Meth Use In The Long Term
You may think that to get addicted to a drug you have to have been using it for a long time. As far as methamphetamine is concerned this is far from true. Meth is a powerful stimulant and many users have found themselves hooked after the first time. This powerful potential for dependence makes methamphetamine one of the most destructive drugs. However, the destructive effects of this drug only start with the development of this dependence. There are many more problems that meth users face in the long term.
Physical Effects Of Using Methamphetamine
What’s considered as long term meth use is anywhere from a few weeks to several years. Over that time, the body of the meth user will change in a number of ways such as:
- A significant amount of weight loss
- Damaged blood vessels especially if the methamphetamine is injected
- Difficulty in breathing
- Sores on your skin
- High blood pressure
- Decaying teeth
Effects of Meth on the brain
While most other drugs will only have a psychological effect on the brain, meth can actually alter your brain’s structure. The changes that may occur at this level include:
- Your brain structure and functions may be changed.
- You may have psychotic episodes characterized by paranoia and hallucinations.
- You may start to experience memory loss.
- You may start exhibiting violent or aggressive behaviour.
- You may experience mood swings.
Many of these psychological effects of methamphetamine can lead to physical problems. Paranoia gives many users a sensation of insects crawling under their skin resulting in excessive picking hence the sores. Hallucinations and violent behaviour can result in injuries or death. Although the methamphetamine contributes to the tooth decay seen in many meth users, many users tend to neglect matters to do with personal hygiene including dental care and this contributes to the phenomenon known as ‘meth mouth’.
Indirect Effects Of Methamphetamine
As if the side effects of the drug itself are not bad enough, meth users may unwittingly suffer from other conditions as a result of using methamphetamine. The simplest example of this is in users who inject the meth directly into their blood vessels.
‘Shooting meth’ as it is commonly known is preferred by certain users since the effects of the drug are much more immediate. The downside is that injecting the drug exposes the users to many diseases such as HIV. This method of using methamphetamine also brings about the possibility of getting an infection due to the use dirty needles.
Your lifestyle is also likely to change as a result of the habit. As a meth user you will focus most of your energy on pursuing the drug. This can lead to social withdrawal and criminal activities. Whether it happens as a direct result of the drug or due to associated reasons, many meth users may also end up dead.