Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant. Because of its high potential for abuse, meth is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Even just a few uses of meth can lead to long-term effects, some of which may be irreversible.
Any use of meth comes with a risk of developing an addiction and is a cause for concern. If you or someone you know is using meth, it’s important to be aware of the long-term effects of this drug and seek professional help as soon as possible from a meth addiction treatment center.
Understanding Meth Addiction
Meth is a white, odorless powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. It can be snorted, swallowed, injected, or smoked. When meth is smoked, it produces a more intense high that lasts longer than other methods of use. Meth is made from chemicals that are found in over-the-counter cold medicines, and it can be made in small, home-based laboratories.
Meth addiction is a serious problem in the United States. Many of those who become addicted to meth start out using it recreationally. They may be introduced to it by friends at a party or club, or they may try it once out of curiosity. However, meth is a very addictive drug, and it’s not long before many people who use it find themselves addicted.
The long-term effects of meth addiction can be devastating. However, with treatment, it is possible to recovery from an addiction to meth and live a healthy and productive life.
Six Long-Term Effects of Meth Addiction
1. Brain Damage
Meth use can cause long-term damage to the brain. The most common effects of meth on the brain are:
- Damage to the blood vessels – Meth use can cause damage to the small blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to stroke or long-term problems with thinking and memory.
- Dopamine toxicity – Methamphetamines increase the levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s associated with pleasure and motivation, in the brain. This can lead to feelings of euphoria. However, long-term meth use can cause damage to the dopamine receptors, which can lead to problems with movement and coordination.
- Brain cell death – Meth use can cause brain cells to die. This can lead to problems with memory, learning, and thinking.
2. Cardiovascular Damage
The most common effects of meth on the cardiovascular system are:
- High blood pressure
- Damage to the heart muscle
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased risk of stroke
3. Gastrointestinal Damage
People who use meth can find it hard to eat and may lose a lot of weight. Because of this, they can also suffer from long-term gastrointestinal problems such as:
4. Kidney Damage
Meth use can cause long-term damage to the kidneys. Because meth is a stimulant, it increases blood pressure and can lead to kidney damage. Over time, this damage can lead to kidney failure.
5. Skin Damage
One of the most visible long-term effects of meth addiction is damage to the skin. Those who use meth often have “meth sores” on their face, neck, and arms. These sores are caused by picking at the skin due to the meth user’s delusions or hallucinations. In addition, meth use can cause acne, and it can make the skin age prematurely.
6. Emotional Damage
Finally, meth addiction can also cause long-term emotional damage. When people are high on meth, they can experience feelings of euphoria, paranoia, and aggression. However, when the effects of the meth wear off, they can experience depression, anxiety, and irritability. These emotional swings can be very hard to deal with, and they can lead to long-term problems in relationships and at work.
Find Help at Tree House Recovery Today
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Meth addiction is a serious problem with potentially deadly consequences. However, treatment is available, and recovery is possible. Contact Tree House Recovery at 910.812.1728 to learn more.