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Methamphetamine: Implications for the Dental Team

Course Number: 332

Special Considerations

Keep in mind the following six safety tips for approaching a methamphetamine abuser, known as a ‘tweaker’:72

  • Keep a safe distance. Coming too close can be perceived as threatening.

  • No bright lights. Bright lights may cause them to react violently.

  • Speak slowly, using a low voice.

  • Use slow movements. The patient may misunderstand sudden movements.

  • Keep hands visible. The patient may feel threatened and become violent.

  • Keep the patient talking. A methamphetamine user who falls silent can be extremely dangerous. Silence often means that paranoid thoughts have altered their perception of reality, and anyone present can become the object of the delusions.