People are abusing methamphetamine more quickly than almost any other illegal drug. This substance is three times as powerful as cocaine and as addicting as heroin. Meth addiction
is one of the hardest from which to recover. People have become addicted to meth after only one or two uses. It raises the dopamine level in the brain to about ten times what is normal, and it also causes a “rush” of adrenaline. Methamphetamine users experience feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria. All of this is part of what makes methamphetamine so addicting.
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that causes users not to need to eat or sleep. A 1/4 gram “fix” can keep the user high for 12 hours or more. It comes in a white, bitter-tasting, odorless powder with a crystalline look. It is either snorted, smoked, taken orally, or mixed with water or alcohol and injected. Some of the effects of abusing methamphetamine can be dangerous or life-threatening. These can include:
• Decreased appetite
• Increased wakefulness
• Increased physical activity
• Rapid heart rate
• High blood pressure
• Irregular heartbeat
• Increased body temperature
• Increased respiration
Abusing methamphetamine for an extended period can cause severe dental problems, which is also known as “meth mouth.” These problems include tooth decay and loss of teeth due to the harsh chemicals in this drug, along with the drying effect it has on the mouth. It is also a fact that those addicted to methamphetamine do not practice healthy dental hygiene, which contributes to these problems. Another long-term effect is skin sores which are caused by the constant scratching from feeling as if insects are crawling underneath the skin.
Methamphetamine changes your brain. It’s a conscious choice to use meth the first few times a person decides to get high on it. This decision is made in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain controls voluntary actions. The decision to use meth after about the third or fourth time comes from a different part of the brain, the back part of the brain, which controls involuntary actions. Involuntary actions are functions that we do without even thinking about it, such as breathing. The brain thinks of your need to use this drug just the same as anything else you need to do to survive. After a meth addict completely stops using the substance, it can take as long as two years for their brain to get back to normal.
After a meth addict completely stops using the drug, it can take as long as two years for their brain to get back to normal. Methamphetamine is such a powerful drug that it is harder for a person to recover from meth addiction than just about any other addiction
. People can be off of meth for years, and the simplest trigger can put them straight into a relapse.
People don’t realize how methamphetamine affects the brain when they start using it. They only think about the fact that they can stay up all night partying or that they are going to lose weight while taking the drug. After bingeing on meth for an extended period and then stopping it, they experience severe depression and irritability along with extreme cravings for the drug. All of this combines and results in the user obtaining more meth to stop these effects.
Once someone is addicted to meth, it can be almost impossible to halt the drug without inpatient addiction treatment. If you or a loved one are struggling with meth addiction, seek help from professionals in a treatment facility. Don’t let this drug take over your life and possibly end it disastrously. Don’t wait any longer; get the help you need and deserve.