Methamphetamine, also known as Meth or Crystal Meth, is a highly addictive stimulant, which when abused leaves adverse effects on your body. This man-made drug doesn’t have much therapeutic use but it is widely abused. This guide sheds light on the negative effects of Methamphetamine Abuse on your body, especially your brain.
Methamphetamine & Tweaking
After regular abuse, gradually meth stops giving you a high. You can enter a phase that is given the name ‘tweaking’. In this stage, you can feel intense levels of despair and cravings. Once you have reached this phase, psychotic symptoms can start in the form of delusions and changed perceptions about reality. Most of the time, Methamphetamine Abuse patients seek treatment only after reaching this point. You may have to join an inpatient treatment facility, undergo detox and practice sobriety before being moved to a rehab center.
Insomnia & Other Problems
Meth abuse can also cause appetite loss and long-term insomnia in users. After tweaking period and insomnia is overcome, you can do mostly nothing more than sleeping most of the time. This means you cannot attend to the normal duties of your life. Following this you enter a stage where you will feel excessively tired, thirsty and hungry. It can continue for up to a couple of weeks and may come with depression.
Long Term Effects of Methamphetamine
When abused for a long period, methamphetamine can cause severe psychological and physical problems. Some of the symptoms of long term use of meth are as following:
- Mental health problems including anxiety, depression, confusion and social isolation.
- Psychotic problems like paranoia, hallucinations and delusions.
- Constant feeling of bugs crawling on your skin.
- Problems with breathing due to inhalation of smoke.
- Permanent damage to blood vessels in different body parts, even in the brain and heart.
- Stroke or coma.
Effects of Meth on Brain
Methamphetamine causes increased release of dopamine, which causes the intense rush or euphoria. But when abused it can cause destruction of dopamine receptors in the brain. With time you will not be able to feel pleasure any longer. According to researchers, the pleasure centers may heal with time, but the damage caused to your cognitive abilities can be permanent.
When you abuse methamphetamine at chronic levels, it can cause a wide range of psychotic behavioral changes like:
- Extreme aggression
It may even cause death.
Other Side Effects of Meth
Apart from brain damage, meth can also cause many other side effects. It can destroy blood vessels and body tissues, which can be damaged beyond the natural capability to repair. You skin can lose its shine and elasticity, and develop acne. All this can make you look much older. Another problem with meth abusers is tooth grinding. When this combines with poor diet and poor hygiene, it results in severe tooth decay.
Other long term effects of Methamphetamine Abuse include increased heart rate and weakened immune system. Your life becomes disarrayed and lifestyle becomes disorganized. It can also cause liver damage, which can be life threatening. You can also suffer from convulsions. Because the body temperatures can remain elevated in many cases, it can further cause brain damage in a different way.