Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive and dangerous stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It’s a synthetic drug that can be snorted, smoked, injected, or taken orally. While the initial effects of meth may seem appealing, such as increased energy and euphoria, the long-term consequences can be devastating. If you’re concerned that a loved one is using meth or is struggling with addiction, it’s important to understand the potential side effects of it. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you recognize if someone is using meth and get them the help they need.
Texas Recovery Center’s meth addiction treatment program can help you or a loved one break free from meth addiction and build a foundation for a brighter future. Call 888.298.5468 today to get started.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, usually takes the form of a crystal-like white powder. It can also come in other colors like yellowish-grey or brown and can be dyed bright colors. Crystal meth, a purer and pricier form of the drug, appears like small ice crystals. Additionally, there are other signs of methamphetamine use that indicate possible drug addiction, such as loss of interest in hobbies, withdrawal from friends and family, financial problems, declining performance, dishonesty, secrecy, and changes in eating or sleeping patterns.
How Meth Addiction Develops
Methamphetamine addiction often develops gradually, initiating changes in the brain that can make quitting extremely challenging. When meth enters the brain, it triggers a massive release of dopamine—a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Over time, the brain starts to rely on meth to stimulate this feel-good chemical, leading to cravings and compulsive drug-seeking behaviors.
This overstimulation of the dopamine system can also damage the nerve cells that contain dopamine and serotonin, another neurotransmitter. This damage could impair a person’s cognitive abilities and emotional responses. The long-term side effects of methamphetamine use include decreased ability to learn, memory loss, emotional instability, and changes in decision-making capabilities. These severe side effects underscore the importance of seeking professional help to overcome meth addiction.
Recognizing Meth Side Effects
Methamphetamine use can result in a wide range of physical and psychological side effects, which may vary depending on the individual’s overall health, the frequency and amount of meth used, and the duration of use. Here are some common side effects of meth that you should be aware of:
- Physical side effects – These may include rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, and digestive problems. Over time, meth use can also lead to severe dental problems, known as “meth mouth,” significant weight loss, and skin sores resulting from intense scratching due to the sensation of bugs crawling under the skin.
- Psychological side effects – Meth use often leads to severe mental health issues, such as anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, aggressive or violent behavior, and hallucinations. In some cases, meth use can lead to psychosis, characterized by paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions.
- Cognitive side effects – Chronic meth use can cause significant cognitive impairment, affecting memory, learning, and decision-making capabilities. These effects may persist long after someone stops using the drug, making recovery a challenging process.
- Social and behavioral side effects – Meth use often results in behavioral changes, such as increased aggression, erratic behavior, and social isolation. The drug can also lead to a loss of interest in daily activities, employment issues, and legal problems.
Understanding these side effects of methamphetamine can help in recognizing a possible addiction and the need for professional help.
Signs of a Meth Overdose
A meth overdose is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical attention. Some common signs of a meth overdose include:
- Increased heart rate
- Irregular breathing
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Seizures or convulsions
- Dilated pupils
If you suspect someone has overdosed on meth, call 911 immediately.
Call Texas Recovery Center Today for Meth Addiction Treatment
At Texas Recovery Center, we understand the devastating side effects of meth addiction as well as the challenges of quitting. Our experienced and compassionate team offers evidence-based, holistic treatment programs that address the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of addiction. We also integrate art and music therapy to provide a healing environment for our clients. Don’t wait any longer to seek help for yourself or your loved one. Call 888.298.5468 or reach out online today to find out how we can help you start your journey toward recovery.