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How Exactly Does Meth Affect the Body?

depressed young woman lying in her bed

Methamphetamine is known for its initial strong and pleasurable rush, followed by a long-lasting euphoric high. Just one use of the drug can have many negative effects on the body. However, without outpatient detox, the deep depression users experience when the high wears off causes subsequent use and, therefore, compounded effects.

Accelerated Cell Aging and Death

Because meth is a combination of several corrosive substances, it causes the body’s cells to age and die at an abnormally high rate. This effect on all cells means that the teeth, gums, skin, muscles, and organs are impacted.

Teeth and Gums

The corrosive effects of meth cause irreparable damage to teeth and gums. Users often lose their teeth after experiencing severe decay. A common side-effect of meth use is teeth grinding, which also contributes to tooth decay and loss.

Acne and Other Skin Conditions

Meth use can cause the skin to become dry and itchy, which can cause acne. Prolonged use without outpatient treatment also causes the texture of the skin to change, causing wrinkles and a leather-like texture. Use of this drug also causes “meth bugs”, a sensory condition in which the user feels as though there are bugs crawling under the skin. This can cause users to pick and scratch obsessively at the skin, which results in open sores and scarring.

Weight Loss

In addition to the high that methamphetamine provides, it is also an appetite suppressant. Many have chosen to use the drug for weight loss, assuming that they could stop once their weight goals were reached. However, the high addiction factor can lead to prolonged meth use.

Immune System and Liver Damage

The substances used to make meth can also cause damage to the immune system. This occurs due to the drug dismantling the body’s defenses, which decreases its ability to combat infection. In addition to the other issues meth users can develop, damage to the liver is very common. Users can develop cirrhosis, hepatitis, and other liver diseases.

Mental Effects

Use of methamphetamine can cause severe mood swings, anxiety, and psychosis. Users may become aggressive or violent. The risk that a person will experience cerebral hemorrhage also increases with prolonged use of the drug. In addition, users are at increased risk for STIs due to the higher sex drive, lowered inhibitions, and participation in the high-risk sexual behaviors common among meth users.

Getting Treatment for Meth Addiction

top view of a group therapy session for teenagers

One should never try to detox without the presence of a medical professional; doing so is extremely dangerous because it can put tremendous stress on the body, which can also be fatal.

If someone you love or you are struggling with meth addiction, it’s important to know that the cycle can be broken.  The sooner substance abuse treatment is received, the higher the chance that the physical symptoms of meth use can be reversed. Effective and holistic outpatient meth addiction treatment from BlueCrest Recovery Center focuses on treating the on mind, body, and spirit: call 973-298-5776 today.