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Meth Use and Symptoms – What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Someone Using Methamphetamines?


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Meth Drug Overdose

She was only 35 years old, the single mother of 2 young children, ages 11 and 15. I had known her only a brief time but knew enough about her to know that she had a drug addiction problem – methamphetamine use to be specific. Two nights ago this young talented photographer was taken off life support after cardiac arrest, massive amounts of methamphetamine in her system. She had promised to “stop” using on Jan, 1, 2010, and ironically, that was the day she did stop using forever, because just hours before that her life support was disconnected in the ICU. CW died just hours before her promised time to “quit drugs”.
This whole situation makes me mad, not mad at her but just mad at life. Mad that 2 little girls have to go through life without their mother because of a drug overdose. The only way I can process this senseless death is to write about it, talking about the signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use (aka commonly known as meth) – in the hopes that somewhere out there these words may help someone they love and care about, and hopefully help them get some help with their meth addiction. I will be attending a memorial for my young friend this Saturday, and this hub is devoted to her, her family and her friends.

The Many Types of Meth

Methamphetamine can come in various colors, and be ingested many different ways. By inhalation, needle, smoked and even pill form.
Methamphetamine can come in various colors, and be ingested many different ways. By inhalation, needle, smoked and even pill form.

“Meth Mouth”

Also known as "Meth Mouth", one can see how devastating the use of methamphetamine is on the body, including the teeth
Also known as “Meth Mouth”, one can see how devastating the use of methamphetamine is on the body, including the teeth

Drug Addiction Can End in Tragedy

From what I understand, in CW’s case (her name has been shortened to protect her families privacy) she had been abusing methamphetamine for about 11 years. Her family and loved ones struggled to help her over the years, but after her mother died just weeks ago, it looks like the stress and the addiction caught up to her – to end in tragedy. Despite our best efforts to help our family members, sometimes it is never enough, and family and friends should NEVER blame themselves for someone else’s drug addiction. Using drugs is a personal choice, and addiction can be very hard to kick. I know because I used to use alot of drugs back in the 70’s and 80’s, including “speed” and “crank”. The only reason I stopped is because I started having severe panic attacks. Looking back I’m glad that this happened to me because I too could have ended up like CW, despite everyone’s best intentions.
When it comes to methamphetamine, or meth, signs and symptoms can vary but any or part of these could indicate that someone you know is using:

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Someone Using Methamphetamine’s?

Short term meth abuse symptoms can include:
rapid weight loss
dilated pupils and rapid darting eyes
increased alertness
rambling conversation
sense of well-being
user is careless in their appearance
frequent sweating
poor personal hygiene
tooth decay
intense high
aggressive behavior
increased heart rate
extreme rise in body temperature (as high as 108 degrees which can cause brain damage and death)
uncontrollable movements (twitching, jerking, etc…)
violent behavior
impaired speech
dry and itchy skin
premature aging
rotting teeth – aka “meth mouth”

loss of appetite
bad acne on the arms,back and neck

sores and skin lesions


Methaphetamine Effects on the Mind

Methamphetamine also effects the brain and mental stability and can cause the following signs and symptoms of meth drug use:
disturbed sleep

days of staying awake
days of sleeping
excessive excitation
excessive talking
nervousness and /or restlessness
deception, secretiveness and lying
moodiness and irritability
absence from work or school
false sense of confidence and power
delusions of grandeur leading to aggressive behavior
uninterested in friends, sex, or food, aggressive and violent behavior
severe depression

Poll on Meth Use

Do you know anyone who uses Meth?

  • 67% Yes
  • 17% No
  • 17% I don’t know

6 people have voted in this poll.

Visible Signs of Meth Use

Methamphetamine is referred to by many names, including “Meth”, “speed”, “crank”, “chald,” “go-fast”, “zip,” and “cristy”. The smokable form of this drug is ofen called “L.A.”, “ice”, “crystal or chrystal”, “64glass”, or “quartz.”
Visible signs of meth use in a users home that may indicate methamphetamine usage:
burned aluminum foil or light bulbs that have been converted to smoking devices.
Small Ziploc baggies
cut drinking straws
butane fuel or windproof butane lighters could be an indication of use
small smoking pipes
Without intervention and rehabilitation, the long term effects of extended methamphetamine use can be devastating, and fatal as in CW’s case: Long term effects of meth use lead to:
fatal kidney and lung disorders
brain damage
permanent psychological problems

liver damage
cardiac arrest

Early Warning Signs of Meth Use

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Photography by CW
Photography by CW

Online Help for Methanphetamine Use

If you know someone that is displaying any of the above mentioned symptoms there is alot of help online and also in most communities. Online help can be found here:
Don’t let someone tell you they will get help later. Don’t accept later as acceptable. Tell them later could be “too late”. Later could mean dead, it could mean their children being parent less and their families devastated. If necessary, stage an “intervention” to help your loved one. It could mean the difference between their life and death. I hope reviewing the signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use have helped you in identifying and being better prepared to be on the look out for possible drug use in someone you care about. If this hub helps one person then it has served it’s purpose.
(This hub is dedicated to the family of C.W. and her children. It’s too late to help her but not too late to help someone else. May your family be comforted in the fact that you loved them very much. That your drug addiction was a powerful force and that no one is to blame…..RIP CW)
-Dorsi Diaz is a freelance/writer and publisher on the Internet.


Frieda Babbley profile image
Frieda Babbley  says:
2 days ago

This is terribly scary. The disintegration happens so fast! (I saw the photos in the link.) How terribly sad. Thorough hub. Thanks much for the info.

rvsrinivasan profile image
rvsrinivasan  says:
2 days ago

Drug addiction has become a social problem. People get into these habits. They are not able to leave. It is an evil to society. I have written certain hubs on health. May please go through these hubs.

Hello, hello, profile image
Hello, hello,  says:
2 days ago

I think the root lies with the drug dealer and drug barons. I very strongly belief there should be the death penalty. The harm they do is unmeasurable. Why let them get rich on other people’s heartache and it is a heartache. They have to live with it all their lives. It is nothing but a life sentence. It also involves robbery with violence in various forms. I am not normally a person like but in that case I think the death penalty would be the only solution and with DNA there aren’t many mistakes. People get beaten to death because they tell them not to make a racket at night, or for not given them the money, or being found in the house – broken in and mostly because of drugs. So many old people met a very violent death because they know that they can’t fight back.

Thank you for being my fan

robie2 profile image
robie2  says:
34 hours ago

A beautifu tribute to CW Dorsi and you shine a light on the uselessness of it all. I think the problem is societal denial– we all tend to make excuses for the addict and not recognize the seriousness of the addiction. Addiction is a real illness and it always ends in death unless there is real intervention and a strong desire on the part of the addict to get well– I am so sorry CW didn’t get help sooner and I hope this hub will be a wake up call for some person who reads it who either knows an addict or is one.

Elena. profile image
Elena.  says:
34 hours ago

Hi Dorsi – Thanks for writing this article, which must have been hard as hell. One of my brothers passed away of AIDS, which he got by sharing a needle to use heroine. He was 37 when he passed, around the same age as CW. He was clean in the end, and he made peace with all of us, but what useless losses and what terrible pain the families and the addicts go through. I SO understand that you are mad, I was there so many times with my brother, and supporting my mother… Hang in there is all I can say.

bearclawmedia profile image
bearclawmedia  says:
20 hours ago

This is the scurge of our society. I have spoken to smack addicts whacked out of their minds and they could always make some sense. Not with this crap biker speed. The ice, all of it, is crushing the life out of society. I have no answers only pain. Thanks for reminding me that this is still a major social question.

Nancy's Niche profile image
Nancy’s Niche  says:
5 hours ago

An informative article Dorsi and very well written considering the emotional pain you must be feeling. Meth is a horribly destructive drug both physically, mentally and socially. Drugs can tear families apart especially when death is the result…CW is at peace now and free from the devil that plagued her.

The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hand of God. ~Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

dusanotes profile image
dusanotes  says:
49 minutes ago

Thanks, Dorsi. You described what has to be one of the most painful, degrading ways to die. And so young, too, only 37. Family to CW was very important, especially her mother, for when she died CW lost hope. After all the family can do, it is often not enough. But the teaching moments must not start when the kids are teenagers experimenting with drugs. It must start much earlier. There must be some great role models where that person lives, some great friends. Unfortunately, in many parts of America the role models are not such good models. I suspect, Dorsi, that CW had friends who used drugs and she was merely following along. Maybe they were strong enough – or got intervention and family help sooner – we don’t know. It is not for us to judge, but just to thank God and his son Jesus Christ that in the life to come, and in the spirit world, where CW resides now, there will be help in the form of people who have been through these kinds of things. It is my faith that we will have another chance to learn the truth and how we should act at a later date. All is not lost. Thanks for this important Hub. Don White

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