What Exactly Is a Meth Bong?
Meth bongs are glass pipes used to smoke methamphetamine. They’re sold in smoke shops and are a type of drug paraphernalia that can also be associated with cannabis, but there are also other tell-tale signs of meth use to be aware of.
Are you looking for a confidential treatment program that can help you overcome meth addiction? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options.
What Do Meth Pipes Look Like?
The “bongs” that drug users put meth in are not dissimilar to the bongs used by marijuana smokers. They are large and made of glass, typically measuring 8 to 12 inches long. You can find them in many smoke shops.
Drug users may also try to make their own using water bottles or large empty soda bottles. There’s also a new type of bong that’s made of silicone which is becoming popular because this material will not break or shatter, making it more durable.
There are multiple parts to a meth bong, starting with the bowl. This is a small, spherical bowl with a hole on top and this is where the meth is placed.
When crystal meth is placed in the bowl and a lighter or other heat source is applied, the meth turns into a vapor. Powdered meth can also be placed in the bowl and water is added before heat is applied. Since meth is water soluble, it will dissolve into the water and the head will vaporize it.
How to Tell if a Pipe Is Used for Meth
The sight of a bong doesn’t necessarily mean someone is using meth. After all, a bong can be used for tobacco or marijuana. However, there are some potential signs that could tell you meth has been used inside of a pipe:
- Meth leaves behind a yellow and waxy residue
- People who smoke meth have to apply heat from the outside, so there may be dark spots on the outside of the bowl
- The person using the bong is likely to suffer burns on their hands and elsewhere because of how hot the bong gets while smoking meth
- They may refer to the bong with a slang term like pookie, pizzo, bubble, glass dick, oil burner, bulbie, pito, or geeker stick
Aside from these things on the bong itself, there are other warning signs of drug use that you should be on the look out for, including other paraphernalia used to smoke meth.
Other Drug Paraphernalia to Look For
A person who is using meth will likely have more than a bong lying around. You may also spot:
- Miniature spoons
- Small plastic bags
- Hollowed out books and other items used to conceal meth
- Light bulbs with burn marks
- Soda cans with a hole cut in the side
Both light bulbs and soda cans are used to create makeshift meth pipes with relative ease, and there’s little reason why someone would have an altered soda can or light bulb laying around — especially one with burn marks on it. Knowing to look for these things can help you identify a methamphetamine addiction so the person you love can get the help they need.
Signs of Meth Abuse
One of the common signs that someone is smoking meth is known as “meth mouth.” This is a condition characterized by extremely poor dental health, leading to brown teeth, bleeding gums, and tooth loss. Meth mouth can develop rapidly in heavy users, and it’s one of the biggest warning signs that someone has been abusing drugs.
Short-term signs of meth use include:
- Rapid and irregular heartbeat
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased breathing rate
Long-term signs of meth use include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired verbal learning
- Reduced coordination
- Mood swings
- Violent behavior
- Weight loss
- Heart problems
- Skin damage (if they are injecting meth)
- Severe dental problems (if they are smoking meth)
While these physical signs can help confirm your suspicion that someone is using meth, it doesn’t make it any easier to approach a loved one about drug addiction.
Treatment Options for Drug Addiction
The effects of meth can be life-altering and even fatal, which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out if you have noticed signs of potential drug use. Your actions could save them from the turmoil of struggling with addiction.
Treatment centers exist that can provide safe, confidential treatment for meth addiction, but you need to find the right recovery center. Fortunately, there are many options for overcoming drug use and they are flexible enough to fit a variety of needs and preferences.
- Hospital: Inpatient treatment can happen in a hospital setting with 24/7 medical care and it may be covered by insurance. Even if you don’t have insurance, a hospital won’t turn you away.
- Residential: Inpatient treatment can happen in a residential setting with 24/7 support from staff. Insurance often covers these services and the facility may offer a payment plan for uninsured individuals.
- Outpatient: Outpatient treatment is also an option where a person attends appointments on their schedule. These appointments may include mental, physical, and behavioral check-ups along with support groups.
Depending on your needs, you may start at the highest level of care and work your way down. Or, if you have a strong support system, you may recover from addiction entirely as an outpatient. There is no wrong way to treat addiction – what counts is that you get help.
How to Get Help For a Meth Addiction
Meth users need mental and behavioral health services to help them overcome the disease that is addiction. If they reach out for that help, they can get clean and get on the path to a safe, fulfilling life.
If you or a loved one needs help now, consider:
- Asking your healthcare provider about addiction resources in your area
- Speaking with a therapist or other professional about addiction
- Calling a local helpline to find a treatment center near you
- Going to a local hospital for immediate help
There is no wrong way forward, but even someone who recognizes the dangers of addiction may not be ready to take the next step just yet. If you are trying to help them, what matters most is that you make yourself available to support them and help them stay safe.