The user is likely to get overheated and may appear sweaty without it being hot or his being involved in physical exertion. His pupils will be dilated. His blood pressure will also increase. He or she may become sexually excited.
An overdose of methamphetamine can cause overheating to the point of convulsions, cardiovascular collapse or death.
A period of heavy meth use is usually followed by a crash in which the person can't control his sleepiness. He or she may sleep long hours or keep falling into a sleep. There will be heavy drug cravings during this time period that can lead to another binge.
You might see remnants of the use, such as straws, pieces of tin foil, small bags or pieces of plastic wrap, razor blades, lighters – you get the idea. These things are all standard meth-related items. If the user snorted it, he could be touching his nose often because of the sensation/irritation of sucking it up his nose.
Hey we’re just getting started. This is where you enter the picture and start to see things.
The skin is warm to the touch and heart is pounding. You will see a mood that is a little bit too happy. And lots of energy. Meth users often get little or no sleep for days after using. They will also display exaggerated or semi-uncontrolled mannerisms, such as constant cleaning, preening, talking, etc., along with uncontrolled twitching or facial tics. During the high, the meth user often lacks an appetite and may go an entire day eating virtually nothing. It’s not uncommon to see them overly productive, such as cleaning or doing repetitive tasks, even in the middle of the night. They might pick at their hair or skin repeatedly. Almost obsessively. When they do sleep, it might be agitated and filled with movement, sweating, talking, laughing, or gibberish. The user may exhibit a heightened sexual arousal. You may even notice that the person has an unusual odor.
So why do meth users want to be this way? They don’t. Those are only the things being externalized. Inside, they are experiencing a sense of euphoria, confidence, and well-being that is far beyond what they feel when sober. They live for the high, and deal with everything else.
Those of us on the outside can’t imagine how it becomes worth it. But it does.
There is a brief period between the high and the crash in which the user begins to shift behavior patterns. I call this the Plateau. The high is coming to an end and the user begins to display new symptoms. He begins to slow down. He might still be animated, but in a less energetic state. If he can’t get more meth, he will start to head quickly into the crash.
The Crash (aka “Coming Down”)
When a meth user has exhausted his supply and what he ingested has worked its way through his system, we have the crash. A crashing user might spend several days in bed. He might be asleep the entire time, or is awake but lethargic. He might only getting up to use the restroom or have a quick snack. The worst part of the crash is that it’s typically accompanied by a very agitated and foul demeanor. The user can get violent and display psychotic traits and huge mood swings. Lethargic, irrational, angry, moody, and confused – these are all signs of the crash.
From my perspective, this was by far the worst part. Whereas the user is mostly irritating during the high, he is more likely to focus his crashing ire directly at you. You will likely get sucked into absurd arguments or even find yourself dodging violent behavior.
It can last a few days. A few days of hell.
As the crash wears off, the meth user begins to revert back to his pre-high self. He might even exhibit better than normal behavior.
And just when you think life is back to normal, the cycle soon repeats and the roller coaster ride begins again. It is exhausting and frustrating for the loved ones enduring it.