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Signs Your Teen is Using Crystal Meth

What are the signs that your teen is using crystal meth? Each teenager can exhibit different signs of drug use. If you suspect your teenager is living with an addiction, it’s important to first understand what the drug is and how it’s used to better allow you to identify its presence in your son or daughter’s life.

Crystal meth is a form of the stimulant drug methamphetamine. This powerful, highly addictive drug is illegal and dangerous. Methamphetamine is a manufactured stimulant.

How is Meth Used?

Crystal meth — sometimes referred to as just “meth” — looks like shiny rocks or pieces of glass. Crystal meth is a synthetic stimulant with psychoactive effects. The drug is odorless and colorless. Meth is made in illicit labs and usually includes a combination of over-the-counter drugs and toxic chemicals and substances. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, an estimated 11 million Americans have tried methamphetamine at least once.

How is meth taken or used? Most people use meth by smoking it in a glass pipe. However, meth can also be snorted, injected or swallowed.

What Are Some of the Signs of Crystal Meth Use?

If you’re wondering what the signs of crystal meth use are, it can be useful to have an understanding of how it affects the brain and body. When someone uses crystal meth, it causes a huge flood of dopamine, which is a natural brain chemical. Crystal meth not only increases the release of this neurotransmitter, but it blocks it from being reabsorbed, allowing for an increased level of dopamine throughout the body. Dopamine plays an integral role in motivation, reward and pleasure which is why there is such a powerful high with crystal meth.

The euphoric high of crystal meth usually lasts for around 12 hours. Tolerance develops quickly, so someone may enter binge cycles where they keep taking more and more meth to achieve the original high they had the first time.

Some of the signs of crystal meth use that are especially prevalent with repeated use include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggression or violence
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Increased alertness and energy
  • Sociability, confidence, self-esteem increases
  • Increased libido
  • Hallucinations or delusions of grandeur and invincibility
  • Paranoia
  • Repetitive or obsessive behaviors

At high doses, crystal meth can also cause psychosis and a loss of one’s sense of reality.

Physical Signs of Crystal Meth Use

Some of the physical signs of meth use include:

  • Acne
  • Itchy skin or skin picking
  • Anorexia
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Raised body temperature and flushing
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Pale skin
  • Sweating
  • Fast breathing
  • Twitching
  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations

Meth mouth occurs with ongoing crystal meth use. Crystal meth contains acidic ingredients that can damage tooth and cause severe tooth decay and loss. Some of these ingredients may include hydrochloric acid, battery acid and drain cleaner. Meth mouth is further exacerbated by clinching or grinding teeth and the tendency of meth use to lead to sugar cravings. Crystal meth also causes dry mouth which leads to increased tooth decay.

How to Find Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth is extremely addictive and dangerous. It can lead to brain damage and severe psychological issues. If you’re searching for crystal meth addiction treatment for your teen, contact Next Generation Village. Personal treatment programs can help teens address their addiction alongside any co-occurring mental health disorders.


Nordqvist, Christian. “Everything you need to know about crystal meth.” Medical News Today, July 7, 2017. Accessed March 28, 2019.

NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse?” September 2013. Accessed March 28, 2019.  

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