People who use methamphetamine long-term will suffer many side effects of meth. One side effect is addiction. It is estimated that two percent of America’s population uses meth regularly. Along with addiction, long-term side effects of meth use can include mood disturbances, psychosis, and memory loss.
Long-Term Side Effects of Meth Use: Addiction
Addiction is the chronic use of a substance despite the negative consequences. Drug use becomes compulsive, without control, and damages the person using the drug. Because the brain develops tolerance to the drug, the person addicted will need more and more of the drug to get high or even to feel normal.
Long-Term Side Effects of Meth Use: Mood Disturbances
As the body becomes dependent on meth, mood disturbances will occur when withdrawing from the drug. Long-term side effects of meth use can include depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Other symptoms include confusion, insomnia, extreme irritability, and violent behaviors.
Long-Term Side Effects of Meth Use: Psychosis
Psychotic events can be life threatening and may continue for years after the last meth use. The person on meth or suffering from a flashback may experience extreme paranoia (thinking someone is watching him or her), visual and auditory hallucinations (hearing and seeing things that are not there), and delusions (believing a thought is real despite evidence it’s not). These events can cause the person to harm others or self. Even after years of sobriety, stress can trigger an event.
Long-Term Side Effects of Meth Use: Memory Loss
One side effect of long-term meth use is changes in the dopamine system of the brain. These changes reduce motor speed and impair verbal functioning and learning. Studies have shown severe structural and functional changes in the emotion and memory areas of the brain in chronic meth users. This accounts for the emotional problems associated with meth users.
Can Memory Loss be Reversed?
While not guaranteed, one study showed prolonged abstinence of 14 months from meth can recover motor and verbal skills. But other damage to the brain was not reversible. Meth users show higher cases of stroke and Parkinson’s Disease.
Other Long-Term Side Effects of Meth Use
Chronic users of meth often suffer from weight loss and malnutrition, tooth decay and tooth loss, abscesses and skin sores. Because meth is often used intravenously with shared needles, users are at higher risk for infectious diseases like HIV/Aids and Hepatitis.
Chronic users are also at risk of losing family and friends as meth takes over the brain pathways. All other things and people lose importance as the brain demands more of the drug.
Get Help for Meth Addiction
Long-term side effects of meth use are avoidable. If you or a loved one are using meth, call Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616 to get help now. Addiction specialists will review your needs and help you enroll in the best program to help you get clean and sober.
Don’t let meth steal your health and destroy your relationships. Call Northlake Recovery today at (561)-770-6616.