Crystal methamphetamine, known as meth, has the potential to unravel virtually every facet of your life. It is also overwhelmingly used by teens and young adults, whose lives are often irrevocably altered or cut short due to their compulsive use of the drug. If you are attempting to combat a meth addiction, you will require professional help to recover your health and well-being.
Five Long-Term Effects of Meth Addiction
Meth is one of the most addictive drugs available. It can be smoked, injected, or even swallowed, causing the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine, to stockpile in the brain. While initially pleasurable, men can cause the brain to become reliant on meth for any degree of energy or happiness.
For many, the intensity of this initial high results in an almost immediate dependence. Users of meth may also develop a relatively fast tolerance to the drug, requiring larger and larger doses or the use of other drugs or alcohol to achieve the intended impact.
Five long-term effects of meth addiction include:
- Mood dysregulation, including irritability, paranoia, confusion, and erratic personality shifts. They may also appear disoriented, overtly apathetic, and chronically depressed.
- Psychosis, characterized by visual and auditory hallucinations and paranoia. Damage to the neurological system may involve permanent changes to the individual’s cognitive function, including memory, as well as reduced motor function. In fact, meth use can alter brain anatomy to appear almost indistinguishable from the damage wrought by Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Altered behavior, due to compromised decision-making ability. This can include personality changes, uncharacteristically aggressive behavior, or even violent outbursts.
- Decreased ability to attend to basic needs, including nutrition and sleep. Meth users typically lose an unhealthy amount of weight and experience terrible dental problems and tooth loss (“meth mouth”). In addition, sores can develop as they cannot attend to personal hygiene and/or compulsively scratch at their own skin.
- All-consuming cravings, leading to the full-time pursuit of the drug. Individuals with a meth dependence are rarely able to hold steady jobs or perform in school.
These symptoms may last for months, or even years after an individual has stopped taking meth. However, the drug is so addictive, that it is unlikely that they can stop on their own without professional intervention.
How Does Meth Addiction Treatment Work?
Despite these catastrophic effects, the damage wrought by meth may be at least partially reversible through a combination of medical detox, counseling, and other therapies. The most significant physical risk to individuals entering a meth rehab program is the potential for self-harm, which will also benefit from close monitoring.
During this time, individuals attempting to abstain from meth may experience extreme withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, intense cravings, and a range of psychiatric symptoms. However, when under a medical team’s full-time care, they may be safely administered some supporting medications to make the process more comfortable. In addition, those recovering from a meth dependence may need to undergo physical therapy to regain their coordination.
For many, enrolling in an inpatient program will be necessary, though successful completion will lay the foundation for a gradual re-introduction to ordinary life.
Learn More About Meth Rehab at Midwest Center at Youngstown
The earlier you obtain help, the more likely you can reclaim your future from the clutches of a growing meth dependence. Midwest Center at Youngstown is here to help you at every step of the way, from detox to rebuilding your life gradually. Call our team at 844.544.0502 to begin the healing process today.