In the United States of America alone, there are over 21 million people (12 or older) that suffer from substance abuse; that makes up 10% of Americans. Worldwide, there are over 247 million who suffer from the same issue. This can range from alcohol addiction all the way to heroin addiction. Today, we are going to talk about a drug that is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs out there: Meth. Meth, or Methamphetamine, usually comes in a crystallized or powder form. This drug is smoked, injected, swallowed, or snorted. At first glance, this drug can just look like a piece of glass, but it is far more dangerous.

Meth is a stimulant drug, which means it stimulates activity in certain areas of the brain, creating heightened central nervous system functions. Increased heart rate, higher body temperature, faster breathing, and spiked blood pressure can all occur when this drug is ingested. Because this drug is a stimulant, it also stimulates the levels of dopamine in your brain, creating the “high” a drug user gets. It can boost energy, attention, pleasure, focus, and excitement in an individual, but only for a certain amount of time. With this kind of intense euphoria, it is no wonder why people have succumb to meth addiction. With a high as powerful as this one, people will more than likely want to recreate that euphoric feelings and fall right into addiction.

In this blog today, we will look deeper into meth addiction, how meth works, and what the side-effects look like for someone that actively uses the drug.

How Meth Works

As we discussed earlier, meth is a stimulant drug and it enhances the central nervous system and amplifies things like attention, focus, and energy. However, this drug can carry an intense euphoric high that lasts quite some time. Depending on how much is ingested, the user can experience the effects for 4-8 hours. This can cause people to fall right into the depths of addiction since it lasts so long. When the high of meth wears off, the user will want to chase that high again and continue to use the drug for its euphoric effects. More hardcore users inject the drug straight to their veins to get a more instant, powerful high. When the drug’s effects first hit, the user will experience extreme euphoria, heightened central nervous system functions, and a stimulated brain. High levels of dopamine are released in the brain a more intense euphoria for the user. Though this drug may sound good to some people, they fail to see the horrible short & long-term effects this drug can have on a person.

Short & Long-Term Effects

Here are some of the short-term effects:

  • Increased Awareness: Meth abuse can cause a person to become hyperactive. This can mean increased focus or even restlessness.
  • Lack of Appetite: Meth users often experience a lack of appetite when they use the drug. Because it is so powerful, users can completely forget about their basic necessities and be lost in their euphoria.
  • Accelerated Breathing: Since Meth is a stimulant, it has a huge effect on the bodies central nervous system. Since this drug essentially stimulates the whole body, users often experience faster breathing which can result in hyperventilation.
  • Increased Blood Pressure/Body Temperature: Blood pressure and body temperature can see huge spikes in Meth users. Since the drug stimulates the body, the heart rate increase and along with it, blood pressure. When this happens, body temperature can rise and cause a person to sweat profusely.

Here are the long-term effects:

  • Weight Loss: With the lack of appetite in Meth users, they can experience huge weight loss, but not in a good way. Meth users are often severely underweight because their appetite is suppressed and they will too high to realize they need something with nutritional value. Many Meth users waste their money on the drug, forgetting to save money for their basic necessities (i.e. water, food, clothing, etc.).
  • Meth Mouth: Dental problems are huge for people that abuse this substance. Meth Mouth refers to the severe tooth loss and decays that active Meth smokers experience. Infections, cavities, tooth decay, and tooth loss are all dental problems that come about with Meth addicts.
  • Sleep problems: Increased awareness eventually turns into restlessness, which turns into sleeping problems. Meth users are often extremely restless which can result in insomnia or other sleep loss problems.
  • Paranoia/Depression/Anxiety: Active Meth users usually have issues like these. Depression, anxiety, and paranoia are all problems you can see in most people that abuse the substance. Addicts often use this substance to solve these issues, using the drug as a form of escape. However, the drug offers only a short escape from reality, making it harder to addicts to come back without more issues after their “high”.
  • Severe Itching: This side-effect is all too common. Meth addicts can often be seen with sores all over their body due to itching. Because of their restlessness paired with anxiety/paranoia, they itch at their skin as a way to cope with withdrawal and not having the drug.

Help for Meth Addiction

There is no denying the fact that Meth is one of the most dangerous drugs out there. The drug affects the mind and body in ways that are hard to reverse. Users often only see the euphoric feelings they receive once they ingest the substance, not the long-term effects of the drug’s abuse. It is easy to form an addiction with Meth once it is used. Users will chase the euphoric “high” they get while they’re on the substance, but fail to see how the drug is affecting their well-being. It can be hard to beat this kind of addiction, but it is possible. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to Meth, contact Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers today.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888-512-1705.

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