There are a number of crystal meth abuse symptoms, which can be classified into short-term symptoms and long-term symptoms. Crystal meth abuse symptoms arise from use, abuse, withdrawal from, or an overdose of crystal meth. It is prudent to note that crystal meth is a powerful stimulant and even intake done in small doses will lead to noticeable signs of its use.
Crystal meth is classified as a psycho-stimulant, which means that the drug increases the level of three important neurotransmitters Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine. Intake of the drug leads to feeling “high’ instantaneously. Intake of crystal meth leads to elevated moods, increased speech, increased sense of personal power, increased motor movement, which is known as tweaking, social and sex dis-inhibition, among others. Another symptom of crystal meth abuse is that the user may go without sleep for hours or even days. Crystal meth users also experience appetite loss and significant dehydration, which leads to weight loss. A significant crystal meth abuse symptom is that the user develops a disfigured face. This is because crystal meth dries up the skin completely.
Users believe that they have crystal meth “lice,” which is why they tend to scratch their faces frantically, consequently leading to wounds and disfigurement. Crystal meth users also develop a collapsed jaw. This is because crystal meth dries up the gum, consequently forcing the teeth to grind on each other. Users also have broken and rotten teeth, severe gum infection and oral wasting leading to what is known as a “meth mouth.” A notable symptom of crystal meth abuse is delusion whereby the addict develops sensations of insects creeping on his or her skin. This is also known as formicating. The addict may also develop suicidal thoughts.
Increased body temperature, which may be as high as 108 degrees, sore and numbness, acne, increased aggressiveness, premature aging, and dry itchy skin are some of the short-term symptoms of crystal meth abuse. Long-term crystal meth abuse has a damaging effect on an individual’s physical and social life, and can include social dysfunction, which includes the loss of friends, family, money or a job.
Addicts of this drug experience relationship breakdowns with people around them, as they are more concerned with the pleasures stemming from crystal meth use. Furthermore, addicts are not able to have any meaningful social interactions with people around them. If that wasn’t enough, crystal meth users develop schizophrenic-like behavior, hence the social dysfunction. The drug also has a major negative impact on the health of the individual.
Prolonged use of this drug leads to the damage of the cardiovascular systems, cardio respiratory diseases and high blood pressure, along with a high risk of stroke, heart failure, psychosis, tachycardia and death. Overdose symptoms of crystal meth include high body temperatures, also known as hypothermia, convulsions and finally death if the overdose is not treated immediately.