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Warning Signs of a Crystal Meth Use

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Addicts who abuse any drug are rarely interested in seeking treatment help on their own which leaves it up to family, friends, and other associates to look for the warning signs and encourage recovery help.

With crystal meth, it is especially important that the signs of addiction be identified so treatment can be sought since there is a 92% relapse rate for those that don’t get help.

The earlier addiction is suspected and treatment begins, the better the chances of recovery are and the more minimal the health effects will be.

Short-Term Effects

With crystal meth use, there are immediate signs that surface with use and they can be apparent to people in the presence of a crystal meth addict. Not all of these symptoms are present in every addict, but one of them alone can be a warning sign. In some crystal meth users it takes high doses of meth before these symptoms surface, but when they do, they shouldn’t be ignored.

Symptoms of Crystal Meth Use:

  • Meth users may appear wired and full of energy, and that can cause insomnia
  • Meth users may scratch and feel as though their skin is crawling and itchy
  • Itchiness of the skin
  • Meth users may exhibit violent behavior or paranoia
  • Short-term memory loss which may be noticed during conversation
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Skin conditions like sores, rashes and cracked lips.

The most aggressive warning signs of crystal meth use relate to behavioral traits. The above are the physical ones and these signs can be detected even by those who don’t know the addict personally.

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Long-Term Effects

Behavior changes are often the most noticeable warning signs of crystal meth addiction use, but most often it’s those closest to an addict that are in a position to detect the changes. When they understand an addict’s personality when they’re sober, they can better recognize how different they’ve become and suspect drug use. Behavioral changes aren’t unique to meth use, but they are much more pronounced in meth addicts and can have a big impact.

The following behavioral changes can take place with crystal meth addicts and these are major warning signs to look for:


Depression is a common symptom of crystal meth use, and it can appear in those who have no history with mental illness.

Meth addicts can experience hallucinations. Strange behavior will be exhibited when these are occurring and therefore may be detectable to others.

Meth addicts will often act paranoid, and the paranoia is not always related to realistic circumstances as meth addicts can be delusional.
Excessive Sleep

Meth addicts often sleep for long periods of time, sometimes 24 or 48 hours at once as they come down from the drug.
Loss of Appetite

A decline in appetite occurs with crystal meth use and can lead to weight loss.
Mood Swings

Meth addicts may be irritable or exhibit violent behavior frequently. Behavior can also go to the opposite extreme and addicts may experience euphoria at times where they are unusually happy.
Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is common with crystal meth use and that can cause serious dental problems. This is a physical, not a behavioral warning sign, but it’s one that occurs with long-term meth use.


Health Symptoms

Crystal meth is a drug that can have a severe effect on health. The health symptoms may not always be detectable to others around an addict, but when they do surface, they can finally show addicts just how dangerous their addiction has become.

The following health effects are dangerous and in some cases can be fatal:

  • Increased heart rate Crystal meth causes increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Damage  to the small blood vessels in the brain which may cause a stroke
  • Inflammation of the heart lining
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Collapsed veins, infections in the heart lining and heart valves, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and liver or kidney disease. These relate to crystal meth injections


Finding Help

Whether the above warning signs are detected by someone close to a crystal meth addict or an addict recognizes them on their own, it’s essential that help is sought in order to provide for a safe and healthy recovery. If friends and family suspect addiction based on the warning signs, an intervention may be necessary to facilitate the process as most addicts are reluctant to seek help on their own. Give us a call at 269.280.4673.