The Effects of Methamphetamine Use

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Methamphetamine use is reaching epidemic proportions here in the United States. Meth, as it is commonly called, can cause devastating effects to your body and spirit. Your family and friends feel the effects too, as they watch you slowly withering away and becoming a stranger. If you have a methamphetamine addiction, it’s time to get help and end the suffering for yourself as well as those you love and who love you.

Forms of Methamphetamine

Most forms of methamphetamine are illegal and produced as a street drug that goes by various names. It’s referred to as crystal meth, ice, and glass. But did you know that there is a prescription form of meth?  Believe it or not, methamphetamine is often prescribed to treat ADHD in children as young as six. It’s also used as a dietary aid to treat obesity in small doses.

However, most people are more familiar with it as a street drug that’s abused to get high. When it’s abused, it’s often far more potent than the prescription form and taken as an injection, smoked, or snorted. No matter how you take it, there can be deadly consequences.

Symptoms of Use

Like many drugs, meth releases a huge surge of dopamine to your brain which creates feelings of pleasure. As time passes, meth creates physiological changes that can range from cognitive problems to memory loss similar to the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. There’s no guarantee that these symptoms can be reversed if you stop using, but fortunately, the brain has the tremendous power to heal and some of those side effects can be repaired.

One of the more long-acting effects of meth use is the impairment of your decision-making skills. Areas of the brain that are responsible for decision-making may suffer long-term consequences and damage. Other psychological effects of long-term meth use include increased susceptibility to anxiety, depression, and even psychosis that is often mistaken for schizophrenia. Psychotic effects can last months or even years.

If you use meth, expect an increase in irritability, paranoia, nervousness, and confusion. These contribute to another side effect–an increase in violent behavior that may include homicide or suicide. People often describe the mental state of someone using meth as “tweaking.” This is especially true when someone goes on a meth binge which may cause them to stay awake for days, creating further impairment to their thinking and judgment.

Effects of Meth on the Body

Your mind isn’t the only thing to suffer from the effects of methamphetamine use and abuse. Expect some very unpleasant physical effects. In addition to sleeplessness, you may experience excessive sweating, headaches, diarrhea, decreased appetite, bad breath, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, dry mouth, and tremors. The longer you use meth, the greater the damage. Just as with your brain, the effects get worse the longer you use. You could also become more dependent on the drug and withdrawal can be very uncomfortable.

One common condition in chronic users of meth is premature aging. Not just in physical appearance, but your body physically ages and you can develop diseases that are usually associated with a much older crowd such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, stroke, and even an infection of the heart lining called endocarditis. Your skin looks leathery and may be covered in sores because meth use often causes tactile hallucinations where you think you have bugs on or in your skin. This can cause a user to excessively pick at their skin and their healing process is compromised because their immune system is so weak from meth use.

One of the greatest side effects of meth use, physically, is something that’s commonly called “meth mouth.” Maybe you’ve seen the progression of mugshots of meth users and seen how their faces hollow out as they lose their teeth. Worse yet, they may feel the pain of broken or rotten teeth. The grinding of teeth normally associated with meth use doesn’t help the problem.

If you overdose on methamphetamine, one of the most dangerous side effects is hyperthermia, which means a dangerously high body temperature. This can cause convulsions and prove deadly. You can also expect some more typical overdose symptoms such as cramping, nausea and vomiting, restlessness, panic, and confusion.

When You Detox

Withdrawal from methamphetamine creates several unpleasant symptoms. In addition to the extreme cravings created by meth use, you can expect increased anxiety, depression, or fatigue. These symptoms can be managed if you seek medical assistance with detoxification.

Because meth use causes so many mental problems, it’s important to find a rehab facility that can also treat the mental side of your addiction. Methamphetamine use also commonly causes dehydration and malnourishment and a rehabilitation center can help you physically regain your nutritional health.

Methamphetamine use is on the rise and its effects can be devastating to your appearance and well-being. It can age your appearance and your body, causing physical effects that are commonly seen in older populations. Common side effects include endocarditis, hardening of the arteries, and even stroke. But the effects go beyond health problems to physical changes in your appearance. Your skin loses elasticity and you prematurely develop wrinkles. Your teeth rot and fall out. You’re covered in sores from picking at your skin. Meth use also causes psychological changes that can include memory loss, reduced decision-making skills, or even psychosis. It’s important to treat any mental health issues along with detoxification and recovery. Here at Everlast Recovery Center, we help you with both. Our Riverside, CA facility offers detox and treatment for mental health issues. We also provide aftercare when you return home. Stop the cycle of substance abuse. We are here to help you find a healthy life. Call us at 866-DETOX-25

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