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During adolescence, a once happy, cheerful child can become a sullen, hostile young adult prone to slamming doors and asking for privacy.

Sometimes, these changes are due to simple teen hormones. Other times, these changes are due to drug use. Teens who use stimulants like speed or meth develop mood swings that could easily be ignored or written off as part of teen moodiness. These additional symptoms of speed/meth use can help parents discern when drugs are to blame for the problems they see. View related: signs of teen drug use.

Speed and Meth Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Some teens use speed/meth in party situations, and they’re careful not to return home until the symptoms have passed. Other teens, however, do spend time in their homes while they’re under the influence. These teens may:

  • Fidget or pick at their skin
  • Display an enormous amount of energy and alertness
  • Seem out of breath, even when sitting still
  • Become hostile or even violent
  • Have very small pupils, even when sitting in a darkened room
  • Talk rapidly, changing subjects for no reason at all

Widespread Health Concerns

While a high from speed or meth may only last for a few hours, the drug can cause long-standing damage in the body that is relatively easy to spot.

Meth tends to cause a reduction in the production of saliva, and teens who use meth may have an increased craving for sugary snacks. As a result, long-term abuse of meth can result in terrible, widespread dental disease. Parents of children who use meth may discover the drug abuse issue when the child displays damaged teeth in a dental appointment.

Teen Meth Abuse

Meth and speed are also very toxic to the brain, and teens who use these drugs may display a variety of problems as a result. Some teens develop short-term memory loss and an inability to learn new information. Their grades may plummet as a result of this brain damage. Others become chronically depressed due to the long-standing brain damage they’ve endured, and they may even discuss committing suicide.

According to a study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease16 percent of teens who used meth had suicidal thoughts. It’s clear that meth is a serious drug that can impact mental health.

A study in the Journal of School Health reports that teens who use meth are also likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, including having unprotected sex and having sex with multiple partners. Female teen meth users might develop a subsequent pregnancy, and teens of either gender may develop sexually transmitted diseases. While some of these conditions might not be apparent to teens, these conditions might be frightening for teens and they might come to their parents for help

If your teen is using meth or speed, please call us at Newport Academy. Our team of medical professionals are here to guide you through treatment options for substance abuse, and help you find the right program to meet the needs of your teen.