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How to Recognize Denial of Crystal Meth Addiction

By Edited Sep 13, 2016 1 1

Crystal methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that is very addictive and does not care about you. An illegal drug, it is also known as ice, crystal methamphetamine, tweak, crystal, meth, g, glass, shards, Tina, and other street names. It does not care about the color of your skin or your socioeconomic status, who you are attracted to, whether you're young or old, if you had a nice childhood, your gender, or anything else about you. As with alcohol and other substances it does not see a person and only serves to impact brain chemicals. The important thing to remember is that addiction is a brain disease. Addicts have many justifications to keep using. Many times these rationalizations only make sense to the addict. Recognizing the points of denial can help you start to confront the addiction whether it's your own or someone you know.

Things You Will Need


Step 1

Listen to the person you think has a problem with crystal meth. Oftentimes the words they say do not match up with their actions and they sound illogical. This is likely addiction fueled and not necessarily about overt lying. Listen for contradictions. One of the most common statements made by addicts in denial who are still trying to prove their control is a simple statement, "I don't let it control me."

Step 2

Pay attention to comparison statements. Crystal meth users have some specific denial around their drug use making their comparison statements slightly unique. Drug abusers/addicts use these as a way to minimize their use. Paranoia is a severe problem with methamphetamine users. People who use crystal tend to compare their paranoia against other people who use. You'll often hear a person say that he or she does not hallucinate or see "tree people".

Within the crystal meth community there is a strong stigma surrounding route of administration of the drug. This creates a way to deny severity of addiction. Crystal users try to defend their addiction by believing the way they use the drug makes them less "bad" or addicted. It's common to hear minimization like "at least I don't shoot it," "only" smoking it or "just" snorting, but it only makes a difference in their mind. Any time an addict can compare the way he or she is using against someone who might be seen as worse it calms the inner turmoil. Crystal methamphetamine is an addictive drug regardless of the way it is used.

Step 3

Observe behavior. If you don't know whether or not someone is using gather evidence to crack their denial. This doesn't mean go on a drug search, but tracking a person's behavior. Meth addicts can often exhibit strange behavior because of the drug's affect on the brain. Crystal effects sleeping and eating patterns. They may appear fidgety, grinding teeth, and some can have their teeth breakdown. Sometimes people forget their personal grooming habits. Some people are unable to eat depending where the person is in their cycle of use. A common tweaker denial phrase is, "I sleep every night." Paying attention to behavior is important to picking up on cues. The addict may not even realize that he or she is lying which is why presenting evidence that contradicts their words and behavior can serve as proof that there is at least a drug problem present. Whether or not an actual addiction exists can only be diagnosed by a certified counselor or doctor.

Example of erratic behavior by a mother: Leaving in the middle of the night to drive across the state without saying goodbye to her family, staying up for three or four days in a row, inability to not drink alcohol for a night or important event even when specifically asked by a family member not to drink, avoiding her child in recovery....

Step 4

Track the frequency of the denial, comparison, and inconsistent behavior. If you are trying to find out whether a parent, friend, wife, husband, coworker, child or someone else is using crystal meth and denying it then keeping a journal or notebook of some of the above is helpful, especially if you decide to talk to him or her about the problem. Many conversations will be met with denial and anger however when the addict is faced with evidence instead of emotion (being yelled at, etc.) then it's harder to deny.

Step 5

If the addict/abuser is you then think about what you do to get high. This is one way you can come to the recognition of your denial about your crystal meth use. If you don't believe that tweak is a problem for you but you use and have found some of the other statements familiar then think about whether you've done anything while using ice that you thought you'd never do and/or if you've crossed your boundaries, morals, ethics, and beliefs to get dope, stay high, or because you end up in a crazy environment because of your connections.

Take a look at the people you associate with while you're high. This is not about passing judgment but to determine whether or not you're around trustworthy people and being one yourself. For some, meth leads to crime. If you're around people that are committing robbery, breaking into cars, mailboxing, or cooking dope then there is a level of desperation to maintain an addiction -- you do what is necessary to stay high. If you don't have a bag of dope would the friends stay? Sometimes it's really hard to look at this honestly because addicts and drugs users have to rely heavily on each other to maintain their habits so separating what's true friendship and acts of necessity can be hard.

Step 6

Find the truth inside of the lies. This takes a combination of the above steps. If you are dealing with another person's addiction it takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. Addicts are filled with guilt even though they act self-centered. People who are not guilty don't make up these insane justifications for their behaviors around drug use. This usually means that some place in the person's core is an awareness that he or she is no longer in full control of the use of crystal meth regardless of the reasons the drug was tried in the first place. An innocent line can so often lead to a devastating addiction or severe drug abuse.

Tips & Warnings

If you have caught yourself wondering if you have a problem with crystal (or alcohol/other drugs) then it's likely that you do.

Substance addiction is not a moral weakness. If you or someone you care about has a problem with crystal meth consider treatment. It gives the mind and body time to start healing.

Although they are not for everyone you can try a 12 step meeting. Some people find online NA meetings helpful. There are meetings specifically for meth called Crystal Meth Anonymous.

This article should not substitute for medical advice and is not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose a medical condition.


Jan 30, 2010 12:08am
Great Article!
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