As the content manager at Advanced Recovery Systems, Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing The information has been screened and edited by health professionals to contain objective information on diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Contains bibliographic reference sources. If you are a healthcare professional and you find any issue, please reach out to [ protected] advancedrecoverysystems. Abuse of the drug creates serious health problems and sometimes le to fatal consequences.
Knowing the s and symptoms of meth abuse can help you identify whether someone you know may be using this dangerous drug.
As a person continues to use methamphetamine, they are likely to display many outward s indicating their drug dependency. Meth addiction can manifest itself in a variety of physical and behavioral symptoms, from rotting teeth to hyperactivity to heart attacks. It alters how a person thinks and feels as they prioritize obtaining the next dose of the drug. You may notice a sudden loss of interest in other areas of life. Hobbies, relationships, and career goals can all take a back seat to addiction. Those struggling with an addiction may also have a variety of items needed to use the drug.
They may try to hide these items or store them in different places throughout their home, car, or workspace. Some examples of paraphernalia include:. Meth addiction can cause a variety of physical and psychological symptoms. Meth use is associated with intense itchiness. As a person endlessly scratches to soothe the itch, they will produce sores, scabs, wounds and scarring, especially on the arms, legs and face.
Beyond these common symptoms, some people who use methamphetamine experience severe and immediately life-threatening issues such as seizures, heart attacks and liver failure. These medical conditions require care in a hospital.
The Recovery Village surveyed 2, American adults who formerly or currently use methamphetamine. Using meth just six times a month or more than 0. In particular, heavy meth users are:. An overdose on methamphetamine is common. When a person consumes a large amount of the drug at one time, their body may become overwhelmed by the drug, resulting in coma, seizure and sometimes death.
If you believe that someone is experiencing a meth overdose, call immediately.
Professional medical assistance is the best chance the person has at survival. Follow the directions of the operator and give as much correct and accurate information as possible.
If use is continued over a long period of time, the brain begins to rely on its stimulant effects and creates a need for its use. When consumed, the drug goes to your brain, creating a al that unleashes a flood of dopamine.
Dopamine is responsible for making you feel good from things you find pleasurable, but the dopamine released by taking meth is a much higher level than what could happen naturally. Your brain wants to continue feeling that high, so it pushes you to do more of the drug, leading to cravings. Along with feeling pleasure and intense happiness, meth also generally increases your energy levels and physical activity, as well as how alert and sociable you are.
Unfortunately, these feel-good effects are misleading: people using meth may feel energetic, but they often do not have the food or rest necessary to fuel that energy. The short and long-term symptoms of meth use reflect this imbalance, including malnutrition, insomnia and depression. It can cause major damage to organs and the brain.
Many of the effects, particularly of chronic use, may not be reversible.
It also changes the mental well-being of the user, their physical appearance, and it destroys families, relationships and careers. The following are just a few of the things meth does to your body. It places stress on the heart: Since meth is a stimulant, it can have a profound effect on the cardiovascular system. It puts stress on your heart with elevated blood pressure and a disruption of normal rhythms. Not only does meth damage your heart and cardiovascular system, but it can also contribute to heart attacks. Users are also at an increased risk of strokes.
It damages the liver: Using meth can damage the liver and increase your risk of developing hepatitis or acute liver failure. This is because of the many toxins that can be contained in meth, including drain cleaner, battery acid, paint thinner, lithium and Freon. It causes the kidneys to shut down: Meth can cause the kidneys to shut down because of elevated body temperature.
It can also break down muscle tissues that then become toxins dangerous to the kidneys. It damages the lungs: When you smoke meth, the toxins in the drug go directly to the lungs, damaging them. When your blood vessels are constricted from meth, but it can also reduce blood flow to your lungs and lead to the accumulation of fluid. Three times the potency of cocaine, methamphetamine causes users to become dependent faster than most illegal drugs and is one of the hardest to quit. The stimulant drug triggers the brain to release more than triple the normal amount of dopamine in the body, creating a state of euphoria that can last up to 12 hours in one sitting.
After the first few uses, the drug changes the functionality of the brain, causing it to become dependent on the drug. Even after discontinuing meth, it can take years for the brain to go back to normal.
Once the brain begins to crave meth, the body will soon follow. If users try to abruptly quit using meth, they will be susceptible to painful withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms vary from one user to the next, but heavily depend on how frequently the drug has been used.
Common withdrawal symptoms from methamphetamine include:. Meth addiction, or methamphetamine use disorder, is the psychological drive to continue using the drug despite harmful consequences to health, finances and relationships. Addiction develops over time and may have severe consequences daily and long term.
Developing an addiction is a process, not an event. It begins with the person developing a tolerance to the drug. Tolerance is when someone requires increasing amounts for the drug to be effective. Dependence often develops alongside tolerance and is when a drug cannot be stopped without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
The drive to prevent withdrawal symptoms is a ificant contributor to addictive behaviors. Attending treatment or a drug detox program can help manage withdrawal symptoms in a safe environment. The recovery process requires ificant time, concentrated medical attention and psychological counseling.
Meth side effects, symptoms & s of use
It also requires a ificant amount of support and ability so an individual does not return to drug use after becoming sober. If you or someone you know is struggling with crystal meth addiction, The Recovery Village is willing and ready to help on your road to recovery. Together with our team of trained medical professionals, you can gain the tools needed to help overcome your addiction and live a healthier, safer life. Accessed May 27, Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.
We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by d medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Proud Supporter. Alcohol Abuse. Should I Detox at Home?
Am I an Alcoholic? What to Expect in Drug Rehab. What is Long Term Rehab? What to Pack for Rehab? Why is Accreditation Important? Don't wait another day. Help is a phone call away. By The Recovery Village. Editor Melissa Carmona. Eric Patterson is a d professional counselor in the Pittsburgh area who is dedicated to helping Methamphetamine use can lead to severe addiction, and its abuse is a continuous and widespread issue in the United States.