Methamphetamine is abused because it brings a quick and intense high that lasts longer than some other drugs. Methamphetamine addiction develops as a result of an increase in the feel-good chemical dopamine. Meth impacts the central nervous system and also works on the brain chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin. It is important to know the signs of meth use early before it becomes an addiction. Mental health professionals classify methamphetamine addiction as a stimulant use disorder. People who abuse methamphetamine have a strong chance of developing the symptoms of addiction. The most common ways people abuse crystal meth are: \tSwallowing meth in pill form \tSniffing meth in powder form \tInjecting meth intravenously or intra-muscularly \tSmoking meth Crystal meth addiction can take over a person\u2019s life in a short time. The effects of methamphetamine addiction can be devastating. What are the Signs of Meth Use? If you are concerned that you or a loved one is showing signs of meth use, it may be time to consider inpatient rehab. See if you\u2019ve noticed any of the warning signs of meth use. Warning signs of meth addiction include: \tStrong drug cravings when not taking meth \tLack of control over meth intake \tTolerance to meth\u2019s effects \tPreoccupation with obtaining and using meth \tSeverely dilated pupils \tMeth mouth (dental problems from meth abuse) \tMood swings that go from euphoria to depression \tHigh anxiety, agitation, nervousness and irritability \tSecretive behaviors such as hiding substance use \tFinancial, legal, career or relationship problems \tIsolating from friends and family \tRisky behavior \tWeight loss and odd patterns of eating \tWithdrawal symptoms such as vomiting and trembling when use falls below typical levels \tPoor personal hygiene \tParanoia, hallucinations and psychosis What Meth Does to the Brain Similar to the stimulant crack cocaine, methamphetamine makes drastic changes in normal brain chemistry. Like other powerful stimulant drugs of abuse, methamphetamine triggers pleasure-producing changes. It works by accelerating central nervous system activity. It also speeds up nerve cell activity in the spinal cord. However, compared to amphetamine and cocaine, methamphetamine produces unusually large increases in chemicals responsible for producing euphoria. While meth increases dopamine and adrenaline production, it also blocks dopamine transporter. This is a protein that binds to excess dopamine and stores it for future use. This process leaves large amounts of dopamine and adrenaline floating around in the central nervous system. Meth can also cause brain damage and symptoms that mimic mental health disorders such as: \tSchizophrenia and psychosis \tLong-term memory loss \tCognitive issues \tDepression \tCompulsive behavior Long-Term Physical Effects and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Abuse The body can quickly develop meth dependence. Methamphetamine users build up a tolerance to the drug\u2019s effects. They need increasing amounts to get the same effects. As a result, people who abuse meth are at risk for health problems and severe changes in physical appearance. Some of the physical signs and symptoms of meth addiction include: \tLiver damage \tTachycardia (abnormal heart rate) \tHeart attack \tPoor motor skills \tAcne \tTooth decay and loss \tSexual dysfunction \tDecreased appetite\/weight loss \tConstriction of blood vessels \tHyperthermia (elevated body temperature) \tHigh blood pressure Signs and Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal The \u201chigh\u201d caused by meth is accompanied by profound changes in the brain\u2019s chemical makeup. If these changes occur repeatedly over time, the brain starts viewing the drug as necessary. It begins to expect the effects of meth on a regular basis. This shift in brain orientation signals the development of a physical dependence on\u00a0meth. One of the signs of meth use is withdrawal syndrome. If a person is addicted to meth, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when drug use falls below what the brain is expecting. Since methamphetamine changes brain chemistry, repeated users of the drug are at high risk for physical dependence and addiction. Meth withdrawal symptoms may include: \tCravings \tAnxiety \tDepression \tChronic fatigue \tPsychosis \tInsomnia Reclaim Your Life From Meth Addiction Treatment for methamphetamine addiction can help prevent further damage. Lucida Treatment Center offers evidence-based residential treatment for meth addiction.\u00a0We address the causes of addiction such as co-occurring mental health disorders and teach you healthy coping and relapse prevention skills. Lucida Treatment Center can help you recover. We offer: \tSubstance abuse treatment Programs \tMental health care \tNutritional support \tNon-12-step\u00a0drug rehab option \tTraditional and alternative therapies \tFamily program \tContinuing care Change your life. Get help at our addiction center. Speak confidentially with a Lucida recovery advisor at .