Long-Term Effects of Meth – They’re No Picnic
If you or a loved one is abusing meth, you might know some of the short-term effects of this drug. However, do you know the long-term effects of meth and what it can do to your life? You may know that it makes you feel like you can do anything, and never have to sleep. You might feel powerful, smart and invincible on this drug. You may even be experiencing weight loss, because who needs to eat when they are able to accomplish anything without getting hungry?
The thing is, these are just some of the short-term effects of abusing methamphetamines. There are lots of really negative long-term effects that you need to know about, so you can make the decision to quit before things get too out of control.
What Meth Does Right Away
There are many reasons why a person might decide to start using meth. Like all substances that a person can abuse, though, meth does one thing really well. It messes with that essential mood balancing hormone called dopamine. In short, when a person uses meth, it releases a huge amount of dopamine. This causes the user to feel extreme pleasure or euphoria. It also lasts for a good long while.
While this pleasure is going on, and the user is feeling wonderful about everything, they are also experiencing a higher than normal sex drive, with more intense sexual experiences. They might also feel full of energy.
At this same time, the blood pressure is going up, and the body is getting hot. The salivary glands are drying out, you might feel like you need to grind your teeth, and your judgment is really, really bad. When you’re high on meth, you might act differently than you would ordinarily, because you’re feeling fearless and brave. Chances are, you also believe that nothing can hurt you. Oh, and you won’t be sleeping until the high wears off or you crash because your body is just so exhausted.
What all These Changes do Long Term
Now, if you look at what happens when you use meth right away, it might not seem so bad. Your body recovers, right? Well, for a while it does.
Long-term effects on the brain
When it comes to those dopamine levels, you should know that meth actually damages the brain’s ability to make more dopamine, and that makes users unable to feel joy or happiness.
You should also know that meth makes people feel paranoid and psychotic over time. You might also become extremely aggressive, experience anxiety, sleeplessness, hallucinations, and delusions. While it has been found that these effects go away after a while of being clean from meth, it’s going to take a while.
Research also finds that the inability to feel things like happiness might heal over time, it is possible that you will never be completely “normal,” again.
Long-term effects on the mouth
A healthy mouth makes us healthy. It makes us feel good, and when you’ve been using meth for a long time, you probably know what it feels like not to have a healthy mouth. Constant grinding of the teeth, combined with all those snacks and drinks filled with sugar that you’ve been binging on, and the lack of saliva in your mouth for so long, have left you without much oral health at all. Plus, who has time to brush and floss? When you’re high on meth all the time, you’re thinking this same thing.
Long-term meth abuse almost always takes a significant toll on the teeth. It leaves them rotten and broken, often down to the gumline. When you do choose to get clean, getting your teeth repaired will likely become a priority, but it’s often very expensive to do so.
Long-term effects on your appearance
Meth makes you ugly. There, it’s out in the open. But the thing is, you’re not pretty when you’re constantly putting all these chemicals into your body. Long-term meth abusers almost always look gaunt and sick. They are frail and stick-thin. This is because meth works to damage the way your skin cares for itself. It damages blood vessels and tissues, which hurts circulation. That same circulation that makes you look full of life and health.
You’re also likely to find that you no longer heal quickly, and things like acne last much longer than they used to. Then, add obsessive picking on top of that, and you’re looking at sores forever. Then, when they do heal, they often leave some pretty nasty scars.
Long-term effects on your health
Your heart might seem to take the brunt of the abuse that you’ve been giving out because side effects like increased blood pressure and heart rate for long periods are never a good thing. For the long-term, you might find that you are at an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. You might even develop an irregular heartbeat that can eventually kill you.
It’s also important to note, though, that if you’re using intravenously, or shooting it, you’re likely to find that this behavior can put you at an increased risk for diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. You might think it’s no big deal now, but if you get it and don’t treat it, you might be looking at a pretty agonizing death.
If Using Meth for the Short Term Doesn’t Kill You, Long Term Meth Abuse Likely Will
When you’re young and abusing something, the last thing you’re thinking about is when you get old and what’s going to happen. You just like the way you feel right now, and that’s why so many younger people begin using this drug. It’s a way to help them get, and stay, in control of their lives. It might start with other stimulants, but moving on to meth can be an extremely dangerous decision.
The fact is, that if you don’t die from meth abuse right now, you might well wind up dying from it later. Too many years of putting poisons into your body can just make it damaged. Not only that, but with the potential to have a stroke or heart attack while you’re high on it, or the possibility that you’ll become too overheated and literally boil your body, it might actually make meth a pretty unattractive option for many.
The thing is, no matter how long you’ve been using, there is a chance to recover and overcome the damage you’ve done. As soon as you stop putting it into your system, your body begins to heal and get better. It starts to regenerate, and while the road might seem long and hard, there is help and it is almost always worth it.
Help to Stop Abusing Meth
If the long-term effects of meth abuse scare you, they should. Now, right now, is the time to make the decision to get clean from this drug. You don’t have to wait until you feel like you’re crazy, and you don’t have to hold on until you look old and broken.
The sooner you get help to overcome your meth addiction, the greater your chances for a healthy recovery. You can regain your good looks and even start enjoying life without help. It will just take time, and, of course, support.
When you need help finding a rehab that meets your needs and will really help you to kick your meth habit, give us a call. At Elite Rehab Placement, it is our job to help match you with a rehab that makes sense for your needs and your life. There are lots of different options, too, so whether you’re seeking intensive outpatient rehab, or are looking for inpatient options, we have tons to choose from.
Our caring counseling staff, as well as our highly trained insurance experts, will be there every step of the way to help you to understand your insurance coverage, help you figure out what you’ll wind up paying and find rehab options you’ll really like. If you don’t think you’ll be able to afford it because you don’t have insurance, don’t worry, we know which rehabs offer affordable payment plans, and where you might even be able to get a grant to cover the cost of your treatment.
Living with an addiction is no fun. Watching the long-term effects of a meth addiction can be even worse, so give us a call today and let’s see how we can help you to start overcoming your meth addiction.