Methamphetamine is a dangerous and highly addictive stimulant drug. In spite of the wide variety of agonizing symptoms and uncontrollable dependency, there are more meth users in the U.S. than you might think; data from the 2017 Nationa Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that approximately 774,000 Americans aged 12 and older were using the devastating drug. As an employer, the risks of hiring someone addicted to meth are high. Let’s take a look at a few of the most obvious signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use.
Methamphetamine is notoriously hard on the body, specifically the skin and teeth. The drug causes the salivary glands to dry out, which allows the mouth’s acid to eat away at the tooth enamel; this inevitably leads to rotting, yellowing teeth, a condition commonly referred to as “meth mouth.”
At the same time, meth users often appear thin and frail. This is because meth decreases appetite while increasing activity, which causes extreme weight loss. The final major symptom is lesions and sores; addicts who have been taking the drug for long amounts of time may develop hallucinations where they feel bugs crawling under their skin, causing them to scratch and create open wounds. Add in the fact that meth suppresses the body’s ability to heal, and you have sores that never truly go away.
Meth users that have been taking the drug for longer periods of time develop behavioral symptoms as well. Though some are linked directly to the consequences of drug dependency, such as irritability, others are caused by drug-induced psychosis. These users may be confused, hostile, and intensely paranoid; they can swing rapidly from mood to mood.
Although many of these signs will appear regardless of how long the person has been using the drug, you don’t have to rely on sight and deduction alone. Urine drug tests, hair follicle drug tests, and even saliva drug tests will be able to detect the presence of meth easily. To ensure you’re not bringing an addict on the team, you can use both your intuition and the concrete proof of a positive drug test.