Meth is highly addictive with psychological and physical side effects. The addictive properties of meth are experienced almost instantaneously. Learn how meth works and the effects of Meth on the body and brain and the long and short term effects of using this addictive drug.
What is Meth?
A stimulant, meth affects the brain, spinal cord and central nervous system. Meth changes the way the body processes certain chemicals which act as communicators between nerve cells and brain cells (“neurotransmitters”). Dopamine is most affected by the presence of meth in the body. Dopamine is associated with feelings of pleasure and reward which creates a sense of euphoria for people who use the drug. During the pleasurable rush of feelings, heart rate, blood pressure and libido increase in intensity. How long meth stays in the body depends on what is being taken. During a binge, ‘tweaking’ can occur where euphoria is replaced with possible bouts of paranoia, irritability, hallucination and delusion. Meth will deplete the body’s dopamine supply so a person may experience a period of depression or ‘crashing.’ Depression and fatigue set in during this phase.
Effects of Meth on the Body
Long lasting effects have been noted for users of meth. Chronic use has been noted to permanently alter how the brain processes memories and emotions which can lead to mood disturbances, paranoia, violent behavior and symptoms consistent with psychosis. Long-term abuse may also damage motor skills.
The intensity of a meth ‘high’ depends on the individual but can last a long time with a high level of intensity. As tolerance builds, a person may seek ways to intensify the high (bingeing) which puts strain on the heart, circulatory and other body systems to keep functioning. Mixing meth with other drugs is a dangerous cocktail which can lead to overdose and, eventually, death.
Not all individuals who use meth recreationally will become addicted. Meth has high addictive potential so it is likely a person who uses it with some frequency will develop addiction eventually. The crash after a meth binge can cause a person to seek more meth to offset the negative effects of the crash or withdrawal. Long term, abuse of meth can lead to skin lesions, tooth decay (“meth mouth”) or sometimes stroke or heart attack. Meth also increases a person’s sex drive, decreases inhibition, and can lead to sexually transmitted diseases for this reason.
The effects of Meth on the body and brain can be dangerous in the short and long term. It is a highly addictive drug which can be used recreationally but many people find it hard to quit. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to meth, treatment is available to aid in recovery.
Hired Power provides help for addiction to meth. If you are seeking supportive information or resources, call us to find out how we can help on your journey to recovery.