Meth is a powerful stimulant drug that can have devastating effects on the body and brain when abused. The short-term and long-term meth effects on the body and brain are severe and can lead to life-threatening consequences. In this article, we’ll explain the dangers of using meth and how to help someone get into treatment to end the harmful effects of the drug on their body and brain.
Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant that can have serious side effects. The drug can cause a rush of dopamine and feelings of euphoria, but it also has several physical effects on your body and brain. Meth users may experience symptoms such as weight loss, insomnia, and nausea within minutes of taking their first dose. Long-term meth use can lead to psychosis and other mental health conditions like depression or anxiety disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling to quit using meth, you can find treatment help at Origins Recovery Center in Texas.
Meth is similar to amphetamines, but it’s more potent and addictive.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant, which means that it increases your heart rate and blood pressure. In addition to these physical effects, meth also affects the central nervous system. It’s similar to amphetamines, such as Adderall, but it’s more potent and addictive than traditional amphetamines because of its effect on dopamine receptors in the brain’s pleasure centers. Taking meth causes your brain to release large amounts of dopamine—the feel-good neurotransmitter that plays a role in reward and pleasure. This creates an intense high that can last for hours or even days at a time.
The rush of dopamine from meth contributes to an addiction cycle.
The intense feelings of euphoria created by meth use can prompt a person to keep using to continue the pleasure. As they “reward” their brain with meth, they may begin to use it more frequently or in higher amounts each time. As a result, they may devote far more time to getting high and neglect even the basic forms of self-care, including getting adequate sleep, eating and staying hydrated, or tending to emotional needs.
Users can show signs of meth use within the first few minutes of taking the drug.
You may notice a meth user feeling more energetic and alert than usual, which is due to the stimulant properties of meth. Their brain will also release large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can lead to feelings of euphoria that are similar to those experienced by people who use cocaine or heroin.
Meth mouth is a common side effect of using this drug.
“Meth mouth” is a condition caused by the drug’s effect on teeth. The teeth of regular meth users tend to be stained, rotting, and falling apart. In many cases, their teeth cannot be saved and must be removed. This form of tooth decay can accompany the psychological and physiological changes in a meth user, especially when their oral hygiene becomes poor due to the drug.
Meth increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Methamphetamines are stimulants, which means they increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. This can have severe and even life-threatening health consequences.
● An increase in heart rate leading to stroke or heart attack
● An increase in blood pressure leading to stroke or heart attack.
● Overheating from increased body temperature causing potentially fatal heat stroke
Methamphetamine use has also been linked to other health problems, such as respiratory issues, including shortness of breath.
Meth can affect a user in numerous other physical ways.
Physical effects of meth use include weight loss, insomnia, and nausea. In combination, these issues can significantly affect a person’s health and well-being.
● Weight loss: Methamphetamine users may lose weight because they don’t feel like eating or because they’re too busy doing other things to eat.
● Insomnia: Meth users may feel awake and alert for longer periods of time than normal, which can lead them to get less sleep at night (and therefore less rest).
● Nausea: Nausea is one of the most common side effects caused by methamphetamine use, most likely due to how quickly your body absorbs the drug into the bloodstream when taken orally versus snorting or smoking it. Absorption issues are bypassed when a meth user injects themselves with the drug.
Methamphetamine psychosis may develop after repeated use or as a result of large doses.
Methamphetamine psychosis is a mental disorder that can occur after using methamphetamine. The symptoms of methamphetamine psychosis include paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. These symptoms are similar to those of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Other mental health issues can develop from prolonged meth use or using in large doses.
Meth users can experience troubling withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it.
Withdrawal symptoms from stopping meth use can begin within 24 hours. The effects of methamphetamine withdrawal are similar to those of cocaine but more severe. Acute symptoms may appear and can last from one to two weeks. If someone you know is experiencing any of the following symptoms, they might be withdrawing from meth use.
● Dysphoria, clinical depression, and suicidal thoughts
● Inability to think clearly
● Insomnia followed by sleeping too much
● Lack of energy
● Loss of ability to feel pleasure
● Weight gain
● Withdrawing from others
Symptoms lasting longer are called protracted withdrawal symptoms. These may last an additional couple of weeks following the first two weeks of acute symptoms. If your loved one has experienced withdrawal from meth use for more than two weeks, you may have observed some of the symptoms on the following list.
● Drug cravings
● Fatigue and excessive sleepiness
● Increased appetite
● Loss of ability to experience pleasure
● Mood swings
● Suicidal thoughts/ideation
The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on how long and how much meth your family member has been using. If they use meth regularly, they will likely experience severe side effects after their last dose wears off.
Help for meth use is available at Origins Recovery Center
A medically-supervised detox is the first step toward the treatment of a meth user. While it’s not as dangerous as withdrawal from alcohol or benzodiazepines, there are serious risks to attempting to detox at home. A meth-induced psychosis can develop and result in your loved one hurting themselves or others. After completing a medical detox, a person in recovery at Origins Recovery Center will begin a course of interventions according to a personalized plan. Evidence-based treatments include biofeedback, Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Personal training and nutritional coaching support the need to stay active and eat right while recovering. For those whose drug use is related to untreated trauma, trauma-informed care is an indispensable part of a treatment program designed to support long-term recovery and prevent relapse.
Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1019.