As a fairly unique drug and one that captures significant media attention, methamphetamine is often associated with meth labs, tweakers, and physical degeneration. The widely recognized campaign “The Faces of Meth” captured a lot of attention on the subject and few people doubt the real harm that a meth addiction can cause. Let’s review some of the devastating physical and mental damages that meth can level on a person who gets wrapped up in a meth addiction.


Long Term Effects of Using Meth

Long term effects of meth use are much more visible than with other drugs. Meth causes the blood vessels to constrict which leads to the premature aging of the skin and the loss of its natural glow and elasticity. This damage to blood vessels and tissue also makes it more difficult for the body to repair damage to the skin, resulting in unsightly sores and abrasions. The overall effect is an unsettling deterioration of a person’s physical appearance.

Another common long term effect of continued meth use is damage to the teeth and gums. Meth causes saliva to dry up in the mouth which allows acid in the mouth to wear down the enamel on teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay. Combined with the agitated grinding of teeth from the stimulant’s effects and a lack of dental care, meth users often lose their teeth entirely. In addition to the outside deterioration, the constricting of blood vessels and high blood pressure brought on by meth can also lead to heart problems and organ damage in the liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart.


Brain Damage from Meth

By far the most damaging effects of meth abuse is the damage to key pleasure centers in the brain, specifically in the dopamine and serotonin receptors. When these receptors are eroded by consistent meth use, the person loses the ability to feel sensations like joy, happiness, and contentment which are brought on by the reception of serotonin. This causes the infamous downward spiral where the more meth a person uses (to get high and produce happy feelings), the less they are able to feel happiness naturally. In the wake of a meth high, the user can only feel depression, irritability, and anxiety. Meth literally damages the brain’s ability to feel good naturally, thus perpetuating the destructive addiction to the substance.

Meth is a horribly destructive narcotic that erodes a person’s life from all directions. If you’ve been roped into a dependency on meth, it’s vitally important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Meth addiction is not something you can break on your own and delaying will only make the destruction worse.


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