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How To Tell If Someone Is Using Meth

Methamphetamine, most often referred to by its common names "speed" or "meth," is a substance that acts as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. When you or someone you care about has a meth addiction, it may be challenging to deal with the stigma and shame associated with the substance.


You may know about the negative consequences of meth simply from what you've seen in the media or read about. Physical manifestations of drug abuse may not be evident to you. Whether that's the case, what signs would you look for to determine if someone was under the influence of meth?


Realizing when someone has a problem with meth is essential for helping them receive the care they need.

The Appearance of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, sometimes known simply as meth, is a white, crystal, or lumpy powder with no discernible odor and a harsh taste. As a powder, meth readily mixes with solvents like water and alcohol. Additionally, it may be smoked, injected, or snorted.


Meth may also be available from certain drug traffickers in tablet or pill form. Methamphetamine comes in various forms, one of which is crystal meth, which takes the form of transparent or blue crystals.


While there are various methods to consume meth, smoking remains the most popular method. Seven hours of intoxication are possible after ingesting the typical dosage of 0.2 grams of meth. Although the first burst of energy and exhilaration associated with meth usage rapidly wears off, this is a significant draw for new users.


For this reason, it is not uncommon for a single methamphetamine user to consume many doses in a single day.


In addition, when someone develops a physical resistance to a substance, they need more and more of it to get the same high. This behavioral habit creates an addictive loop that may need to be broken under medical supervision during treatment.

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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Signs of Methamphetamine Use

Physical Signs

Addiction to crystal meth is connected with many physical effects that may have long-lasting consequences for a person's health and even alter their brain structure irreversibly.


Symptoms of meth use are precursors to more acute and long-term stress on the body's cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, digestive, and excretory systems. So if you suspect a friend or family member has a crystal meth addiction, here are some outward symptoms to watch out for.


  • Dilated pupils.

  • Fragmented, rapid eye movements.

  • Expression of twitching facial muscles.

  • Sweating more.

  • Increased internal heat.

  • Shaking or trembling that is jerky or twitchy.

Psychological and Behavioral Signs

Substance abuse and dependence on crystal meth cause brain anatomy and chemistry changes. As a result, abuse causes shifts in one's mind and conduct. Some examples of such alterations are;


  • Disrupted sleep patterns caused by overactivity or boredom.

  • Disruptive or unpredictable actions.

  • Violent or aggressive reactions.

  • Manifestations of anxiety, nervousness, or intolerance.

  • Psychosis of suspicion or illusion.

  • Hallucinations.

  • Sleeplessness.

Meth Addiction and Its Social Consequences

Some social indicators of meth usage are:

  • Trading in goods for cash.

  • Robbing or stealing.

  • Increased unpredictability in relationships, work, and social life.

  • Unrestrained hatred for colleagues, relatives, or friends.

  • Unexpected injuries or conditions include nosebleeds, influenza, infections, and ulceration from using meth in any form.

People with a meth addiction may withdraw from their social circle relatively quickly once they start using. Aside from causing concern within their social circles, a person's routine may begin to diverge more from the normal.


They may vanish for many days or months at a time. Losing interest in sleep makes it harder to predict how long an addict will binge; it may go on for a very long time. Hallucinations, nightmares, and paranoia grow more likely as sleep deprivation progresses.


People who use meth report vivid dreams that occur during the daytime. They could also experience psychotic breaks and hallucinations.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 meth addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

What Is Tweaking?

The word "tweaking" is commonly used to express the desperate need for meth or the feeling of strong demand after a user has reached a point where they can no longer get high from their usual dosage. Tweaking occurs when a person's body has been acclimated to a constant level of a drug, requiring higher and higher doses to provide the same results.


Meth addicts can experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop being able to get high from their usual amount. Addicts typically need to undergo a meth detox at a rehab center to prevent bodily issues and relapse since these symptoms may be so debilitating.

Some of the most common features among tweakers:


  • Itching and the feeling that bugs are buzzing on or beneath their skin.

  • Consistent difficulty falling asleep.

  • Disconnection from reality or a psychotic condition brought on by meth use.

  • Hallucinating in the form of sight or sound.

  • Self-harm.

  • Intense urges to use meth.

  • Depressive mood.


Crashing or a rapid decline in energy after many upbeat days may accompany the indicators of tweaking. For example, a loved one's withdrawal symptoms may indicate meth usage. "The crash" occurs when the body finally gives up from the continual excitation of meth, and the user often sleeps for many hours straight.


The effects of meth might last for up to three days. Moreover, a person dependent on meth may experience withdrawal symptoms such as extreme cravings, exhaustion, anxiety, psychosis, and despair if they abruptly stop taking the drug. These are classic signs of a substance abuse issue and are often associated with meth addiction.

Treatment at Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Treatment is Crucial to One's Survival

Methamphetamine addiction therapy should be sought as quickly as possible since it is the only method to prevent or avoid some of these longer-term detrimental consequences from developing into lifetime difficulties.


If you have a basic understanding of meth addiction and understand what signs to watch out for, you may be able to assist someone in obtaining the treatment they need.

Being aware of the symptoms of crystal meth addiction may help save a life in the event of an overdose. In addition, understanding the physical manifestations of an overdose may help you save the life of a dear one. Overdosing on meth may cause intellectual disabilities, coma, cardiac arrest, and even death.


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Psychological and Behavioral Signs
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