Crystal meth is a crystallized version of methamphetamine that is highly addictive. All methamphetamines are manufactured by chemical drugs. Crystal meth is manufactured in illegal “labs” around the country and is something that affects millions of Americans. The drug works similarly to cocaine but is suggested to have a more intense high and increases dopamine production in the brain. Unfortunately, because of its intense effects, meth addiction can happen extremely fast and involves many serious complications.
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects Of Meth Addiction
- Crystal Meth Can Be Instantly Addictive Many users have said that they were addicted to crystal meth after the first time they tried it. The drug has an intense effect on dopamine levels, but the high does not last very long. This leads the brain to almost immediately begin craving another dose.
- Methamphetamine Abuse Has Serious Health Complications There are both short-term and long-term health effects related to using meth. At best, users can expect to experience symptoms of constipation or diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, profuse sweating, rapid breathing, and rapid weight loss. However, the side effects of meth are much more serious than that. Meth affects the central nervous system. Meth is known to increase body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, leading to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack or death.
- Meth Users’ Appearance Can Quickly Change People on meth commonly have the appearance of having aged very quickly. Methamphetamines can interfere with the way the skin heals itself, which results in premature aging and poor skin elasticity. Because meth can also make people “itchy,” meth addicts often have skin sores and scratches on their bodies.
- Meth Mouth Is A Real Thing Dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease are very common with methamphetamine. Users often lose their teeth.
- Meth Has Long-Term Mental Health Complications Due to the way that it interacts with the brain, methamphetamine users are at risk for long-term brain damage and mental illness. Methamphetamine addiction can lead to trouble paying attention to tasks, memory loss, erratic mood changes, and even permanent psychosis and paranoia.
- Meth Can Create Sexual Dysfunction Some meth users say that they have a heightened experience during sex while on meth. Unfortunately, this is short-lived. A quantitative study completed in 2016 showed a correlation between meth and impotence. While some users experience heightened sensation initially, eventually over time, this changed and many users instead experienced sexual dysfunction.
- Crystal Meth Is Illegal Like other illegal drugs, using methamphetamines can get you into legal trouble. The charges related to crystal meth vary from state to state depending on the seriousness of the infraction, but meth can also lead to federal drug charges.
- Meth Abuse Damages Relationships This is a drug that instantly alters your behavior. Over time, this can take a toll on relationships with friends and family. High doses or prolonged usage can also lead to violent behavior, which can put the loved ones of addicts in dangerous positions.
- Meth Users Are More Prone To Catching Sexually Transmitted Diseases Drug use often leads to risky behavior because users make decisions in an altered state of mind. Users often engage in unprotected sexual activity that leaves them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Drug Use Leads To Financial Problems Crystal meth is known for being a fairly “cheap” drug to get your hands on. However, this drug makes the user want more and more in order to achieve the same high once it wears off. This leads to more and more money spent to get a fix. In addition to the cost of the drug itself, because it also alters the user’s behavior, the addiction can lead to other costly problems like loss of a job or legal fees.
Addiction Treatment Can Help
If you or a loved one is addicted to crystal meth, you are not alone and you can beat this disease. Treatment programs like those offered here at BrightView take a comprehensive approach to help you battle the disease and get you back on your feet. Medication-assisted treatment, combined with individual counseling and group support offers you the best chance for long-term recovery. If you need help, please call us today at 1-833-510-HELP. Our caring team answers the phone 24 hours a day.