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Long-Term Effects of Meth Use

long-term effects of meth use

Methamphetamine is a derivative of amphetamine, a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulator. Common street names include meth, crystal meth, crystal, and crank. Meth is illegally produced in meth labs and sold as a recreational drug. Meth is highly addictive, making the transition from regular use to abuse to addiction occur quickly, even after one use for some. In recent years, overdose deaths in the United States linked to meth have increased at substantial rates. Worldwide, meth has become the most commonly used hard drug, beyond cocaine and heroin use combined. Because of the potency of meth, the chances of quitting without professional meth addiction treatment are slim.

At Northpoint Seattle, we offer comprehensive, holistic meth addiction treatment that addresses the physical, psychological, and emotional dependency on meth. Contact us today at 888.483.6031 to learn how we can help you, or a loved one break the cycle of meth addiction once and for all.

What Are the Side Effects of Meth Addiction?

Meth is most commonly smoked but can also be injected, swallowed, snorted, or inserted into the rectum, known as “booty bumping.” Making meth requires using toxic chemicals that remain in the finished product. Smoking meth exposes the mouth to these chemicals, eroding teeth and gums, referred to as “meth mouth,” the most apparent side effect of meth addiction.

Because it is so highly addictive, meth use can quickly escalate to dependency and then addiction. The physical and psychological side effects of meth addiction are typically more obvious than with other substances and can include:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Intense itching resulting in scabs and sores
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Confusion and hallucinations
  • Violent outbursts
  • Inability to sleep, often for several days
  • Tics, hyperactivity, and being jumpy

Persistent vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating are other common side effects. Some people demonstrate obsessive or repetitive behaviors such as constant grooming or reorganizing their belongings. Meth addiction poses a high risk for overdose, primarily when used with alcohol or other drugs, which it commonly is.

“Tweaking” is another telltale side effect of meth addiction. Tweaking is a period that occurs following a meth binge when the user cannot achieve a high. It can last anywhere from three days to two weeks, where individuals display side effects, including:

  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Violence

Meth abuse and addiction can have profound effects on a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being, but meth addiction treatment at Northpoint Seattle can offer a way to heal.

The Long-Term Effects of Meth Addiction

Research on the prolonged use of meth reveals that it causes significant changes to areas of the brain that regulate emotion and memory. Its long-term use is associated with impairments to memory, verbal learning, coordination, motor speed, and problem-solving ability. Other significant long-term effects of meth abuse can include the following:

  • Increased tolerance, making the user need stronger and more frequent doses to achieve the desired effects
  • Increased risk of accidental overdose or death
  • Anhedonia (the inability of the brain to feel pleasure)
  • Dangerously high blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack
  • Psychosis resulting in hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
  • Vision loss
  • Mood disturbances, including unpredictable violence

Malnutrition is also typical and contributes to overall poor health. For individuals who complete meth addiction detox and treatment, the effects of meth addiction can begin to reverse after a year or so of sobriety. Unfortunately, for some, the changes within the brain are permanent.

Turn to Northpoint Seattle for Meth Addiction Treatment

The physical, psychological, social, and emotional effects of meth addiction can have significant lasting consequences for those who do not seek treatment. Meth addiction treatment Northpoint Seattle offers comprehensive treatment to help you safely detox, find physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, and learn how to prevent relapse. We rely on evidence-based and holistic approaches, including:

Our goal is to provide you with the tools you need to live a healthy, productive, and fulfilling life of recovery. Contact us at 888.483.6031 to begin your recovery today.