Teen Methamphetamine Use

According to teen drug statistics, teen methamphetamine use has been declining. But, teen meth use still exists. This article offers warning signs of methamphetamine use, risks associated with meth use in teens, and tips on preventing teen methamphetamine use.

One of the growing drugs being abused by teenagers is methamphetamine. “Meth” is a drug that causes euphoria, but it is also highly addictive. It is important to be on the look out for meth use. Even though methamphetamine isn’t the most popular drug among teenagers, there are still too many adolescents involved. Indeed, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 1.5% of teenagers have used meth. The good news, though, is that teen methamphetamine use is declining. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop being vigilant.

Signs of methamphetamine use

There are some rather distinctive signs of methamphetamine use among teenagers. Things you should be on the look out for include:

  • Excessive giddiness.
  • Pronounced change in weight, especially weight loss related to loss of appetite.
  • Sweating without physical activity.
  • Depression, which occurs when withdrawal occurs between use.
  • Dry and itchy skin.
  • Anxiety.
  • Shaking hands.
  • Higher temperatures, fever.
  • Chest pain.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Dilation in the pupils.
  • Increase in aggressive behavior.

It is also worth noting that methamphetamine is not particularly difficult to make. It is possible for teenagers to make it themselves with a few chemicals and a hot plate. Many methamphetamine labs are actually located in neighborhoods. It is vital that you be on the look out for signs of methamphetamine labs in addition to use. Some signs of meth labs include such things as cat litter (but there is no cat), plastic tubing, strong smell of chemicals and heavy use of propane fuel or use of a hot plate. Large amounts of starter fluid, cough medicine, hydrogen peroxide and antifreeze can be signs of meth production.

Risks associated with methamphetamine use in teens

Teen methamphetamine use comes with a number of risks, many of them health related. The chemicals used in the production of meth make it fairly obvious that the drug is bad for your body. Meth is also highly addicting, and it can result in severe withdrawal symptoms once the body has built up a tolerance for the drug. Indeed, the fact that body can build up a tolerance for methamphetamine - meaning that it takes more and more of the drug to get the same effects - is another danger.

According to NIDA, methamphetamine use sends more people to the emergency room than the use of any other drug. Additionally, even occasional users can suffer irreversible damage to their health. Meth rots teeth and can cause other oral problems. Additionally, methamphetamine can cause permanent damage to the blood vessels in the brain. Some of the other health issues that can arise from meth use include:

  • Anorexia (users lose their appetite and stop eating).
  • Heart attack.
  • Convulsions and epilepsy.
  • Lung damage.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Kidney damage.

In addition to the above health problems, teen methamphetamine use also carries with it an increase in risky behaviors. Teens who use meth often engage in risky sexual behaviors as well as flouting authority, engaging in violence and committing crimes. These types of behaviors can cause trouble now, as well as affect the future of the teenager. The effects of meth use can last long after the drug is no longer used.

Preventing teen methamphetamine use

Studies show that the one of the biggest factors in whether or not teenagers use drugs is parental involvement. If you want to help prevent teen methamphetamine use, you need to make sure that you are paying attention to your teenager and letting him or her know your expectations. Involvement in your teen’s life may help him or her understand that meth use is unacceptable. Talking with your teen about the health risks and also some of the other issues (hygiene, rotted teeth) that can make him or her undesirable to friends might also work as a deterrent.

If your teenager is involved with methamphetamine use, it is important to get help. A combination of therapies may be used to help your teen break the cycle of addiction. These therapies may include behavior modification as well as pharmacological means of helping reduce the effects of withdrawal. It is important to show love, however, and encouragement to a teenager who is trying to quit meth. You need to provide a safe place for your teenager to recover and try to get back together.

Meth use can be devastating. It is important to be on the look out for teen methamphetamine use, and do what you can to help your teen overcome it. The consequences otherwise could be devastating to you and your family.

Related Article: Teen Drug Treatment >>