The Appearance of Meth Addiction: Can You Recognize the Signs?

meth addictionWhen we analyze the long-term effects of using drugs like cocaine and marijuana, the harm experienced by the addict is not always immediately noticeable. These drugs affect internal areas such as brain function, heart health and lung capacity. However, the pain and anguish experienced by meth addicts is often etched on their faces, with the effects becoming more visible over time.

A meth user’s appearance will often change rapidly. It is imperative to recognize the signs and provide help to those in desperate need.

Meth Will Cause Significant Weight Loss

Methamphetamine suppresses appetite. Many addicts begin their struggle when they fall victim to the idea that meth can be used for a short period of time to lose weight. Recent data show that 30% of female meth users do not want to give it up because of its weight loss effects.

Unfortunately, the rapid weight loss is a sign that the body is suffering from malnutrition and that there is an urgent need for proper food. The addictive properties of the drug also lead to excessive use, which further impacts the person’s ability to put on, or even maintain, weight.

‘Meth Mouth’ – Damaged Teeth

The appearance of meth users is perhaps most notable for the damage caused to their teeth. Severe decay like tooth loss, irritated gums, and blackened teeth is very common with meth addiction. Dental professionals believe the reason behind meth’s damaging effect on teeth is that users experience dry mouths, due to the drug limiting saliva production. Saliva is a natural defense and extended dryness allows bacteria to grow and makes meth users more vulnerable to infection. On top of that, meth addicts are less likely to brush their teeth and take care of their general wellbeing.

Premature Aging

A meth user’s appearance will change rapidly over time as blood vessels constrict and cut off the supply to various parts of the body. Skin quickly loses its elasticity and color. This constriction of the blood, combined with weight loss, begins to create a gaunt and frail appearance that is usually associated with only the elderly.

Sores and Scarring from Meth Abuse

Meth use is known to cause hallucinations and one of the most common hallucinations that users experience is the sight or feeling of insects crawling on or under their skin. This feeling is often so vivid that addicts may claw at their skin to try and remove the bugs. Through constant scratching, skin becomes covered in open wounds that take many weeks to heal. Even after healing, the intense scratching has be known to leave permanent scarring on the skin, particularly on addicts’ faces and arms.

Recognize the Signs and Find Professional Help for Those in Need

Those who recognize the appearance of meth addiction must be able to find help for their friends and loved ones. While the obvious aesthetic changes can be frightening, these do not compare with the sheer horror of the psychological effects experienced by addicts.

Speaking with a recognized rehab facility in your area can help provide more information on how to help individuals suffering from meth addiction. Often, simply making that first call can be enough to begin a process that helps addicts restore their health and vitality over time.


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