Businessman with problems and stress in the office

Long Term Effects of Methamphetamines

Methamphetamine has been around since World War II, during which soldiers used the substance to stay alert and improve performance. At the time, the dangers of the drug were not well recognized. However, after many soldiers returned from the war, it was noted how damaged many of them were — not mutilated by bombs, but addicted to methamphetamine. Soon after, the United States government recognized the long-term toxicity of methamphetamine and its high potential for addiction.

Now, the Drug Enforcement Agency classifies methamphetamine as a Schedule II substance, meaning it has legitimate use as a prescription drug only in extremely rare instances and is mainly a high-risk drug of abuse.

Neurological and Psychological Effects of Methamphetamines

Methamphetamine, which is most commonly abused in the form of crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth for short, works by affecting the central nervous system. Like, amphetamine, a similar substance used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it releases enormous amounts of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain responsible for rewarding and reinforcing behavior, which means each time meth is used, users are reinforcing their addiction to the substance.

Effects of Crystal Meths On The Brain

Meth is abused because of the euphoria it engenders. However, the stimulating effects of methamphetamine are a result of an altered balance of chemicals in the brain. It stands to reason that over time, changing the natural balance of chemicals in the brain can lead to some serious issues with mental health. Among the psychological problems meth addicts face are confusion, anxiety, depression, aggression/behavioral problems. They are also at a high risk for psychosis, which can manifest as conditions including paranoia, delusions, or even visual or auditory hallucinations.

Unfortunately, much of the neurological damage that meth inflicts is not necessarily healed after an addict gets sober. Studies by the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that alterations in the way the brain processes dopamine are permanent. Ever years after getting sober, many former meth addicts suffer from impaired motor and verbal ability, as well as difficulties with emotion and memory.

Methamphetamine use also causes structural change in the brain involved in decision-making, making it difficult for meth addicts and recovering meth addicts to recognize useless or counterproductive behavior.

Physical Effects of Methamphetamines

Given enough time, meth can completely change the way an addict looks. Because the substance stymies appetite, meth addicts tend to become emaciated over time. Smoking methamphetamine is also extremely damaging to teeth. As a result, many meth addicts suffer from a severe rotting of the teeth, known as “meth mouth.”

Because meth tends to cause itchiness, addicts who are constantly scratching themselves often develop sores. Left untreated, these sores can become infected and will not only be a cosmetic issue but a serious health risk.

One of meth’s long term effects is, of course, overdose. While the short term results of being stimulated by meth, such as increased body temperature and constricted blood vessels, may seem benign, over time these effects can result in notable organ damage. Meth inflicts serious damage on the heart, brain, lungs, liver, and skin. Overdose occurs when one or more of these organs fail as a result of meth abuse. Some of the more common results of meth abuse are heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory depression.

Injecting the drug can increase the risk of infectious diseases. HIV and Hepatitis B and C are spread through needles. Additionally, because meth impairs decision-making, addicts are more likely to engage in risky and unsafe behavior. Unsafe needle usage and unsafe sexual practices both increase the likelihood that a meth addict will contract an infectious disease. As a result, over the long term, meth addicts are vulnerable not only to the direct effects of drug use, but peripheral health problems that their lifestyle engenders.

The necessity for Comprehensive Treatment

There are no quick fixes for methamphetamine addiction. No medications are available that curb craving or assist addicts in quitting the drug. Current research shows that the most effective solutions for meth addicts are behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

The first course of action, of course, should be to get physical sobriety. It is recommended that meth addicts wanting to quit attend a detox program where they can withdraw from the drug under medical supervision. However, because of the structural changes in the brain that meth causes, the chances of relapse are high. That is why it is recommended that meth addicts attend a recovery program after detox.

Many are available, from rehab to sober living homes. These programs will continue to provide the behavioral modifications that recovering meth addicts need to maintain sobriety over the long haul.

Leave a Comment

Check Out More Posts or View All

Join Our Sober Living Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for news, events, and the best sober living tips.

Sober Living in Los Angeles - Design for Recovery

About Us

Design for Recovery empowers men struggling with addiction by providing 24/7 support, mentorship, and teaches them how to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Chat with us on Facebook

Recent Posts

955 Posts

Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles for Men

Design For Recovery - Sober living homes for men in Los Angeles, CA. Contact us today. We want to know your story and welcome you home.

Getting sober is realizing how much stronger you are mentally AND physically. No more FML mornings, now it's replaced with knowing your purpose and living it every. single. day. Wake up with energy to take on challenges with renewed clarity, focus, determination, and superhuman strength. Living my truth like nothing else matters? Hands down, I'll take that over a hangover any day.

Get in with our sober community of guys supporting each others' hustle and keeping each other accountable. Check out one of our sober living homes for men in Los Angeles. (Link in bio)
What's better than having a grill master in the house? Having 10 of them! Any night of the week you may catch us grillin' and chillin'. We might qualify as the world's worst vegans, but we're a house full of guys! What do you expect? Get your grill on with us at one of our BBQ cookouts at Design for Recovery sober living homes for men in Los Angeles, CA. (Link in bio)
Learning to make on omelette is hard. Learning to make an omelette with all your closest friends is... still hard, but with a lot more laughs! Come break a few eggs with us at Design for Recovery sober living homes for men - where we regularly enjoy cooking meals together. (Impromptu dance battles not required but encouraged) Get in touch with us today! (Link in bio)
While living in a sober home, we continue to grow and learn - each day becoming a little better versions of ourselves than we were yesterday. The men living here become like brothers and many go on to become lifelong friends who continue to support each other for years to come. Experience this exceptional bond at Design for Recovery sober living homes for men in Los Angeles, CA. Check us out! (link in bio)
When it comes to staying sober, why go it alone? We've got a great community of guys here at our sober living homes in Los Angeles. We've got your back - day and night. Definitely worth checking us out! (Link in bio)
Never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. Reach out to someone that might need a lift. 

👉 Reach out to us today to learn more about our sober livings or schedule a tour at : 
📞 +14243274614
#designforrecovery #community #supporting #groupsupport #helping #soberlife #sober #soberhomes #change #sobriety #recovery #soberliving #soberaf #addiction #alcoholfree #sobermovement #recoveryispossible #wedorecover #addictionrecovery #alcoholicsanonymous #onedayatatime #soberlifestyle #sobrietyrocks #sobercurious #sobernation #mentalhealth #cleanandsober #alcoholfreelife
Recovery takes time to heal the heart, strengthen your confidence and find trust in yourself. At the end of your life it will be what you make of it and you get to write the chapters. 

👉 Reach out to us today to learn more about our sober livings or schedule a tour at : 
📞 +14243274614
#designforrecovery #community #supporting #groupsupport #helping #soberlife #sober #soberhomes #change #sobriety #recovery #soberliving #soberaf #addiction #alcoholfree #sobermovement #recoveryispossible #wedorecover #addictionrecovery #alcoholicsanonymous #onedayatatime #soberlifestyle #sobrietyrocks #sobercurious #sobernation #mentalhealth #cleanandsober #alcoholfreelife

Reach out to us today.

Design For Recovery is committed to helping you or your loved one live a fulfilling life free from alcohol and drug addiction. Below you can find out what to expect when you contact us for help.

Call us at (424) 327-4614 or fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you soon.

Send us a message below and we will reach out to you.