It can be difficult to understand a loved one struggling with methamphetamine addiction. Why would they risk everything they have and everyone they love for a drug with known long-term negative effects? Meth is incredibly addictive, and few people realize that trying it once can be all it takes to begin a cycle of misuse.
Meth is sometimes called a “one and done” drug. Methamphetamines cause your brain to release the hormone dopamine, known for its pleasurable effects. While most people experience dopamine while eating a great meal or playing a fun game, meth releases 12 times the normal amount of the hormone. The euphoric, intense high makes users want to experience that pleasure again and again.
It can be nearly impossible to get through to a loved one if they’re chasing one meth high after another. However, you could be the voice that reaches them in the midst of their addiction and helps them realize that they need help.
Signs Someone Is on Methamphetamines
If your loved one is addicted to meth, their life and health will quickly begin to crumble. The sooner they get help, the more likely they will be able to recover. It’s vital that you recognize the signs of meth use and addiction.
1. Physical Deterioration
Meth is well known for its impact on a user’s physical appearance. Even after a short period of time, you may begin to see noticeable physical signs, including:
- Scratches or sores on the skin
- Drastic weight loss
- Red, swollen eyes
- Track marks
- Inflamed gums and rotting teeth
- Thinning hair or bald patches
The more drastic your loved one’s physical changes, the more severe their addiction to meth likely is.
2. Drug Paraphernalia in Their Home
If your loved one owns drug paraphernalia, that is a telltale sign of addiction. Some meth-related paraphernalia could include:
- Glass pipes
- Aluminum foil, cans or spoons
- Small pipes or rolled up dollar bills
3. Behavioral Changes
Meth can produce troubling and sometimes frightening behavioral changes. Some of the most common behaviors you could witness include long periods or excitability or wakefulness, irritability, anxiety, paranoia or violent outbursts.
4. Problems at Work or School
Meth is an especially potent drug. It can quickly consume your loved one’s life and become their main priority. As a result, work or school may take a back seat. Meth use often results in users getting fired from jobs or failing their classes.
5. Withdrawing From Friends and Family
As meth use takes a firm hold over your loved one’s life, relationship problems are sure to follow. You may notice them withdrawing from friends or family members. Perhaps they’re too fixated on using. Or, maybe they’re afraid of being found out. Either way, the result is isolation.
How to Help Someone Get Off Meth
Sadly, it may be nearly impossible for your addicted loved one to think outside of their meth use. If you’re trying to get through to them, here are a few steps you can take:
- Educate yourself. Understand the nature of addiction and know how to recognize the signs of meth use. This knowledge will boost your confidence so that you feel more prepared to talk to your loved one.
- Treat your loved one with compassion and understanding. Remember to approach the conversation as you would with anyone you love and are concerned about.
- Voice your concerns. Even if it’s difficult, your input could be the catalyst toward your loved one heading in a better, healthier direction.
- Steer them toward treatment. Just because you’re compassionate doesn’t mean you can’t be assertive as well. Remember that there’s a lot at stake. It’s okay to respectfully yet assertively steer them toward getting help.
- Remember that you can’t force them. The goal is for your loved one to take responsibility and decide to seek treatment. You can’t do it for them.
Help for Meth Addiction Is Available at Gateway Foundation
Deep down, your loved one using meth probably knows that they need to change something. Don’t be nervous about suggesting that they seek help. At Gateway Foundation, your loved one will be reminded that there is hope for a happy life without drugs. Our meth addiction treatment program offers highly individualized care to meet them where they are.
If you would like to learn more or speak with a compassionate member of our team, contact us today.