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Side Effects of Meth Abuse

a person sits in a corner of a room in a hoodie to show side effects of meth abuse

As we traverse life’s challenges, we often encounter difficult situations. It’s in such moments that we find ourselves looking for solace, sometimes in the wrong places. Substance use, including methamphetamine, is one such unfortunate refuge. If you or a loved one is grappling with this challenge, understanding the side effects of meth abuse and the possible solutions is the first step toward recovery. Call Evoke Wellness at Cohasset at 866.931.6429 to learn more about our meth rehab in Cohasset, MA.

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, also known as ‘meth,’ is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Its crystal form, known as ‘crystal meth,’ appears as shiny fragments resembling glass or bluish-white rocks. Methamphetamine is typically smoked, snorted, or injected and induces an intense euphoria or ‘high,’ which makes it particularly prone to abuse and dependency.

Side Effects of Meth Abuse

While the drug may initially give users a rush of euphoria and increased energy, the long-term consequences of meth abuse are severe. They can have a devastating impact on both physical and mental health. Understanding the side effects of meth abuse is crucial in raising awareness about the dangers of this illicit drug.

Physical Effects:

  • Dental problems – Meth abuse often leads to “meth mouth,” a condition characterized by severe tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. This occurs due to a combination of factors, including poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, increased acid production, and teeth grinding.
  • Skin issues – Meth users commonly experience skin problems such as acne, sores, and rashes. This is primarily caused by the chemicals used in the production of meth and the compulsive skin picking and scratching that often accompanies meth use.
  • Rapid weight loss – Meth is known to suppress appetite, leading to significant weight loss. Prolonged use can result in malnutrition, weakness, and a weakened immune system.
  • Cardiovascular problems – Meth abuse places a tremendous strain on the cardiovascular system, leading to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Respiratory issues – Smoking or inhaling meth can cause lung damage, chronic cough, and respiratory infections.

Psychological Effects:

  • Increased anxiety and paranoia – Meth use is associated with heightened anxiety, paranoia, and feelings of restlessness. Users may become irritable and aggressive and experience hallucinations or delusions.
  • Mood disturbances – Meth abuse can lead to severe mood swings, including depression and suicidal thoughts. The brain’s dopamine levels are significantly affected by meth use, resulting in emotional instability and difficulty experiencing pleasure without the drug.
  • Cognitive impairment – Prolonged meth abuse can cause cognitive decline and memory loss. Users may struggle with attention, concentration, decision-making, and overall cognitive functioning.
  • Psychosis –: Chronic meth use can induce a state of psychosis, which involves losing touch with reality. Symptoms may include hallucinations, delusions, and extreme paranoia, often requiring medical intervention.

Social and Behavioral Effects:

  • Impaired judgment – Meth use impairs judgment and decision-making abilities, leading to risky behaviors such as unprotected sex, sharing needles (increasing the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis), or engaging in criminal activities.
  • Relationship difficulties – Methamphetamine abuse can strain personal relationships due to erratic behavior, emotional instability, and neglect of responsibilities. Friends and family members may be negatively affected by the user’s actions, leading to strained relationships or isolation.
  • Legal and financial problems – Meth addiction can lead to legal issues, including drug possession or distribution charges. Additionally, maintaining a meth habit can be financially draining, potentially resulting in job loss, debt, or other financial hardships.

It is important to note that the side effects mentioned above are not exhaustive, and individual experiences may vary. Seeking professional help and treatment is essential for individuals struggling with meth addiction.

Methamphetamine Abuse Treatment at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset

Recovery is a journey that requires courage and determination, but you don’t have to walk it alone. If you or a loved one is struggling with methamphetamine abuse, don’t hesitate to contact us at 866.931.6429. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is ready to stand with you, providing compassionate, evidence-based care every step of the way.