Substance Use

Meth Sores: What Are Meth Mites?

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What Is a Meth Mite?

The term “meth mite” is another name for delusional parasitosis or imaginary bugs. A meth mite is not an actual bug, but instead is a rare psychological disorder in which a meth user imagines tiny bugs crawling on or just underneath their skin, which leads to severe scratching and leaves raw skin. This raw skin scabs over and becomes meth sores, a common side effect of meth abuse. Methamphetamine (“meth”) is a powerful and highly addictive synthetic stimulant that affects both the body and mind. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from meth addiction, help is available. In our meth addiction treatment program, caring specialists can customize your treatment plan. Start your journey to sobriety by calling (855) 430-9439 today.

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What Are the Symptoms of Meth Mites?

Meth abuse causes numerous symptoms, including those that negatively affect one’s outer appearance. When most people think about meth addicts, they envision someone with severe tooth decay (“meth mouth”) and unsightly skin sores, as pictured on the Department of Justice website.

Meth mites symptoms include:

  • Scratches
  • Raw skin
  • Sores
  • Ulcers
  • Scabs
  • Skin infections

While there can be many causes for skin outbreaks, meth mites are one of the most common. When a meth user imagines they have mites crawling on or under their skin, this delusion causes them to scratch or rub their skin until it’s raw and littered with open sores and scabs.

What Are the Health Risks Associated With Meth Mites?

Many people wonder, “What do meth mites do to the skin?”

Chronic drug abuse frequently leads to meth sores and many other health problems. That’s because the symptoms of meth mites cause open sores that expose the body to various infections.

Typically, meth sores from meth bugs are seen on the face, arms, and chest. Additionally, methamphetamine users often pick at their scabs, further increasing the risk of skin infections.

What Parasite Can Live on the Skin of Someone Addicted to Methamphetamine?

Having skin scores all over the face and body is a telltale sign of methamphetamine abuse. While some methamphetamine addicts might imagine meth mites, there are real parasites that can cause meth sores.

1. Scabies

A meth addict can be afflicted with sores caused by scabies, scientifically known as Sarcoptes scabiei. Scabies is actually a mite. Crusted scabies is a rare, tropical form of this highly contagious species that causes the skin to become thickened with a yellow-green crust.

2. Skin Infections

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterial infection often found in meth addicts. This bacteria is most associated with drug users who inject meth using a needle. Some cases involve methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), which can be challenging to treat with traditional antibiotics and penicillin. 

At Zinnia Health, we understand the struggles of drug abuse and substance addiction. That’s why we offer a wide range of mental health and substance abuse services designed to meet individual needs and interests. We can help you begin your journey to recovery. Call our addiction helpline at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

Other Causes of Meth Sores

Meth sores aren’t always caused by imaginary mite bugs or real parasites. It can also be caused by other skin conditions, such as:

  • Abscesses
  • Cellulitis
  • Excessive body sweat
  • Poor hygiene
  • Burns

Symptoms of Meth Addiction

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), you may experience any of the following short-term and long-term effects of meth use:

Short-Term Side Effects of Meth

  • Faster breathing
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Changed sleep patterns
  • Irritable or unpredictable behavior
  • Aggressive or violent behavior

Long-Term Side Effects of Meth

  • Permanent damage to the brain and heart
  • Increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death
  • Damage to the liver, kidneys, and lungs
  • Anxiety and confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis (e.g., paranoia, hallucinations, delusions)
  • Intense itching and skin sores from scratching
  • Premature osteoporosis
  • Severe dental problems

SAMHSA warns of the risk of using meth because of its highly addictive nature that can adversely affect your health and even cause death. Meth can be used alone or with other substances, whether smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested.

Desoxyn is a prescription form of meth used to treat ADHD and obesity. When meth pills or powders are cooked with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it forms the illegal drug called crystal meth. As a stimulant, meth acts by speeding up the functions of the body. This is why “speed” is often used as the street name for meth

How to Get Rid of Meth Sores

Meth is known for causing widespread health conditions to the entire body. A healthcare professional can provide treatment for large, open sores based on the underlying cause. This might include topical creams for basic wound care or antibiotics for infections.

Meth addicts also often experience a lower immune system, which can make it harder for the body to heal or fight off infections. The feeling that you have meth mites on your skin, on the other hand, is a psychological disorder. In either case, getting to the root cause of your symptoms — meth addiction — is crucial to successful treatment.

Treatment Options for Meth Addiction

There’s no one-size-fits-all program for meth addiction. Everyone is different, so your plan will be customized based on your needs as well as the things you most enjoy.

You have many substance abuse disorder treatment options available to you, including: 

Get Help for Your Meth Sores and Meth Addiction

You don’t have to suffer from meth sores, meth mites, and other physical and mental effects of meth addiction. Many types of treatment programs exist to help curb meth cravings, eliminate the sensation of meth bugs, and allow meth sores to heal. The treatment process includes admissions, detox, rehab, recovery, and aftercare.

Are you or someone you love trying to overcome an addiction to meth? Get in touch with our substance abuse team at Zinnia Health by calling (855) 430-9439. With addiction treatment centers across the nation, we have a drug rehab facility near you.

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