Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, is an illegal drug that is very addictive and comes with some serious side effects. When you take a look at crystal meth from a neurological standpoint, it is pretty understandable why it is such an appealing drug. After it goes into the bloodstream and begins to work on the brain, it will trigger it neurologically in a way that is designed to give pleasure. The feeling it creates is, in a very strange way, almost natural, but only for a short while. People abuse crystal meth because it makes them feel good and later on down the road, it turns into something they use just so they can feel better to combat the psychological warfare that it has created.
What is Crystal Methamphetamine?
Crystal meth is a drug that produced mind-altering effects. The drug that once created excitement and energy for you will turn into a drug that causes confusion and paranoia. Since crystal meth is a stimulant, it can lead to you staying awake for days at a time. Crystal meth triggers a massive release of dopamine into your brain and magnifies it nearly ten times the amount of pleasure your brain would typically deliver. Dopamine causes you to be more awake and alert and can last anywhere from 10-12 hours. The levels of dopamine do go back to normal as the crystal meth wears off but leaves you wanting to repeat that sensation over and over again.
Do Crystal Meth Side Effects Include Paranoia?
As you stay awake longer and longer and your brain continuously is overstimulated, this triggers a psychosis that is characterized by paranoia and even hallucinations or delusions. It feels like unfocused anxiety that can make you feel like something is wrong or that you might be in danger. You may be in a safe, comfortable place and will feel afraid for no known reason. Some people even start to become suspicious of people they know and feel they are out to get them. Most people who abuse crystal meth will experience this paranoia and psychosis within the first few months of use. Crystal meth abuse also suppresses your brain’s functioning in such a way that paranoia can turn someone violent. Meth affects the part of the brain that is responsible for rational thought and can override impulsive behaviors. In so many cases, the paranoia and violence linked to meth abuse can lead to homicidal tendencies. A study posted by NIH showed that 15% of the people from this study attacked others due to meth-induced paranoia.
What Does Crystal Meth Do to Your Brain?
Chronic crystal meth abuse will destroy the brain’s serotonin and dopamine receptors. This makes it extremely difficult for you to experience any kind of pleasure organically. This is one reason why so many people continue to abuse this drug despite the serious side effects associated with it. They simply do not feel any joy without it anymore. Abuse and addiction to crystal meth also come with some other hefty side effects like extreme weight loss due to a suppressed appetite, sores on the body and face from picking at your skin, meth mouth caused by tooth decay or grinding teeth, a heightened risk for long term brain damage, coma, stroke, and even death.
Addiction Treatment for Crystal Meth
When you find the right treatment program for crystal meth addiction, recovery from this is entirely possible. The most effective treatment for this addiction involves a medically assisted detox followed by cognitive behavioral therapy that is meant to help you heal both physically and mentally. If you or someone you love is suffering from a crystal meth addiction, Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is here to help you and we will lead you on the path to recovery.