What is Methamphetamine, and How is it Abused?
Crystal meth or just “meth” is the common name for crystallized methamphetamine, a highly addictive and potent human-made stimulant drug. Side effects of methamphetamine include attacking the central nervous system and causing severe psychological problems.
Crystal meth usually comes in clear crystal chunks or shiny blue-white rocks, also called “ice” or “glass.” Most individuals smoke crystal meth with a small glass pipe, yet they may likewise swallow it, snort it, or inject it into a vein that gives a quick rush of euphoria shortly after using it.
People often get a powerful rush from using meth that causes many to get hooked right from the start. Users also feel confident and energetic. A person can quickly become addicted and soon finds they will do anything to have the rush again.
According to the latest statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around one million people aged 12 or older in the United States could be living with methamphetamine use disorder or physical dependence on meth.
Side Effects of Meth
People abusing or addicted to meth will experience a wide range of behavioral and physical symptoms. Meth induced psychosis is diagnosable when the following symptoms are present:
- Twitching, facial tics, jerky movements
- Dilated pupils
- Skin sores
- Reduced appetite
- Burns, particularly on the lips or fingers
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Outbursts or mood swings
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Violent behavior
According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), brain imaging studies on chronic abusers of methamphetamine abusers suggests that dopamine system activity changes in such a way that it can seriously compromise a person’s verbal learning and motor skills.
Continued methamphetamine misuse also decreases natural feelings of hunger, users can also experience extreme weight loss and eating disorders among other meth side effects.
What Does Meth Do to Your Brain and Body?
The continuous use of meth can damage your body and mind in several ways. On the short-term meth side effects, meth overdose causes intense high and euphoric effects in the brain chemistry. But the crash that follows can make you feel highly irritable and depressed. With time, meth use can kill your brain chemistry and cause psychotic episodes. You start feeling unable to find pleasure or have symptoms of methamphetamine psychosis and paranoia.
The use of Methamphetamine is linked with the reduced number of neurons in the central nervous system. The central nervous system’s ability to regenerate these neurons is limited, and in many cases, the body cannot recover from the loss of these neurons.
Heart disease is the second leading reason for death among meth users. Meth can raise your blood pressure, contract blood vessels, speed up heart rate, and even cause a heart attack.
Long-term use can weaken your body’s defense system against germs and increases the likelihood of infections and viruses, like the coronavirus.
“Meth mouth” is characterized by severe tooth decay and gum disease, which often causes teeth to break or fall out. Methamphetamine overdose can also lead to kidney damage or even failure. This might be due to the body’s difficulty in breaking down toxins in meth. Other serious effects of meth abuse can include a complete lack of sleep, hallucinations, anxiety, severe body temperatures, and paranoia. In some cases, the addiction can cause convulsions that lead to death.
Withdrawal from Crystal Meth
Despite quite a bit of misinformation online, it appears that the timeline for methamphetamine withdrawal is relatively consistent and offers some predictability regards to what clinicians and those in recovery from meth side effects can expect. Withdrawal symptoms are primarily psychological and emotional, with several associated physical effects. The withdrawal process from Methamphetamine does not appear to be consistently severe, such as withdrawal from alcohol or opioid drugs.
Long-term meth withdrawal is mostly not generally physically damaging unless the individual becomes highly emotionally unstable, possibly co-occurring with another psychotic disorder, and begins to experience psychotic symptoms or tries to engage in self-harm.
If you or your loved one is struggling with drug addiction, it’s essential to seek help as soon as possible and visit the treatment facilities near you to lower your chances for long-term damage.
Remember, an addiction recovery journey is possible. You are not alone. You deserve to get help. Our team of top medical experts specializes in the treatment of methamphetamine and is committed to ensuring that each patient is treated under individual medical supervision. We know what it’s like to be in your position, and we want to help. Our customized approach offers tailored treatment programs for crystal meth addiction that consider your unique needs by combining various support groups, therapies, and techniques. Call us today at 949-732-1604 orvisit us online for a consultation; we’re available 24/7.