For a long time, meth was a drug that was only known to many people by name. They generally associated it with people who were poor, and it was often considered a rural phenomenon. Then the show Breaking Bad appeared, acquainting many people with the idea of what meth could do and how it was made. Today, programs like Facesofmeth.com and others show us dramatic before and after pictures of meth addicts, but it is important to look at what is behind those pictures and what we are seeing. It does us no good to continue to believe that meth addiction is something that happens to ‘other people.’
Why Meth Causes Scarring
One thing that affects the appearance of many meth addicts is scarring, to the point where their skin looks permanently reddened and roughened. There are actually a few different things that cause this scarring. In the first place, many people who are afflicted with meth addiction have a crawling sensation on their skin that is called formication. This can lead them to scratch at their arms and their body in general. On top of that, toxins from meth also exit the body through sweat, irritating the pores and creating acne. The depressed immune system of a meth addict often prevents that irritation from healing the way it should. Addicts that inject meth or that smoke it can pick up scars from the methods that they use.
Meth mouth is the term for tooth damage due to meth use. Though the actual mechanism of this issue are unknown, it is generally thought to be related to the fact that the human body produces less saliva when meth is introduced to the system and that the saliva changes in composition. Coupled with the fact that people who face meth addiction oftentimes stop caring about anything as much as they care about drugs, poor hygiene also plays a factor.
Hair loss does not necessarily occur as quickly as some of the other effects of meth addiction, but it is definitely one of the common signs. Hair loss as related to meth usage is generally due to poor nutrition. Not only does meth have a serious effect on the body, it can also cause the person to lose interest in food. As the urge for food is related to the pleasure centers of the brain, which meth destroys, a person can become less interested in eating at all. Because of the lack of nutrition, the hair first grows brittle and frailand then it breaks off. Finally, it will fall out in clumps.
Meth addiction is a serious issue that has many effects on the body. Knowing about these effects and understanding them can help you understand what is going on in your own life or that of someone that you care about.
Meth abuse is an increasingly common issue in many parts of the country, and if you are afraid that you or someone that you care about is getting involved with it, it can be quite a terrifying experience. Remember to breathe, and take a moment to call our helpline at 800-447-9081. Our hotline can give you the information that you need to take an essential first step, whether it is to check yourself into rehab or to help perform an intervention for a loved one.