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The Damaging Mental Effects of Meth

Link Between Addiction and Suicide

Few substances have caused as much devastation on the human mind and spirit as methamphetamine, also referred to as meth, causing an ongoing fight against substance misuse. Unfortunately, this potent and extremely addictive stimulant has earned recognition for its catastrophic effects on both individuals and societies. Meth abuse has severe and pervasive mental effects in addition to its physical effects on the body. Banyan Stuart delves into the frightening world of illicit drug use and examines the harmful mental effects of meth.

What Does Meth Do to the Brain?

Meth quickly penetrates the blood-brain barrier after ingestion, allowing an excessive amount of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and reward, to flood the brain. This increase in dopamine results in a strong and instantaneous feeling of exhilaration, which is one of the main reasons why meth is so dangerously addictive.

The initial rush of pleasure is fleeting, though, because meth messes with the brain's intrinsic reward mechanism. Long-term high-dopamine exposure can cause major changes in the structure and operation of the brain, otherwise referred to as the “brain on meth.” Meth reduces the brain's natural supply of dopamine and impairs its capacity to create and regulate this crucial neurotransmitter by interfering with the regular communication between neurons. As a result, meth users frequently endure severe emotional and cognitive problems.

Further effects of meth brain damage occur in critical areas like the prefrontal cortex. With continued meth use, this part of the brain that controls judgment, impulse control, and decision-making gradually deteriorates. As a result, people have cognitive impairment, memory loss, and attention deficit disorder. For those suffering from the debilitating effects of meth, planning, problem-solving, and logical reasoning become difficult tasks, and the brain's capacity to recover from such damage is restricted, having a permanent and devastating influence on mental health.

Can Meth Cause Mental Illness?

Methamphetamine abuse has been strongly associated with the development or exacerbation of various mental health conditions. This happens for several reasons, including the brain changes caused, as well as any trauma that may be experienced because of using the drug.

Meth abuse can contribute to or exacerbate several mental health conditions, including:

  • Psychosis: Meth-induced psychosis is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and distorted judgment. It may be ferocious and disruptive, resulting in erratic and occasionally aggressive acts.
  • Depression: Meth usage can interfere with mood regulation and cause depressive symptoms. After the drug's benefits fade, users may experience severe crashes that cause feelings of extreme despair, hopelessness, and lack of interest in previously loved activities.
  • Anxiety disorders: Abuse of methamphetamine can cause or exacerbate anxiety problems, resulting in more anxiety, agitation, and panic attacks. Users may struggle to regulate their worried thoughts as well as excessive concern and fear.
  • Substance-induced mood disorders: Methamphetamine usage can result in short-term or long-term alterations in mood, which can lead to substance-induced mood disorders. These may include depressive episodes (defined by extreme sadness, loss of pleasure, and poor energy) or manic episodes (characterized by heightened mood, increased energy, and impulsive conduct).
  • Cognitive impairments: Cognitive deficiencies, such as issues with attention, memory, and executive functioning, can result from long-term meth use. Decision-making, problem-solving, and logical reasoning may be challenging for users.
  • Impulse control disorders: Abusing methamphetamine can result in impulse control disorders, which are characterized by a lack of capacity to control desires or impulses that could be detrimental to oneself or others. This can result in impulsive and careless actions, such as taking part in unsafe sexual activities or substance abuse.

If you or a loved one has ended up with such a disorder or is currently struggling with any of the mental effects of meth, our Stuart rehab center has the resources to help.

Heal From Meth Abuse in Stuart

For those ready to take a step in the direction of sobriety, the Stuart, Florida, Banyan treatment center offers meth addiction programs that can address the issue. We also have numerous options for Florida addiction therapy that can help patients overcome any mental consequences of illnesses that resulted from their drug abuse.

Call the professionals of Banyan at 888-280-4763 to learn if our addiction recovery programs are a good fit for you!

Related Reading

The Meth Withdrawal Timeline

Meth vs. Cocaine

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.