Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or meth, is an addictive central nervous system stimulant that’s taken recreationally for the euphoric and confidence-boosting high it produces. Meth is a white, odorless crystal-like powder with a bitter taste that can be snorted, smoked, injected, or swallowed. Crystal meth stimulates dopamine release and prevents protein receptors in the brain from reabsorbing the excess, creating a flood in the central nervous system. As a result, the individual may experience a euphoric and rewarding high that reinforces future drug-taking behavior. Although the impact of this drug on the mouth and skin is well known, our drug rehab in Naperville is focusing on meth’s effects on the throat.
Meth and throat problems are a common package. Although side effects of using methamphetamine like meth mouth and meth mites are better known, this drug can also severely impact your throat. The form of administration may vary from user to user because how meth is used impacts the duration and intensity of the high. Most often, meth affects the throat when it’s snorted, smoked, or swallowed. Its stimulating side effects can also induce rapid breathing, which can cause irritation and dryness in the mouth and throat.
Meth is made up of a variety of chemicals, including acetone, anhydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, lithium, red phosphorus, all of which can contribute to throat problems. To sum it up, meth’s effects on the throat include:
Moreover, snorting meth can cause violent cough fits, which can damage the throat and vocal cords over time. Respiratory issues, such as a collapsed lung and respiratory infection or disease, can also occur as a result of smoking meth. Using this drug can cause a condition known as pneumomediastinum, in which the air is released into the body outside of the lungs. Considering how connected the throat and lungs are, when there’s damage in one, damage in the other often follows suit.
It’s also common for methamphetamine users to lack proper hygiene, a direct result of malnourishment and being high. Meth suppresses the appetite, contributing to severe weight loss and malnutrition. This leaves users more vulnerable to developing infections, including throat infections. Not only can their lack of hygiene contribute to tooth decay (meth mouth), but it may also cause them to neglect any infections or issues they may have in other areas of their body, such as the throat. Fortunately, meth use and voice loss or other side effects can be avoided when meth addiction treatment is received.
As previously mentioned, crystal meth can significantly impact the lungs and overall respiratory system, which can cause severe coughing. Snorting or smoking meth can also irritate the throat, and the natural response for most users is to cough. Over time, meth can change your voice, making it hoarse or raspy. Prolonged periods of coughing and throat clearing can lead to swelling, irritation, and lesions on the vocal cords (such as vocal cord nodules, polyps, or cysts). The throat and airway may also become more sensitive, causing the person to cough more, thus creating a vicious and painful cycle.
In addition to meth’s effects on the throat, this stimulant heavily impacts the brain and other organs in the body. From cardiovascular disease to skin disease, there’s no limit to the damage methamphetamine can do. However, despite the repercussions, people who are addicted to this drug often struggle to quit using it without help. If you or someone you know is addicted to meth, Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago can help. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn how our PHP drug treatment works.