Non-Physical Symptoms of Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine (meth) addiction is a serious condition with an extremely negative impact on your ability to function and avoid life-threatening health problems. Any signs of meth use in men and women may also be signs of diagnosable addiction. These indications often impact mental function and behavior rather than physical well-being.

Understanding Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that has the same basic effects on your brain and body as other stimulants such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Dextroamphetamine, and
  • Methylphenidate

In terms of addiction risk, the most important of these effects is a significant increase in the activity of your brain’s pleasure center. This increased activity encourages further intake of the drug and sets the stage for physical dependence. In turn, a physically dependent meth user has a strong likelihood of developing the uncontrolled pattern of intake found in all forms of substance addiction.

Non-Physical Symptoms

Methamphetamine addiction commonly leads to a range of mental and behavioral changes. Specific things you or a loved one may experience include:

  • Unusual bouts of insomnia and/or excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Declining concern for hygiene or physical appearance
  • A loss of the ability to think clearly and logically
  • An unusually anxious mental state, and
  • A marked change in your normal daily mood and/or an unstable mood

Signs of meth use in men and women with addiction issues may also include something called psychosis. Mental health experts use this term to describe three main things:

  • Hallucinations affecting at least one of the five senses
  • Delusional (i.e., unrealistic) thought patterns that may veer into paranoia, and
  • Non-deluded thoughts that seem unusually disjointed or disconnected

When diagnosing meth addiction, and when considering which meth addiction recovery program to refer to, doctors specifically look for non-physical symptoms of stimulant use disorder, a term that applies to all cases of stimulant-related abuse/addiction. Specific examples of these symptoms include:

  • An inability to limit the amount of meth consumed per drug-using episode
  • An inability to limit the number of drug-using episodes
  • Repeated consumption of meth in clearly dangerous circumstances
  • Participating in meth use instead of favored hobbies or activities
  • Participating in meth use instead of dealing with important obligations or responsibilities, and
  • Continuing to use meth after experiencing negative consequences that clearly underscore the dangers of the drug

  Resources The Meth Project: How to Spot a User                                                                             National Institute on Drug Abuse: Methamphetamine – Drug Facts National Institute on Drug Abuse: Methamphetamine – What Are the Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse? Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Substance Use Disorders

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