What’s The Deal with Meth?

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Meth is a potent, illegal stimulant that can be extremely dangerous to addicts and to those surrounding them. When someone suffers from an addiction to to meth it often changes who they. The drug effects the addict’s central nervous system, their dopamine and serotonin receptors. With persistent use, meth can do extensive damage to a person’s personality and physical features. The drug can cause violent outbursts, depression, and paranoia. These side effects can ruin the life an addict and, can scare and confuse the people around the addict who aren’t aware of the addiction. This can cause major relationship problems for the user.

Common Questions About Meth

Is My Child’s ADHD Medicine Meth?

Not exactly. Prescription meds like adderall and ritalin, given to kids, teenagers, and adults alike, for ADHD are similar to meth in chemical structure. The two types of drug share a parent category of intoxicant – amphetamine but they are not the same as the illicit and dangerous drug methamphetamine. Adderall and ritalin are strictly monitored by the law, and should be taken according to the doctor’s direction, ADHD medication should be fine for your child or for whomever is prescribed the medication from a doctor.


What are Signs of Someone Using Meth?

If someone uses methamphetamines they experience a side effect of appetite suppression. This causes extreme weight loss. The user is usually full of energy and wide awake when on the drug. Their respiratory system may work faster as will their heart. Another not always obvious symptom is a raised body temperature.


What is Tweaking?

Tweaking is a term that refers to a phase of using meth that happens near the end of a drug binge. When binging on meth the user will take the drug over and over again in close increments to stay high for days sometimes. Eventually it becomes harder and harder to find the optimal high from the drug. As they are  tweaking the meth user will struggle to achieve the euphoria or sense of wellbeing that they usually find in meth. This phase of meth addiction can lead to a dangerous psychosis. The user may be awake for days, without sleep due to the effects of the consistent use of meth over a long period of time. The person may hallucinate and experience extreme itching all over their body. This is the most dangerous time for a meth user and anyone around them.


What is a Crash Phase?

A crash phase is a time in a person’s chemical dependence and addiction to methamphetamine when the addict sleeps for extensive periods of time. Sometimes the people struggling with an addiction to meth spend crash phases sleeping for days.


What are Other Visible Symptoms of Meth Use?

  • Scratching and picking at their skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Facial tics, tremors
  • Increased talking
  • Mood Swings
  • Dilated pupils

Finding Treatment for Meth Addicts at Residential Detox Facilities in Florida

If you’ve read this article and think someone you love is using meth you can find help through substance abuse treatment in Florida. Drug detox is only the first step toward treatment for meth addiction however. A person struggling with addiction needs a tiered addiction recovery approach including detox, followed by programs like those at 1st Step’s Broward county drug rehab facilities, as well as aftercare relapse prevention therapy.

1st Step Behavioral Health is here to offer the answers you’re looking for to the questions that are plaguing your mind. Get help today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.