Methamphetamine can have very damaging physical effects on a person’s body and brain. The drug can alter how an individual’s brain functions and cause issues with almost every organ in the body. Using methamphetamine, also known as “Meth,” “Blue,” “Ice,” and “Crystal,” can also be fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 23,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses of psychostimulants other than cocaine in 2020. The primary drug that caused these deaths was methamphetamines. Additionally, the 2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health found that about 1.5 million people aged 12 and up in America were dealing with methamphetamine use disorder in the previous year.
Chronic use of meth can seriously damage the body’s central nervous system, including the brain. Using methamphetamine can lead to the death of neurons. The loss of these neurons can affect multiple parts of the brain. Methamphetamine can also, over time, decrease the amount of white matter in the brain, resulting in numerous functional deficits. Even though some effects of methamphetamine can be reversed with time, other effects, such as the loss of neurons, can be permanent.
Methamphetamine can also increase stroke risk due to the drug’s effect on blood pressure, which weakens veins and arteries. The drug can also impact the immune system, putting users at higher risk of infections and worsening existing conditions such as HIV or hepatitis B or C. Other physical issues that arise from meth include:
In addition to the physical side effects, individuals taking methamphetamine may experience psychological problems ranging from anxiety and confusion to violent behavior to paranoia and delusions.
As a stimulant, methamphetamine increases the brain’s activity. This increased brain activity can boost individuals’ alertness and energy levels. But all the effects aren’t beneficial. Increased activity in the brain can also cause higher levels of aggression and agitation. Other potential short-term side effects of meth include:
The most common concern with continued use of methamphetamines is addiction and overdose. While an individual can overdose on meth at any time, the longer they use the drug, the greater the risk. The risk increases because as a person’s tolerance to methamphetamine increases, they require higher and higher doses of the drug to achieve the same feeling.
Other long-term side effects of meth use include:
The good news is that methamphetamine addiction can be treated.
Aftermath Addiction Treatment Center was founded by recovering addicts. We know how debilitating meth addiction can be. That’s why we use proven clinical and medical approaches and techniques to help individuals recover from addiction. We believe that behavioral therapy, peer support, individual and group counseling coupled with love, empathy, and direction can help individuals say goodbye to methamphetamine for good.
Contact us today to learn more.