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Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment - Signs of Meth Addiction

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction


After taking one hit of meth, a person can get hooked. Because the "rush" of dopamine in methamphetamine is so high, meth users continue to use meth and become addicted because they are trying to find or "chase" the same level of satisfaction they had the first time the took meth. However, a user's first-time high can never be achieved again because the body develops a tolerance to the drug. Meth users then take more meth and use different methods to reach a lesser high.1


Even the smallest amount of meth results in debilitating psychological, physical, and emotional consequences. Signs and symptoms of meth addicts become progressively worse the more frequently and longer they use meth.


Here is a list of signs and symptoms that a user of crystal meth or meth will have when using the drug, beginning from early use to advanced and possible overdose. These signs typically indicate that the meth user needs detox, rehab, and/or treatment from a drug rehabilitation or treatment center:


Signs and symptoms of early meth use:2


- Euphoric "high" state (excessively happy)

- Paranoia - Decreased appetite

- Increased physical activity

- Anxiety, shaky hands, nervousness

- Incessant talking

- Rapid eye movement

- Increased body temperature (can rise as high as 108 degrees and cause death)

- Sweating not related to physical activity


Signs and symptoms of continued meth use (includes early symptoms plus):2


- Weight loss

- Strong body odor

- Shadows under the eyes

- Dry or itchy skin

- Pale complexion

- Acne/acne-type sores

- Irritable and moody (mood swings)

- Picking at skin or hair

- Aggressive or violent behavior

- Depression

- Severe nail biting

- Nose bleeds, nasal perforations

- Dermatitis around mouth

- Lack of personal hygiene


Signs and symptoms of advanced meth use (above symptoms plus):2


- Extreme weight loss

- Hair loss

- Discolored, rotten or missing teeth

- Corneal ulcerations

- Severe mental illness symptoms, including anger, panic, paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, repetitive behavior patterns


Signs and symptoms of meth overdose:2


- High fever

- Chest pain

- Rapid breathing

- Sudden, dangerous increase in blood pressure

- Profuse sweating

- Chances of heart attack, stroke or coma

- Convulsions and tremors

- Confusion

- Dangerous rise in body temperature

- Seeing spots

- Cardiovascular collapse

Long-term Effects of Meth Addiction


The result of long-term meth use and addiction include:3

- Violent behavior

- Anxiety

- Confusion

- Insomnia

- Paranoia

- Hallucinations

- Moodiness

- Delusional


You or your loved one may be a candidate for drug detox, rehabilitation, and treatment if one or more of these symptoms are displayed and there is knowledge or suspicion of meth use.

Getting Help for Meth Addiction

It does not matter whether you were court ordered to go into drug rehab, your family and friends did an intervention and forced you to go to rehab, or you yourself have admitted that you have a drug problem; rehabilitation and freedom from meth will give you a happier, healthier life. It is okay to need help in the recovery process. You don't have to do it alone. There is help in your area that can help you rehabilitate from meth addiction and recover to have a successful and fulfilling life - drug free!


There is a range of rehabilitation and treatments available for meth users and addicts, depending on the needs of the user, including what type of environment is best for recovery, the level of support needed, etc. With methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth) addiction, the potential for relapse is very high. This is why finding a rehab or treatment center that is right for you will give you a better chance at ending your addiction for good.


1) “Meth Facts.Hawaii Meth Project. Date downloaded: June 18, 2010. 

2) “Meth Use Signs & Symptoms.METH Awareness and Prevention Project of South Dakota. Date downloaded: June 18, 2010. 

3) “Meth Facts.Hawaii Meth Project. Date downloaded: June 18, 2010.