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Meth: The Long View

Meth: The Long View
Methamphetamine — Chalk, Crystal, Glass, Ice, Speed, Tina, or simply meth for short — is an extremely addictive stimulant drug. Because its base form is a powder, methods of delivery include pills, eating, snorting, smoking, and even injection when mixed with liquid. Users are drawn to meth because, at first, it causes a rush of good feelings. However these often get out of hand, leaving the user edgy, hypersensitive, emotional, and easily excited. Because it doesn't take long for an addiction to kick in, meth treatment is usually necessary. Unfortunately by then, the physical damage to your body has already begun.

What Does Meth Do to Your Body?

A long term meth addict is often easily identified by their physical appearance. Due to constricted blood vessels, skin looks aged with a lack of glow or elasticity.  Blood vessel and tissue damage will also inhibit the body’s ability to heal sores or wounds. Meth Mouth is not a pretty thing. Damage to teeth and gums happens when saliva dries up and acids in the mouth destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities. Without proper dental care, Meth users often lose teeth; even then it’s not guaranteed your teeth can be saved. Those constricted blood vessels will eventually equal high blood pressure, which means that in the long run, meth usage affects the heart and brain and can lead to heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Meth can also be responsible for vision loss and damage to the kidneys, liver, and lungs.

What Does Meth Do to Your Brain?

Meth affects the brain’s pleasure center, where dopamine and serotonin is produced and gets disbursed from. Damage to this area can take more than a year to reverse, or worse, it can be permanent. With their pleasure hub not firing on all pins, users will experience increasing levels of depression, anxiety, and irritability. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Other side effects of methamphetamine abuse include mood swings, hallucinations, insomnia, the desire to self-harm, and psychosis. Memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and/or impaired critical thinking and reasoning skills are just a few more of the non-benefits to using speed. In short, the brain damage caused by meth is similar to what has been found in patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

What Else Does Meth Do?

  • Consequences of being an addict
    • Damage to relationships
    • Financial problems
    • Workplace issues
    • Problems with the law
  • Addiction breeds desperation
  • Long term use increases tolerance (each dose needs to be bigger to reach the previous high; bigger quantity going in equals more damage to the body)
  • Increases libido and lowers inhibitions (when your guard is down, bad things happen: STDs, rape, human trafficking, and murder to name a few)
  • Suppresses appetite (resulting in unhealthy weight loss and malnutrition)

You don’t have to fight methamphetamine addiction alone.

Banyan Treatment Center is here to help. Call us today for a more peaceful tomorrow.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.