Effects of Meth Addiction on the Body

Amphetamines such as Adderall are a common medication used in treating ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A person with ADHD has difficulty with their brain function that controls attention, the ability to sit or stand still, and self-control. It is also used to help those who have narcolepsy, problems staying awake during daylight hours.

For those who do not have these medical conditions, it produces a stimulant high and is easily prescribed and abused every day. Because you can get a prescription for it, it is not looked down upon like other drugs and dependency, and addiction can be overlooked. However, when we talk about methamphetamine, the social stigma is instantly present. It’s an illegal street drug that consumes addicts across the country.

effects of meth addiction on the body

Why is Meth So Dangerous?

When compared to Adderall, there is a similar drug that is easier to get on the streets and does not require a prescription and is cheaper. Methamphetamine provides the same stimulant effect of prescription amphetamines and has a very similar chemical make-up but is ten times more potent.

Methamphetamine can be used in many ways, such as smoking, oral (pill form), snorting, and injecting. The high of this drug comes and goes quickly which often leads to a cycle using effect, binging and crashing over and over again. Some users will sometimes use it for long periods of time without food or sleep for hours to several days.

The manufacturing of methamphetamine involves many chemicals and can actually be made with common cold medicine, household cleaners, and other very toxic over the counter chemicals. The mixing of these chemicals can create highly toxic fumes and can be very dangerous health-wise for people in the area of the lab. Meth labs have also been known to cause deadly explosions and house fires.

Meth Fumes Are Very Toxic

If just the fumes of this drug can cause health-related illnesses, what about those that actually use and ingest it?

Methamphetamines have the same initial effects on the user just like cocaine, amphetamines, and other stimulants: increased wakefulness and physical activity, decreased appetite, faster breathing, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure and body temperature.

Addicts that use methamphetamine for long periods of time experience many negative effects on the brain and the body. Methamphetamines can impaired judgment and decision-making leading to risky behaviors such as unprotected sex, and if using intravenously, the user has a higher risk of contracting hepatitis B and C and HIV.

What Meth Does to the Body

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), Methamphetamine use may worsen the progression of HIV/AIDS and its consequences. Studies indicate that HIV causes more injury to nerve cells and more cognitive problems in people who use methamphetamine than it does in people who have HIV and don’t use the drug. Cognitive problems are those involved with thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.

Other long-term effects from methamphetamines include:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Severe dental problems
  • Intense itching, leading to skin sores from scratching
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Changes in brain structure and function
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Sleeping problems
  • Violent behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Users who continue to use methamphetamine over long periods of time are also known to have cognitive problems. It can cause changes in the brain that can damage coordination, verbal learning, emotion, and memory.

The NIH states, although some of these brain changes may reverse after being off the drug for a year or more, other changes may not recover even after a long period of time. A recent study even suggests that people who once used methamphetamine have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nerves that affect movement.

Allure is Here to Help with Your Meth Addiction

We at Allure Detox understand the effects drugs have on you and your loved ones, and we want you to know that it doesn’t have to continue. You can get your life back, and we want to help. We deliver safe, compassionate, and highly individualized care on a medical basis. Our team of professionals is ready to assist men, women, and families affected by methamphetamine addiction and/or substance abuse.