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Southern Illinois Meth Control

Addiction

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What Meth Addiction Is

While it can take years to develop dependence on alcohol or months to become addicted to other drugs, methamphetamine addiction happens very quickly, often in a matter of weeks from first using the drug.  Meth addicts are sometimes called tweakers because of a stage in their binge use in which an addict can be awake for days. 

Meth Changes Physical Appearance
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One Woman Over 10 Years of Meth Use

Meth addicts usually use the drug in binges.  The initial high can last for many hours.  It is characterized by euphoria, overactivity, and excitability.  When the initial high begins to wear off, the user will often take more of the drug to keep the high going.  During this period the user experiences intense cravings for the drug and can become irratable.  Once the body begins to adjust and protect itself, the user enters the"tweaking" phase which can last any where from 4 to 24 hours or more.  Tweaking is a period of restlessness.  Sleep is not possible and the user will begin to do repetitive things out of boredom and obsession.  It is common for users to start experiencing hallucinations that there are bugs under the skin.  Many users pick their skin until open sores appear. 

After a period of being awake for days using and tweaking, the user will crash and enter a period of sleep for one to three days.  After this, the body slowly begins to return to normal.  However, alterations in the brain's chemistry leave the user feeling depressed and unable to feel happiness or a sense of normalcy.  Usually after 2 to 7 days the feelings are so powerful that the user begins to experience craving.  Over time, the user has done enough damage to the neurochemical balance in the brain that they become extremely moody, irrational and paranoid.  It is not unusual for addicts to collect weapons and if they are manufacturing the drug as well, to set booby traps around their property.
 
Because a user cannot think clearly, children under their care are endangered.  Child abuse, malnutrition, neglect and exposure to multiple risks are almost inevitable.

Crank Bugs
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Sores from picking at skin
Child Neglect
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Sippy Cup and Meth Pipe found on same table
Paranoia
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Users become agitated and extremely suspicious
Meth Mouth
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Reduced blood flow, poor diet and hygiene cause rapid tooth destruction