Warning Signs Of Meth ‘Tweaking’


This week’s high-speed pursuit that sent a Minnehaha County Sheriff’s deputy to the hospital is revealing more than just the dangers that a fleeing suspect can pose to the public.  Addiction experts say it also shows the physical toll of meth abuse.  

Following Tuesday’s pursuit, police arrested Willard Charles Makes Room For Them III on several charges ranging from aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer to drugs.  Police say they found several meth baggies on him.  But drug counselors say you can also see meth abuse just by reading his face.

You might not catch it at first glance.  But to the trained eye, Willard Makes Room For Them’s behavior during his arrest raises red flags.  Most notably, the constant licking of the lips.

“So you can kind of see here, he’s trying to wet his lips, trying to get saliva going,” Carroll Institute Addiction Counselor Kacee Redden said.

We showed our video of Makes Room For Them’s arrest to Redden.  

“To be honest, I see this a lot,” Redden said.

The slang term is known as “tweaking.”  Abrupt movements of someone coming down from a meth high.

“He’s also clenching his jaw and moving his jaw around there and also looking around, so kind of that paranoia,” Redden said.

Redden keeps a stash of squeeze toys for her clients who are still feeling the jitters from meth abuse.

“Even playing with a rubber band, snapping a rubber band really helps to relieve some of that anxiety that they’re feeling,” Redden said.

Meth suspects face an uncertain future as they go through the legal system.  But Redden says there is always hope for them to overcome their addiction.

“Either you take accountability for that, or you keep running from it and unfortunately, if you keep running from it, you’re going to continue to get the consequences,” Redden said. 

Other signs of meth “tweaking” include dilated pupils, teeth grinding and picking at the skin.   Redden says if you suspect someone is going through those symptoms, you need to get them medical attention.

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