What Does Meth Addiction Look Like?

Anyone who has seen the before and after photos will agree that meth addiction is ugly and obvious.  The problem with these campaigns is that it only shows the extreme cases of meth addiction.  By the time a user has gotten to this point they have already suffered extensive damage from the drug physically, mentally, and socially.

 In reality, an addiction to methamphetamine is far more subtle.  Like the water that boils a frog, a meth addiction may actually appear comfortable in the beginning stages as the drug slowly encompasses the user’s life.  Be on the lookout for these subtle signs that could signal an early addiction to methamphetamine. It will be easier to overcome the grip of this drug if the problem is addressed in the earliest phases.

Unexplained Increase in Productivity:

Methamphetamine is similar chemically to Adderall, the stimulant drug often prescribed for ADHD.  Because addictions often begin as co-occurring conditions people with ADHD may self-medicate with methamphetamine and could begin to see the positive benefits of treating their underlying condition.  Because of methamphetamines highly addictive nature along with the lack of a doctor’s guidance, these benefits are quickly overshadowed as the addiction takes over.  

Weight Loss:

As a stimulant, methamphetamine use has been shown to cause excessive weight loss.  If a user is overweight this weight loss can easily be overlooked and viewed as a positive.  The user may even start to hear people telling them how great they look and asking if they have started working out.  

These positive affirmations can exasperate the addiction by tying the drug’s use to the social benefits of weight loss.  Make sure you talk to your loved one anytime large amounts of weight have been lost.  Even if the weight loss was not caused by an addiction, unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of many serious illnesses.

Rooms and Cars May Start to Be Cleaner

Methamphetamine use has been shown to cause a near obsessive level of cleanliness in users.  Methamphetamine can cause people to focus, or “tweak out”, on cleaning rooms and belongings.  Because the stimulant can trigger this hyper-focus, users may find themselves nitpicking and notice every speck of dirt.  Many times this same obsession with hygiene is what leads to the meth sores caused by picking at one’s skin.


The Lakehouse Recovery Center offers 30, 60, and 90 day programs to men and women seeking to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. In addition to providing excellent clinical care, we offer both recovery and non-recovery activities. Our goal is to show clients how to have fun again, learning how to live in recovery without drugs and alcohol. For information, call us today: 877.762.3707


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