methamphetamine addiction treatment

Meth Intervention

If you are concerned about a loved one’s behavior and think they may be using drugs, you’ll need to know as much as possible about that drug and about addiction. Drugs that are particularly dangerous can bring a sense of urgency to the situation. Learn more about a meth intervention for your loved one, particularly as it can help lead to methamphetamine addiction treatment for them.

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that is highly addictive. Its use is associated with harmful health effects, including mental health issues such as psychosis as well as physical health issues such as renal and cardiovascular dysfunction, infectious disease transmission, and overdose. The availability of the drug has been increasing in the US in recent years as have its harmful effects.

Meth is a powder that can be used in powder form, made into a pill, mixed with liquid to be injected, or made into a shiny rock called crystal meth that is smoked. Meth initially causes a rush of good feelings but then the user will begin to feel overly excited, edgy, afraid, or angry. Its use can quickly lead to an addiction.

Use and Misuse

The CDC estimates that from 2015 to 2018, 1.6 million adults in the US reported meth use in the past year. Of those individuals, 52.9% had a meth use disorder and 22.3% injected meth within the past year. The organization also found that co-occurring substance use and mental illness were common among those individuals using methamphetamine.

The prevalence of past-year use or misuse of other substances included:

  • Cannabis use – 68.7%
  • Prescription opioid misuse – 40.4%
  • Cocaine use – 30.4%
  • Prescription sedative or tranquilizer misuse – 29.1%
  • Prescription stimulant misuse – 21.6%
  • Heroin use – 16.9%
  • Past-month binge drinking – 46.4%
  • Nicotine dependence – 44.3%.

Approximately 57.7% of the meth users also reported experiencing a mental illness, with 25% reporting having a serious mental illness during the past year.

Signs of Meth Use

When considering whether you need to conduct a meth intervention to guide your loved one toward methamphetamine addiction treatment, look for signs of meth use in the individual. Even when used in small quantities, the drug is extremely potent. Its effects are similar to those of speed and cocaine, which are also highly addictive stimulants.

In general, the signs of meth use fall into four different categories: mood, behavioral, physical, and psychological.

Mood: The individual may feel exhilarated, empowered, and confident, with a sense of euphoria and increased sexual arousal. They might experience dulled or “blunted” emotions. They may also be agitated when using methamphetamine.

Behavioral: Your loved one may become extremely talkative with increased sociability. They may also display increased aggression, bizarre behaviors, and a lack of social awareness.

Physical: Someone using meth can experience increased blood pressure, body temperature, and breathing rate, including a racing or otherwise irregular heartbeat. They may seem to have an increased alertness and wakefulness, with increased physical activity and fidgeting, but with a lack of appetite.

Psychological: The individual who has used methamphetamine can seem confused, have delusions or hallucinations, be paranoid, and have a lack of inhibitions in their behavior.

Signs of Addiction

Likewise, it’s important to watch for the signs of addiction that may lead the individual to need methamphetamine addiction treatment. General signs of addiction can include having an urge that’s so overpowering they can’t seem to think about anything else, a need or desire to use the drug on a regular basis, and always having an available supply of the drug.

You may also notice that your loved one spends money on methamphetamine even if they have no money for other things, such as food or housing costs. The individual may exhibit risky behaviors in an effort to get the drugs or while under the influence of the drug. They may have tried to give it up on their own but failed, and probably experience withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug.

Meth Intervention and Treatment

The individual who is addicted to methamphetamine may not recognize the signs and symptoms in themselves. Holding a meth intervention, with the guidance of a professional addiction intervention specialist, can help your loved one realize that their behavior is self-destructive and is harming those around them. An intervention will emphasize to your loved one that you care about them and their well-being and that you want them to get the help they need through an effective methamphetamine treatment program.


When someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to meth, the intervention team at Whitman Recovery Service is here to help. We work with you to help your loved one get the treatment they need to start on the road to recovery from their substance use disorder. Please call (210) 291-0278 if you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction or mental illness. Our team has the expertise to help your family begin the journey of recovery.