Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly addictive substance that changes how the brain functions. If you or someone you care about is using meth, you may already have noticed changes in their personality and behavior. You may wonder, “Is meth deadly?” In addition to those short-term effects, meth causes long-term health risks that can lead to death. Fortunately, Northpoint Omaha offers effective meth addiction treatment in Nebraska. Call us today for more information at 402.685.9404.
What Is Meth?
Methamphetamine was developed from amphetamine early in the 20th century. It was originally used as an ingredient in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants to help ease breathing problems.
However, with methamphetamine, a greater amount of stimulant is absorbed into the brain than with amphetamine. This makes meth a more potent and dangerous drug with a greater potential to harm the central nervous system.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classified methamphetamine as a Schedule II stimulant, which means it is legal only with a non-refillable prescription. It may be prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA) and weight loss.
Meth is ingested by swallowing pills, snorting, smoking, or injecting. Crystal meth is similar to methamphetamine and is equally dangerous to the central nervous system. However, there are no medical uses for crystal meth. It is always illegal and only manufactured synthetically.
How Is Meth Dangerous to Your Health?
The dangers of meth misuse are both short-term and long-term. Some people believe casual experimentation with meth is safe as long as they don’t become addicted. After all, what is meth going to do with only one dose? The truth is that short-term health effects can begin immediately. They include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Faster breathing
- Rapid or irregular heart rhythms
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep
- Erratic, violent, or aggressive behavior
The long-term risks associated with chronic meth use are serious and can be severe. They include:
- High blood pressure – Can lead to stroke, heart attack, and death
- Damage to liver, kidneys, and lungs
- Paranoia, delusions, hallucinations
- Mood disturbances and psychosis
- Intense itching – May cause skin sores
- Premature osteoporosis
- Dental problems
Long-term effects can cause long-lasting damage that continues or even worsens after a person stops taking the drug. Some risks, like brain and heart damage, can be permanent.
Four More Dangers of Meth
Is meth dangerous? It is dangerous in many different ways. Having a meth use disorder puts your life and personal freedom at risk. In addition to short- and long-term health consequences, there are other serious dangers that you may not have realized.
Meth overdoses are not at epidemic proportions like opioid overdoses, but they are common. The CDC estimates there are approximately 10,000 deaths each year from meth overdoses.
2. Cutting Agents
Most meth is produced illegally and may be cut with dangerous ingredients. Some of the catalysts used to manufacture meth include acetone, household ammonia, lithium, red phosphorous (a pesticide), fentanyl, and sodium hydroxide, which is the main ingredient in lye.
3. Drug Interactions
People taking other prescription medications risk dangerous interactions if they use methamphetamines. Some of the most commonly documented interactions occur with:
If you are taking illegal methamphetamine, speak with your doctor before starting any other medications.
4. Legal Consequences
Is meth deadly? Absolutely. Protecting your health should be your number-one concern. However, possessing or selling meth can result in a long prison term. In addition, because meth can affect brain function and lead to violent behavior, people with meth use disorders are almost twice as likely to commit violent crimes as other drug users, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Find Help for Meth Use Disorder at Northpoint Omaha
If you or someone you love is struggling with meth addiction, it’s time to stop wondering if meth is dangerous and start getting life-saving treatment. Northpoint Omaha offers a caring, comprehensive addiction treatment program that can help you regain your health and end the cycle of addiction. Call us today at 402.685.9404 to get started.