According to a 2012 survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 1.2 people reported using methamphetamine – also known as meth – that year. Several years later, meth use continues to be a problem, as the New York Times highlights 232 people who died in Oregon from meth use in 2016. When a person consumes the drug, it releases a surge of dopamine transmitters in the body – causing feelings of intense euphoria and pleasure. Over time, continued meth use can damage a person’s natural dopamine receptors in the brain, causing them to rely more and more on the drug to feel pleasure. Recreational use of the drug can cause loss of appetite and significant weight loss, change in sleeping patterns, major mood swings, elevated blood pressure, and more.
Immediate use can certainly cause changes to the body, but chronic, long-term meth use can cause those changes to have significant, damaging effects on the brain’s structure and function as well as the entire body’s. In addition to changing the brain’s wiring over time as dopamine receptors become damaged, there are several other damages that take place:
- Brain functioning: cognitive capabilities such as memory, judgment, and motor coordination are often significantly impaired from meth use
- Behavior changes: anxiety, wakefulness, obsessive behavior, intense focus, aggression, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and more are all long-term effects of meth use.
- Skin damage: meth dehydrates the body, making it look dull, dry, and wrinkled. As the toxins attempt to leave the body, many meth users have severe acne. Many individuals who use meth experience feelings of bugs crawling under their skin, which lead to abscesses all over from intense scratching.
- Tooth damage: as many who use meth crave high-sugar foods, tooth decay is quite common. Meth can cause a person to place their hygiene as a last priority, meaning that without regular brushing and flossing, tooth rot and decay are quite common.
- Vital organ damage: liver damage, rise in body temperature which can cause brain damage, increased heart rate, convulsions, stroke, and even death may occur from meth use.
The best way to prevent these severe, damaging effects is to simply not consume this drug. If you’ve been struggling with meth addiction, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. It’s never too late – seeking help could help revitalize your body and help reverse some of the damage that meth has caused to your body.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.