Facing the Facts: What you should know about Meth

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Since the 1980s, meth use has expanded from society’s elites and artists and now has spread to even the average Juan. Meth, or methamphetamine, is such a highly addictive drug that even the cravings are exceptionally strong as tolerance is quickly developed.

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The effects of meth to a person’s behavior include:

  • confidence
  • feelings of grandeur
  • feelings of being invincible
  • euphoria
  • increased energy
  • hyper-alertness
  • increased focus
  • increased libido

Soon, once the addiction develops, they will start to neglect their family, job, and responsibilities. They will also become more distant from friends and families, and would only associate with other meth users. And although many meth users would say that they would never lie, steal or cheat just to get the drug, they still end up doing so, sooner or later. Many meth users engage in drug-related behavior, as well as in criminal offenses as a result of their desire to feed their habit. These criminal behaviors include committing fraud, stealing, prostituting, and even making and/or selling drugs.

Before and after meth

When you see before and after pictures of meth users, they tend to look scary as the differences over a relatively short period of time can be start. However, they are 100% true.

For long-term users, their appearance will exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Meth mouth, due to the drug causing the teeth to be thin and brittle, will destroy the teeth and gums, and the teeth themselves will look like the pipe they smoke for the chemicals
  • loose teeth and collapsed jaw as well as teeth grinding
  • dry skin and gums
  • brittle hair and even hair loss
  • Meth mites/marks, or the constant picking at the skin which leads to scars and sores
  • sunken-in face
  • weight loss

Other effects of meth use are:

  • dilated pupils and sensitivity to light
  • dry mouth
  • sudden decrease in or loss of appetite
  • sudden change in sleep patterns and insomnia
  • shaking and tremors
  • picking at skin
  • skin infections due to needles (for those injecting meth)
  • increased or decreased urination that can sometimes be painful
  • irritability
  • deterioration of physical appearance
  • poor hygiene
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Former Next American Top Model contestant Jaela Strauss, now ravaged by meth.

The comedown

After the intense high where the user may feel powerful, confident, and alert, the comedown can be intense. Often, they wouldn’t want to feel the comedown so they use again, and this results to a destructive pattern that leads to addiction. Once a regular meth using pattern is established, people would often be able to eat and sleep ‘normally’ but once the pattern is disrupted, they will be very weak, sleepy, and lethargic.

Though not as fatal as a heroin withdrawal, meth withdrawal can be difficult for users. It is characterized by the following:

  • excessive sleep
  • lethargy
  • increased appetite as if not having eaten for a long time (which is true after the high where they won’t feel hungry)
  • psychosis
  • paranoia
  • heightened anxiety
  • depression

Are you addicted?

There are many tests to find out for yourself if you are addicted to any substance. Below are also some tell-tale signs that show you if you are addicted to meth:

  • development of tolerance to the drug
  • the need to use to get through the day
  • withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, dry mouth, sweating, depression, anxiety, shaking, excessive fatigue, difficulty sleeping
  • the need to use again just to “fight” the withdrawal symptoms
  • lost of control, such as failure to follow through after vowing to abstain from using
  • taking more drugs than planned
  • activities and schedule start to revolve around drug use
  • continuous use even at the expense of health condition

One thought on “Facing the Facts: What you should know about Meth

    […] especially here in our country where statistics show 10% of Filipinos, or about 7 million people, use or are addicted to shabu. The social stigma of addiction, in many ways, is as bad as the widespread drug use […]

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