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Meth is a dangerous, highly addictive drug that can greatly impact your physical and mental health. The long-term effects of methamphetamine can be dangerous, and even deadly. Learn what meth does to your brain and body, and why you should quit. When you abuse meth, the brain produces excessive amounts of dopamine, which is a chemical that creates feelings of euphoria. Taking the drug regularly starts depleting your natural supplies of dopamine. When you try to stop using meth, dopamine levels drop, and your brain sends your body into withdrawal in an effort to restore chemical balance.
Research suggests changes in the brain due to meth affect brain structure and function. The impact on your neurotransmitters can lead to psychotic symptoms or violent behavior. Methamphetamine psychosis can include symptoms like:. Meth can cause brain damage by decreasing white matter, killing brain cells, and altering neurotransmitters. Users may experience short-term and long-term memory loss, mood disturbances, confusion, and serious mental health issues. After accidents and meth overdoses, heart disease is the leading cause of death in meth users.
The stimulant drug affects the cardiovascular system in several ways. The American Heart Association reports meth users are at risk for these conditions:. Research shows chronic methamphetamine abuse can ificantly affect your immune system. Meth can alter your immune cells and disrupt their aling pathways.
It may suppress white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses. This can lead to poorer immune system functioning and increased risk of infections. Meth abuse can cause mouth abrasions and mucous membranes to dry out, decreasing natural barriers against infection. If you inject meth and share needles, it increases your susceptibility to these illnesses.
Meth also greatly clouds your judgement and makes you less inhibited, which can lead to risky behaviors like unprotected sex. During the COVID pandemic, studies found that meth users were at higher risk of infection and death from the disease due to their compromised immune system. Meth can put you at risk for acute respiratory failure, pneumonia, and other types of lung damage.
This is caused by constriction of your blood vessels, which puts pressure on the arteries leading to the lungs. Smoking crystal meth is a common way to take the drug because it le to a quicker high. Using meth in this way increases your risk of the myriad of respiratory issues that come from smoking substances.
Meth abuse can affect your physical appearance.
Some of the effects of meth are due to the way the drug changes your priorities. Meth abusers often share these physical characteristics:. Methamphetamine is also acidic which can compound these problems. Many meth users crave sugary foods and drinks, which exacerbates dental issues. Meth mouth may include tooth decay, missing teeth, and dry mouth. If you use meth, you might look older than your age. Restricted blood flow can cause your skin to lose some of its elasticity, appearing wrinkled and sagging.
Meth is a stimulant and appetite suppressant. People who use meth are often thin or underweight. Clothes may be baggy and disheveled. A meth addiction is difficult to overcome, but not impossible with the right treatmentsupport, and motivation. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out to us. Footprints to Recovery provides evidence-based substance abuse and mental health treatment that addresses the root causes of your addiction.
These may include trauma, a dual diagnosis, and other challenges.
Our holistic approach to addiction treatment teaches you healthier ways to cope without drugs and alcohol and helps you begin repairing the mental and physical effects of methamphetamine abuse. You can too. for a free, confidential consultation.
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NALGAP is The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies is a membership organization founded in and dedicated to the prevention and treatment of alcoholism, substance abuse, and other addictions in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer communities. NAADACthe Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more thanaddiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad.
Persecutory delusions — believing that a person or group is going to hurt you or out to get you without any proof. The American Heart Association reports meth users are at risk for these conditions: Constricted blood vessels, which can lead to dangerous blood pressure spikes. Severe heart disease and at a younger age. Abnormal and increased heart rate. Structure changes in the heart muscle cardiomyopathy. A unique form of severe heart failure in young meth users.
Heart attacks even years after you stop. Chronic methamphetamine abuse often le to acne. This is due to a few factors: Some meth toxins are excreted through the pores. Meth restricts blood flow to your skin. Meth users often have poor personal hygiene, not cleaning their faces regularly. People who use meth by smoking it may have burns or sores on their face or hands. Treatment for Meth Addiction A meth addiction is difficult to overcome, but not impossible with the right treatmentsupport, and motivation.
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What Does Meth Do to Your Body?