Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that is occasionally used medicinally to treat ADHD but is more often abused in the United States.
One of the reasons that people use this drug is because of its immediate effects on how someone is feeling, but in the long run, meth affects the brain in dangerous and sometimes permanent ways.
The Effects of Meth Use on the Brain
Like with most drugs that are abused, methamphetamine affects the brain in several different ways that can range in severity. The exact effects that meth has on the brain will largely depend on the frequency of use, dosage, interaction with other drugs, and that person’s health. Prolonged abuse and higher doses usually result in greater damage.
Most people who use methamphetamine, do so because they come to crave the rush that it provides. The initial symptoms are a result of methamphetamine’s interactions with the brain.
The short-term effects of methamphetamine on the brain include:
Sense of euphoria
Crash as the meth wears off
Excluding the risk of overdose, this initial interaction may seem harmless, but most people cannot stop themselves after a few uses. The biggest danger to the brain usually comes from the long-term effects of meth. With prolonged abuse, meth affects the brain in ways that can lead to lasting and permanent damage.
The long-term effects meth has on the brain include:
Dependence and addiction
Hallucinations and psychosis
Impaired learning and motor skills
Decline in mental flexibility
Structural and function changes in brain areas associated with memory and emotions
Neuron death throughout the central nervous system
Death of glial cells
Increased risk of Parkinson’s disease 1,2,3
The exact damage will vary, but generally prolonged use leads to greater risk. Some of the damage may be reversible with proper treatment, but other damage may be permanent. For these reasons, detox from methamphetamine and treatment are recommended as soon as a problem develops.
Even though people may be aware of the negative effects of meth on the brain and body, many are unable to stop on their own. Because methamphetamine is so addictive, professional treatment programs like at our Boca Raton rehab center may be necessary to help people overcome their addiction and find lasting sobriety.
Substance abuse is no joke. At Banyan Boca, we help people who are struggling with addiction start drug- and alcohol-free lives. To learn more about how we may be able to help you or someone you care about, contact us today at 888-280-4763.
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.