Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Long Term Effects of Meth Use

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Meth

Long Term Effects of Meth Use

 

Methamphetamine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system. The drug is made easily in clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the- counter ingredients. These factors combine to make meth-amphetamine a drug with high potential for widespread abuse. Methamphetamine is commonly known as “speed,” “meth,” and “chalk.” In its smoked form it is often referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” and “glass.” It is an odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that is usually white, but can also be off-white, yellowish, or pinkish in color.

The long term effects of meth use are but not limited to:

  • Tooth decay
  • Fatal kidney and lung disorders
  • Possible brain damage
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized lifestyle
  • Permanent psychological problems
  • Violent and aggressive behavior
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Behavior resembling paranoid schizophrenia
  • Decreased social life
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor coping abilities
  • Disturbance of personality development
  • Lowered resistance to illnesses
  • Liver damage
  • Stroke
  • Death

One of the most striking effects of long term meth use is the change in the physical appearance of meth users. Because meth use causes the blood vessels to constrict, it cuts off the steady flow of blood to all parts of the body. Heavy usage can weaken and destroy these vessels, causing tissues to become prone to damage and inhibiting the body’s ability to repair itself. Acne appears, sores take longer to heal, and the skin loses its luster and elasticity. Some meth users are covered in small sores, the result of obsessive skin-picking brought on by the hallucination of having bugs crawling beneath the skin, a disorder known as formication.

In addition, stimulants such as meth cause tremendous bursts of physical activity while suppressing the appetite, an attractive combination for many people who began using meth to lose weight. But while contemporary culture may idealize slim figures, heavy meth users often become gaunt and frail. Their day- or week-long meth “runs” are usually accompanied by tooth-grinding, poor diet, and bad hygiene, which lead to mouths full of broken, stained and rotting teeth.

A common sign of a long term effect of meth use is extreme tooth decay, a condition that has become known in the media as “meth mouth.” Users with “meth mouth” have blackened, stained, or rotting teeth, which often can’t be saved, even among young or short-term users. The exact causes of “meth mouth” are not fully understood. One of the most dangerous long term effects of meth use on the body is the increase in sex drive and the lowering of sexual inhibitions among some users, which puts them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Although meth use is not necessarily an aphrodisiac, it does trigger the release of powerful brain chemicals that may increase sex drive, such as dopamine, which gives the user a sense of well-being and desirability, and adrenaline, which provides the meth user with a boost in confidence and stamina.┬áThe long term effects of meth use are very extreme and very intense. The most dangerous and irreparable one being death.

 

2 responses to “Long Term Effects of Meth Use”

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