People who are addicted to meth typically exhibit a number of characteristics that are quite visible, even to individuals who may not have a great deal of experience dealing with this type of thing. Sadly, continued meth abuse causes several lifelong issues. Even when a person stops using meth, they may still exhibit some of these issues years later. In some cases, the symptoms may remain with them for a lifetime.
Changes in the Brain
One of the hallmark characteristics of meth abuse involves both functional and cellular changes in the brain. In short, a person who is addicted to meth has a brain that is similar to an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s. This can cause issues involving impaired cognitive ability. There is also typically an inability to find joy in virtually any activity, with the exception of using ever-increasing amounts of meth. Extreme paranoia is also common.
Over time, the continued use of meth changes the physical structure of the brain. For the most part, the areas that are acutely impacted include those associated with memory and the ability to process emotions. As previously mentioned, this can also cause the individual in question to experience a significant decline in their cognitive ability. They may no longer be able to reason or remember simple things that they have known for the majority of their life. Continued use of meth also results in other symptoms related to changes in the brain such as repetitive motor activity and even hallucinations.
Individuals who are addicted to meth may also experience paranoid delusions. One of the most common delusions of this type involves the absolute belief that bugs are crawling underneath one’s skin.
Additional Physical Symptoms
Anyone who is suffering from an addiction to meth is likely to also experience additional physical issues apart from notable changes in the brain. These lifelong issues often include severe weight loss and tooth decay. They can impact a person for life because they can do a great deal of damage to the overall health of the individual, even if the meth addiction is brought under control. For example, excessive tooth decay makes it much easier for bacteria to get into the bloodstream, which then makes it possible for the infection to run rampant throughout the entire body.
By the same token, an individual who is struggling with an addiction to meth often has a body weight that is so low that it can become dangerous, even deadly. The body may not have enough energy to keep vital functions going. As such, individuals in a severe state may experience low body temperature, an erratic heartbeat and an inability to metabolize food normally. In a worst-case scenario, this can do irreparable damage to the body that may then cause ill health for the rest of that individual’s life.
Mental Health Issues
Some mental health issues may also plague an individual for the majority of their lifetime, even after quitting meth. A person who is addicted to meth is likely to experience severe mood swings. In some situations, their behavior can become violent. It isn’t at all uncommon for the individual who is a recovering meth addict to suffer from increased levels of anxiety and depression for the rest of their life. Often, they manage these challenges with prescription medication, exercise and therapy.
Tell-Tale Signs of Meth Abuse
There are a number of signs of meth abuse that are readily visible. Recognizing these signs may help to clue you in on the fact that someone is struggling with an addiction. While it is highly unlikely that you will be able to convince them to seek help unless they are ready to do so themselves, it can be helpful to recognize the following signs and symptoms.
- Rapid weight loss that is severe
- Poor hygiene, including dental hygiene
- Severe mood swings
- Violent outbursts
- Lesions on the skin
- Certain repetitive movements such as teeth grinding
Anyone who is suffering from an addiction to meth and is ready to get help may need someone else to initiate that help for them. If you’re in a similar situation, please don’t hesitate to contact a treatment facility. Meth addiction is often severe and all-consuming. The sooner the person suffering from this addiction gets help, the better their chances of avoiding lifelong complications. Call us at 855-334-6120