Methamphetamine is a drug that may be taken in a number of ways. Unlike cocaine and heroin, whose effects are often seen through behavior, at least at first, meth is a drug whose physical effects are quick and obvious. A Sheriff’s Office in Oregon began the Faces of Meth program, which showed teens before and after pictures of people who had been arrested on meth related crimes, and in many cases, the teens were shocked and appalled by the effects of this powerfully addictive drugs. What happens to a meth addict’s body when they are on this drug?
One of the most commonly noticed attributes of meth abuse is meth mouth, a condition where the teeth rot. The issue is that meth creates a very hostile environment in the user’s mouth. The drug reduces the amount of saliva that is produced, and it also changes the composition of the saliva. This means that it is very easy for the teeth to rot, and given the fact that many people who are heavy meth addicts lose interest in caring for themselves, the results are quite serious. Tooth decay can lead to serious life-threatening issues like infections.
Another issue that is faced by people who deal with meth addiction is a heightened heart rate. The drug speeds up the heart, making it work harder and helping to create the sense of euphoria that is very common to the experience. Heart rates are controlled for a reason, and when the heart works too hard, there is the risk of rupture and injury. Heart attacks are serious issues, and they are one side effect of meth abuse. High blood pressure and strokes are also another risk of meth.
The use of meth literally damages the brain. In specific, meth abuse damages the brain’s ability to feel pleasure. That is why people who are addicted to meth are so uninterested in doing anything else, even things that are important to them. They do not get the same kind of high that they used to, and they do not feel the same way about things that were once pleasurable. This damage can spread to severe cognitive disability, and in short order, it can also affect the ability to control the body. Brain damage from meth abuse can be permanent or long-lasting.
People who are addicted to meth oftentimes do not care about other important things, like food. They do not derive the same kind of pleasure from food that they used to, and as a result, they fail to eat, or they will not eat things that are good for them, instead choosing things that are convenient. Malnutrition can lead to weight loss and hair loss, and it also prevents the body from healing the way that it should. Some meth deaths are even related to malnutrition.
Meth is a serious issue that can affect anyone. If you are dealing with meth abuse in your life and you do not know where to turn, call our helpline at 800-447-9081. Our hotline is here to help, and whether you need directions on what to do next or you are in a place where you just need to talk about what is going on, there are a number of resources here for you.