It’s no secret that drugs can have adverse effects on the body ranging from mild symptoms to complete life overhauls. In the case of meth, the effects are especially profound and can have short-term and long-lasting effects for novice and avid users alike. Below is a breakdown of the ways meth can affect the body to keep in mind.
What Is Meth?
Firstly, before diving into the effects meth has, let’s take the time to understand what meth is. Meth is a stimulant that is closely related to ampehtamine.
Typically available in a white powdered form, the substance is known to make a person more active or hyper, mimicking feelings of mania or euphoria. Because of these effects and the relatively easy path to acquiring the substance, it is highly addictive and remains a top concern.
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a Schedule II drug in the United States. In rare cases, the drug may be obtained through a legal prescription, used to treat certain health problems.
This infromation is for educational purposes and not a substitution for diagnosis or treatment of substance abuse. If you or someone you know is suffering and need help, consider reaching out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline.
How Meth Affects Your Body
There are a number of ways that meth can affect your body. Here are a few to keep in mind for yourself and to spot use in others.
1. Increased Activity
There are generally two types of categories that drugs can fall into, stimulants or depressants. In this case, meth is a stimulant. This means that when ingested, the drug can increase your brain activity and lead to more manic behavior. You may begin participating in riskier activities that can help you to achieve feelings of pleasure.
2. Long-term Dopamine Alterations
The use of meth can heavily alter your brain’s chemistry and result in long-term changes to your dopamine receptors. In these cases, when you stop use, your brain may struggle to regulate it’s normal dopamine signals and levels, resulting in difficulty thinking and decision making.
While this can be corrected over-time as your brain becomes accustomed to the new chemical balance, it can take months if not years.
3. Oral Health
Our teeth are resilient so long as we do our part to keep them healthy. That’s why you’ll run into problems of decay and cavities when you fail to keep up with your brushing, flossing, and relevant oral health steps.
To make matters worse, meth can directly result in even more aggressive teeth decay. As such, meth users are at a higher risk for things like gum disease, tooth and or bone loss, cavities, and much more. The phenomena, often referred to as meth mouth, is not always reversible and can result in hefty procedures to course correct.
4. Skin Complications
Affecting users inside and out, meth can also have a heavy impact on your skin. In fact, one of the ways that meth users can be distinguished phsycally is through sores or scabs that form on the body and face.
Usually, this is accompanied with, or even caused by, picking as self inflicted by the user. So why do these sores happen? One reason is the sensation meth users can have when they feel like something is moving under their skin so they pick to try and prevent it.
Alternatively, meth use effects how the body heals and supplies important things like blood. If blood vessels are damages and the body does not have the ability to regulate, this can mean it has a poor time healing.
5. Harms the Heart
It’s know that meth can stimulate the body and in-turn speed up activity, but did you know that can be harmful for the heart? When your heart beat is cotninually at an elevated speed, this can send your body into panic mode as it fights to self-correct.
That can lead to constricted blood vescles, over working of the heart muscles and increasing blood pressure and colesterol levels, causing grave heart-health consequences.
Meth use has a number of adverse effects on the user. In fact, it’s considered one of the worst drugs available. Known for it’s highly addicting chemical makeup and the horrible physical, mental, and emotional toll, it’s important to avoid meth in it’s entirity.
Seek help for any misuse of the drug and be sure to help loved ones navigate their addiction where possible. Remember, there are treatment options avaialble.