Faces of Meth: Before and After

The Effects of Meth Use and Seizing Hope for Recovery

Meth addiction is an unimaginable nightmare. When I was grappling with meth abuse I got to a point where I didn’t even feel human. Meth mites, meth sores, and the overall sense of paranoia that I had every waking second made me feel like I was going crazy.

My appearance made it look as though I was on death door and looks similar to many ‘faces of meth’ I have seen in mug shots and on the streets.

When I made the decision to seek treatment I am glad the option I chose was Find Addiction Rehabs. It’s crazy how many results for ‘drug rehab’ an internet search can turn up, but this single click just about saved my life. When I finally began receiving help for years of meth addiction, the gravity of my sickness was more than obvious to everyone around me.

Like many meth users, I suffered from very poor hygiene and had physical damage all over my face and arms. I also suffered from meth mouth, which left me with broken teeth and severe tooth decay.

When you’re this deep into meth abuse, it’s very tough to imagine your life without it. Meth is extremely powerful and addictive, and many meth users suffer from the effects of prolonged abuse.

Keep reading to learn more about the faces of meth, and my own story, plus learn how Find Addiction Rehabs helped me overcome my drug abuse to find recovery!

The Struggle of Meth Addiction

The Struggle of Meth Addiction

I began abusing meth when I was around seventeen years old. I began by smoking crystal meth, which eventually led me to snorting and injecting it. A person’s physical appearance begins to rapidly deteriorate once you develop a meth addiction, which is what quickly happened to me.

Meth abuse leaves you at an increased risk for a multitude of mental and physical problems. Meth crystallizes under the skin, and because of this, it can make you very itchy.

I didn’t notice myself constantly scratching and tugging at my skin until I had already caused a lot of damage. Meth addicts typically don’t sleep for extended periods of time, which can cause severe paranoia and hallucinations. This is known as meth psychosis.

Faces of Meth: When the Meth Mites Come Calling

Faces of Meth - Meth Mites

 Meth bugs, or meth mites as they are also commonly known, can be a very difficult situation to grapple with. This usually occurs when the itching and the psychosis you are already going through make you think you have bugs under your skin. Skin sores and skin infections can mount pretty quickly when you think insects are infesting your body, believe me!

These psychotic symptoms seem very real and it’s hard to look at anything with a rational mind. No matter what anyone tells you, you are convinced that there are insects crawling around inside your body. How do you even begin to put anything into perspective when you are at this point?

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Faces of Meth: Meth Mouth and Meth Eyes

Methamphetamine use brought me to the edge of sanity and I never thought I would feel normal again. I had engaged in plenty of substance abuse in my youth, but nothing affected me the way that meth did.

Take a look at some of these images from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, in the middle of the ongoing meth epidemic, and you’ll have a good sense of what I looked like. With yellowed, picked ‘meth skin’ hanging off my bones, I looked pretty scary.

The damage it did to my body and mind was profound. Dental problems, vision problems, weight loss, ‘meth teeth’ and untreated tooth decay, various infections, and hundreds of scabs, are just a few of the things I dealt with. And these are just the physical effects.

Meth abuse can cause intense tooth grinding, which quickly leads to cracked and broken teeth. I lost a bunch of teeth and have had a lot of extensive dental work done as a result of my meth mouth. I was fortunate to avoid getting gum disease, although this is also a very common symptom of meth addiction.

When Your Loved One Becomes a Stranger

Face of Meth Addict

My meth face sores were so intense that my own family barely recognized me. I had picked my face raw, ground my teeth down, and was dangerously underweight. Despite knowing how dire my situation was, it wasn’t enough to make me want to seek treatment. When the drug wears off, you just want more to make the pain of mental withdrawal symptoms stop.

Methamphetamine abuse completely reworks the way your brain operates. Any kind of prolonged drug use will cause issues with your brain, but meth completely fries it. You’ve never quite seen anything like someone in the middle of a meth binge. It’s hard to imagine in more dangerous stimulant drug.

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How Do Meth Users Get Clean?

It took me two years to finally get clean after the first time I tried rehab. Meth addiction rehab is intense and requires all your effort in order to pull it off. Meth addiction had rattled me so much that I had given up on life. There were times that I wanted to get clean but didn’t go through with it because I didn’t value myself enough.

Most of the time, drug use is caused by some kind of trauma in your past. I had avoided a lot of the mental health issues I had growing up, and for many years was able to mask them through substance abuse.

Drug dependency will make you give up on yourself quicker than anything else. It’s hard to find the motivation to get clean when you have such a distorted view of life. Whatever helps you think positively at this point is pretty much up to you. If there is any part of you that wants to get clean, then it is possible.

Reaching Out Before Rock Bottom Can Be Your Reality

My meth addiction began because no other substances would mask my pain anymore. I drank a lot growing up and had dabbled here and there with other drugs, but meth use did more damage than all of them combined.

Finding addiction treatment is only possible when you admit the problem you have and truly want to get clean. I thought I wanted it several times before, but when I finally hit rock bottom, I was ready to make it work.

When Crystal Meth Addiction Goes Too Far

Before and after Meth users

Hitting rock bottom for me meant losing a friend of mine to a drug overdose. When you are in deep drug addiction, friends are few and far between. The faces of meth looking back at you often are there to try and steal from you or bring you down in one way or another. The only thing they care about in the end is how to smoke meth, and how to get more when it runs out.

Crystal meth makes personal relationships much more difficult as if they aren’t difficult enough already. We all have issues in life forming lasting relationships. Often the relationships you make during addiction revolve around getting high.

One of the only people in my life who I trusted was a friend named Andre who I had met on the street as a result of my addiction. He was certainly flawed in his own right, but he was a very compassionate and decent human being.

Suffering Can Lead to Sobriety: If You Let It

One of the many stereotypes of drug addicts is that they are all scumbags who are thieves and liars. I met a lot of those, but I also met a lot of great people who were capable of far more than just being drug addicts.

When Andre died, it shook something loose in me. I started thinking more about my own mortality, and all the damage I had done to my body and central nervous system. My meth use had driven me to the depths of despair, and I finally felt sick and tired of being sick and tired. Although it took several attempts to get clean, I wouldn’t change any part of my journey.

How Do I Look for Treatment Programs?

Importance of Following a Comprehensive Treatment Plan

There are a lot of things going on when you begin your recovery journey. On top of dealing with all of the side effects of meth abuse, the last thing you want to worry about is how to pick the right rehabilitation center for you.

I stumbled upon Find Addiction Rehabs when searching online, and it made the process so much easier. I knew I was at a life-threatening point in my addiction, and I had to make the right choice when it came to finding the right treatment provider.

Despite my missing teeth, my weakened immune system, and my violent behavior as a result of my withdrawal symptoms, I tried as hard as I could to go through the initial detox and not walk out to find the nearest shards and stuff them into my trusty meth pipe. Sometimes I ached so bad I could taste the crystal smoke, even in my dreams, and wake up in a cold sweat searching for the smoke in my room. I look back and wonder what my roommate in rehab thought sometimes, and laugh a little to myself at how far I’ve come.

Faces of Meth: Getting Options for Healing in Rehab

I wanted to leave pretty much every second that I was there. I pushed myself to the brink and somehow I came out of it on the other side. I met so many wonderful people through this experience, even when I wasn’t the nicest person in the world to be around.

I knew that my overall health was very bad, and if I left it could mean death for me. I wanted to honor my dear friend Andre by getting clean and not just sharing my story with others, but his as well. I wanted him to be the reason I got clean. I wanted to tell others about him, and not have his death be in vain.

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Finding Lasting Recovery After Rehab

I spent several months in rehab due to the level of my meth addiction. I wanted to be prepared when I got out to not just go right back to my old habits. I was terrified of being out of rehab for those first few weeks.

Luckily for me, I built up a network in rehab that supported me and kept me in check. Meetings of some kind are the support they offer are vital to the recovery process. When I go to meetings, I get to tell my story and also talk about the friend who inspired me to get clean.

I don’t look back on my time as an addict with shame. I look back at it as something that was necessary for me to get to this point. I never want to go back to my old ways, and I do an awful lot of work to make sure I am set up for success.

Get Past Faces of Meth and Claim a Face of Recovery Now

Faces of Meth and Claim a Face of Recovery

On an almost daily basis, I think of the call to Find Addiction Rehabs and thank them in my head for starting my recovery journey. Without a quick internet search during my initial moment of clarity, who knows what could have happened?

I do believe that it was my time to get clean and educate others on the powers of addiction, and the mindset required in order to avoid getting caught up in it.

If it is your time to begin healing, your mind, body, and face, give them a confidential call. I know I was close to death, and if I can find life in recovery, you can too!

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