see someone’s blood pressure, but you can notice if they get out of breath easily.
The user with high blood pressure may also be hot as the rushing of blood around the body leads to higher body temperature. If someone’s sweating bullets in a normal temperature room, that’s a cause for suspicion.
It’s likely, if a user is injecting, that they’ll hide their skin. But if they don’t, you may see needle marks or bruises near major veins.
It’s almost more noticeable when someone’s coming down from meth, or tweaking. That’s when people get the characteristic “there are bugs under my skin” feeling, which causes them to scratch.
They can also experience hallucinations and even complete delirium (a total inability to separate hallucinations from reality).
Other tweaking or meth crash symptoms include:
- Dilated pupils
- “Darting” eyes
- Mood swings
- Very fast talking
- Jerky movements
Those could be symptoms of using amphetamine as well. You can compare the differences for yourself.
Getting Someone Help
The best thing you can do is catch meth use early. That way, someone can get their life back before they give it all over to the drug.
What does meth look like? It looks like desperation but the refusal to ask for help. Learn how to help them get off it here.