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What using signs should I look for in a meth addict?


blue
rain141
What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
My ex told me once, in a fit of rage, that every time I thought he was sober he was high and when I thought he was high, that was him sober.

When your on meth, are your pupils dilated? Should I look for big, black pupils or little, tiny pupils?

I know some basics... teeth clenching, picking at face or body, rapid speech and getting a lot of work done or getting work done in 7 hours that should have took only 15 minutes. Collecting loads of crap, not eating. What else?

Is it possible for a crank user to use smaller amounts to appear sober. My ex thinks he should be rewarded for using less than before. I tend to believe that he's using less because the good times are much shorter now and are followed by days and days of him doing absolutely nothing.
     Replies...
Sfj Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
One of the principles of Harm Reduction is exactly as you said.
Using less is better than using more, and using none is better than using any.

Some addicts become exceptionally skillful at hiding use. I remember I would do things that only non-users would do, in order to hide my meth use. Typical meth addict behavior can be easily spotted, so some of us would behave in deliberately deceptive manners. Things like yawning (faked), complaining about starving to death, (faked) complaining about being exhausted, (faked) acting fatigued, (faked) giggling, (faked)
You get the picture.

Some addicts get an extra thrill out of being able to 'get by with it.'
Another thrill is 'I got over on them.'
Or
'I'm cool, see what I can get away with?'
These things are real and some addicts take this activity to a high level of refinement.

Signs of meth use:
1. Lack of sleep, 2. Lack of appetite, 3. Nervous twitching, 4. Blaming others, 5. Grinding teeth, 6. Clenching jaw, 7. Seldom smile, 8. Avoid family and normal friends, 9. Unable to be responsible, 10. Dental and skin health gets worse. 11. Abnormally high amounts of energy, 12. Paranoia 13. Obsessive perverse sexual behavior, 14. Enlarged pupils, 15. Tweaking

Those are among the most common.
Ninety per cent of meth addicts suffer from pain of feeling extreme loneliness.
Meth use is like taking out a huge loan on future happiness and pleasure, with incredibly high interest rates and no grace period.

Please consider the following,
Stopping meth often results in:
1. Being Excessively Tired
2. Big Time Depressed
3. Overwhelmingly Lonely
4. Becoming Fat, Weight Gain
5. Total Lack of Ambition and Motivation
6. No Sex Drive
7. Severe Feelings of Despair
8. Possible Suicidal Thoughts
9. Panic and Anxiety Attacks
10. Nightmares About Drugs and Drug Situations
11. Bizarre Sleep Patterns
12. Many more problems too numerous to mention.


Here's what you can do:
1. Get as much info as you can
2. Develop a plan
3. Seek professional help
4. Realize the truthful limitations
5. Most importantly - Trust God
6. Discard any notion that there is an easy magic answer.

Gambling Addicts can't understand Porn Addicts, Porn Addicts can't understand Compulsive Shoplifters, Compulsive Shoplifters can't understand Overeaters, Overeaters can't understand Drug Addicts, Drug Addicts can't understand Bulimics and Anorexics, and so on. Meth addicts, are by far, the most difficult to understand. That is because methamphetamine changes the natural biology and molecular structure in the central nervous system, the brain. A meth addict's brain has been altered compared to normal brains. But don't give up. Many meth addicts can and do recover.

Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.
That doesn't seem too encouraging does it?
But take heart, the good times will return  eventually.

Family members who think that as soon as an addict quits using must realize this. It will get worse, not better, for quite awhile. The only thing that will get better right away is the consistency of the problems. The problems will be there all day everyday and they will be severe, all day every day. When your addict was using, there were alternating periods of good and bad, up and down, energy and lethargy. But in recovery you won't have to deal with the inconsistencies.  it will be bad all the time. Constant chronic use of methamphetamine causes a biological change, a basic molecular change in the addict's central nervous system and brain such that it requires meth to be anywhere normal. The brain becomes absolutely dependent on the stimulation that meth provides in order to function. When withdrawal occurs, serious problems are guaranteed to follow for a considerable amount of time.

Some people are concerned about things getting better instantly. In recovery, that is virtually impossible. Quitting using is barely the beginning. Just because someone quits, doesn't mean things are suddenly going to improve. Often it is just the opposite.

We meth addicts will stop when the pain of continued use exceeds the fear of withdrawal.

Please visit my website:

How Meth Addicts Think and Feel

Do's and Don'ts
 
imlost
inky
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
Quote:
Is it possible for a crank user to use smaller amounts to appear sober

Yes for a time.
Inevitably though the use will escalate.

Honesty should be rewarded- or at least acknowledged.
That is a plus.

Eyes
Wide
Open
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
"Gambling Addicts can't understand Porn Addicts, Porn Addicts can't understand Compulsive Shoplifters, Compulsive Shoplifters can't understand Overeaters, Overeaters can't understand Drug Addicts, Drug Addicts can't understand Bulimics and Anorexics, and so on. Meth addicts, are by far, the most difficult to understand."

SFJ- I've wanted to ask you before about this statement you made because to me it does not make sense. People with an addictive nature can understand other people having addictions even if it's different from their own. I myself struggle with many addictions. Before meth, I was a compulsive eater and an alcoholic and then I became anorexic, then addicted to meth, gambling and sex. After being clean from meth I struggled with alcohol again as well as having compulsive sex, starving and gambling. I know it's not about the drug, food or whatever it's the chemical dependency in my brain which causes this but I still question why you say that addicts can't understand other addicts. 
Sfj Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?

To EyesWideOpen,
This is why.
Because we have differences. While it is true that we also have many more similarities, it is sometimes helpful to be aware of things that we can't understand or things we haven't experienced. For example, a person who is having difficulty with anorexia might do well to avoid being highly critical and condemning of another person who is suffering from obesity. I have never gambled, never bought a lottery ticket in my life. It would be foolish of me to criticize or even tell a gambling addict, ?I know how you feel.? Because, I don't know how he feels.

We have all felt pain. But I'd be fool to tell a woman in labor, 'I know how you feel.'

I think we need compassion and empathy for people whose burdens are different from our own. I cringe every time I hear one abstaining meth addict tell another,  'If I can do it, anyone can.'

I honestly believe that to be misleading, judgmental and even a bit condescending. Addict 'A' does not always know about the pain and tragic circumstances that led addict 'B' into addiction. Especially if the drug of choice or the behavior of choice is foreign to him.

Many women seriously condemn and criticize men who are addicted to porn. While in reality, those women may be addicted to fat food, compulsive shopping or other destructive behaviors. Vice versa. A guy may be critical of a fat lady while he is surfing porn on the internet.

There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it behooves all of us to avoid criticizing any of us.

That's how I see it. 
brenda
kays
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
I would also like to know if someone can explain better some signs - I know the ones that were posted above but I guess I'm wanting to know things like - Are the pupils larger or smaller - What exactly is tweaking - Does this mean when he is sleeping his body jumps or does this happen while he is awake? What is a normal heart rate and what is a "meth" heart rate - I also would like to know - What does meth cost? I feel so lost not being able to tell if he is using -

Don't laugh but at one point I began "tasting" things I came across that looked like paraphernalia (1/2 pens, straws, tin foil) I probably would have burned on a pea test for some time - Had to quit doing this as I realized it was pretty unhealthy and I looked like a flippin idiot going around "licking" things!!!

I would so much prefer to be able to tell if he is using versus the snooping until I find something that I can confront him with - He will absolutely deny it if I have nothing - He still tries to deny it but if I have some proof he is not able to manipulate me as easily!!!

imlost
inky
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
Hi Brenda- I know you.
almost 2 years ago, I was you 

Okay, ways I could tell -sweating - especially at night, light sleep
twitches in sleep
fast heart rate
high blood pressure

Brenda, his veins would look like they were about to explode his pressure was so high.
Gray skin tone- with red from the blood pressure
Mostly though I could tell from his attitude, the way he spoke to me.
Especially after he got clean.

Now quit licking shyt- honest that isn't smart.
If you are finding burnt foil, empty pen cases- hubby preferred bic pen casings, glass pipes, tiny baggies- razor blades, cut lines on mirrors, he is using.

To check a pen casing for residue, put a dark piece of paper down on a table, hold the pen casing over top of the paper, and scrape the sides with a fingernail file, even the wire spring part of the pen itself.
If it has been used as a tooter, small salt like crystals will come out.

Occasionally you will smell an odor similar to cat piss coming from him.
The body odor for sure - my husband never stinks unless he is using.
You can't miss it- even if you try - it is rank, it really smells.
Now-
You can drive yourself nuts looking for the smoking gun- but I tell you, it is a waste of time and a waste of energy.
It is foolish to spend your life playing cat and mouse.
Even if you catch him red handed- pipe to mouth - smoking away and he is the only one in there - at best he will say he just did it this one time.
Worst he will tell you that you are crazy and seeing shyt now- or wtf are you doing spying on me?
You going to spy on me now? Well you kept accusing me so I said F-k it and did it -
either way it is going to come back on you as your fault.
Count on it.
Believe what you see, not what you hear.
When he is clean, he will treat you differently- he will.
If everything is the same, then it is the same.

Now my advice to you-Know 3 things
You can not control his addiction
You can not cure his addiction
You did not cause his addiction

Say it again out loud.
You can spend your time worrying over something you can not control or change OR you can find you again.

The reality is you are just as lost in his addiction as he is.
And that is the only thing you can control or change.

He isn't going to tell you the truth just yet- and the reality is even if he did, you wouldn't believe him.
You would want to- you would try to- but it isn't going to happen.

Fix you, find you, live again - let go and Let God/Higher power/ karma whatever.
You can't control him.

But that works 2 ways-just as you can not control his addiction-
his addiction does not have to control you.
Hang around, we can help.

blue
rain141
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
I appreciate the information about Harm Reduction. My friend always wants "credit" for having reduced his usage or for having been able to go for longer periods without meth. In the past I have not been impressed and been very judgmental- an all or nothing attitude. I will definitely change the way I react to his attempts at reducing use.

The funny thing is that he has been able, without any support, to stop using alcohol, cocaine, crack, etc... on his own. He has been clean of these things for about 20 years. He continues to tell me that he can stop meth as well, if he wanted to, however I don't believe him.

Thanks.

imlost
inky
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
Bluerain, FWIW, I can and have walked away from every drug, alcohol I have ever done in my life with absolutely no trouble whatsoever -no matter how heavy I drank, or smoked, or popped-
There really is only a few drugs I haven't done- LSD, Mushrooms, Ecstasy- That K stuff.  I never had a problem- still don't have a problem- except when it comes to speed/meth.
There is no harm reduction for me.
It doesn't matter - if I use at all, inevitably I will lose control of it.
One hit is one too many - a million never enough.

Be cautious with harm reduction- you truly may not be wrong in your feelings.
Speed brought me to my knees- literally.  
brenda
kays
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
The harm reduction post wasn't from me even though I did look at it and it was great information - I don't believe that he can do less - He has tried that and it just slowly crept back up from what I can tell with the amount of money he is spending. Is there such a thing for anyone as just doing less on meth?

Rachel
sue76
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
Are the pupils larger or smaller
I noticed with my husband it really just depended. Sometimes his whole eye looked black, other times they were really tiny.

What exactly is tweaking
Kind of like getting stuck on the same thing.

Does this mean when he is sleeping his body jumps or does this happen while he is awake?
The body jumps happened while my husband was using when he was sleeping.

What is a normal heart rate and what is a "meth" heart rate
Normal is somewhere in the range of 60-80 beats a min. When using it is at least twice that.

As far as that licking thing goes, not a good idea. Even if you have in his face proof like you found his bag and his other stuff to go with it, he is not going to say that is mine. It will most likely be a "friends" that asked him to hold it.

Having that proof that you are looking for is not going to stop him from trying to manipulate the facts. If anything if will be worse.

UCL
Angel
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?

In my opinion,...cut to the chase, and just look for these two signs.
They aren't big ones, but you can see them clearly if you look closely:
1: "At-Home Drug Test for Methamphetamine Abuse"
(printed on box, at local pharmacy)
and,
2: "Alanon Meeting Schedule"
(printed on small pamphlet, at Alanon meetings)
BOTH signs are absolutely essential for establishing your peace-of-mind.........
One will tell you the truth,
and the other will tell you how to cope with the truth.
 

vctry7 Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
Pupils are normally large when they are just using meth. Sometimes they are so large you can't hardly tell the eye color.
If you mix downers, pain pills, etc, it will sometimes make the pupils tiny like pinpoints. I have seen pain pill addicts act like they are on speed. Their pupils are tiny.

UCL
Angel
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
P.S. Well, if you've got to look for signs...
...the ears tend to get pinkish red, around the edges, as with a sunburn, only the skin isn't hot like with a sunburn, just red.

And, if you keep finding parts of "dismembered disposable lighters" around the house, as in,...cheap disposable lighters with the little metal casing-restrictors taken off of the top so that the flame will be huge...that's kind of proof-positive.
The only people who rig lighters that way, are crack-smokers and meth-smokers.

Hope that info helps.

imlost
inky
Re: Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
Quote:
BOTH signs are absolutely essential for establishing your peace-of-mind.........
One will tell you the truth,
and the other will tell you how to cope with the truth.

I think you had it right the first time 
Good post.

ONE
FIESTY
GRL
Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
my experience with a user was a night of him, turning, twisting, fighting himself in his sleep, scratching himself until he bled, moaning all night, mixed with about 10 minutes an hour of a deep sleep, only to start over again,
another night, he was paranoid, someone was following him,
his friend was setting him up, someone was in the woods,
he saw people,, his hands are very dry, his lips are dry, and cracked.
when he is coming down, he is totally unsexual. not interested, no hugs or kisses, he sweats, not really bad, but some, he gorges on chocolate. ate a whole bag of kisses in like 10 minutes.

jeninoz Re: What using signs should I look for a meth addict?
Large, dilated pupils, lack of appetite, unable to sleep, when coming down moaning and groaning and sleeping for days, lies, LOTS of porn watching (behind my back), money missing, things hocked and the scariest one, being REALLY NICE and me thinking everything is OK - followed by TWEAKING (everything is not OK).

See also:

What are the signs of using Meth?

Signs of using Meth?

Using Signals / Signs of Users on Crystal Meth

Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice


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