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Physical Effects of Meth

Person struggling with meth abuse

Methamphetamine is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug that is known for increasing energy and producing feelings of euphoria. While the immediate effects may bring some pleasure, even short-term meth abuse can cause a variety of long-lasting and harmful physical effects. Call Northpoint Omaha today at 888.687.8014 to learn more about our meth addiction treatment program.

Health Effects of Meth Abuse

In addition to the risks meth poses to a person’s psychological health, the physical effects can be devastating. Meth use affects virtually every one of the systems within your body, including the brain, the cardiovascular system, and the nervous system.

Much of the damage can be repaired with the proper care, but the longer a person uses meth, the higher the risk of permanently damaging their health.

Some of the unpleasant and potentially dangerous short-term side effects of meth include:

  • Chest pains
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dry mouth

Trying a dangerous drug like meth “just once” can still result in deadly consequences. Death by overdose, heart attack, or stroke is possible with just one dose of meth.

The long-term physical effects of meth include the following:

  • Stroke
  • Reduced motor skills
  • Involuntary twitching
  • Heart attack
  • Nasal damage
  • Respiratory problems
  • Reduced cognitive skills
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Intestinal blockage caused by nerve damage
  • Dangerous levels of weight loss
  • Viral infections
  • Blackened, rotting teeth, and gum disease
  • Skin sores on the face and body that can become infected and lead to cellulitis
  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased risk for hepatitis C and HIV

Some, but not all, of these physical effects of meth can be improved with treatment. The first step is to participate in addiction treatment. Nutritional therapy and other medical interventions will be needed to help a person with meth use disorder improve their physical health.

Signs of Meth Addiction

If you or someone you know is using methamphetamines, getting help as soon as possible is key to a full recovery. Unfortunately, the person who is using substances often doesn’t realize they have a problem until symptoms become severe.

Because meth has a high potential for addiction, the status can change from abuse to addiction quickly.

Some of the physical signs associated with meth use include:

  • Facial acne or sores on the face and arms
  • Excessive itching and scratching
  • Involuntary twitching and jerking motions
  • A drooping look to the facial skin
  • Poor dental hygiene, complaints of toothaches
  • Increased sexual libido
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Talking fast

Meth use also causes psychosis in some people. Delusions, paranoia, aggression, and confusion in a person with no history of mental health disorders may be warning signs of meth addiction.

Seeing meth paraphernalia is another telltale sign of addiction. Paraphernalia for smoking or injecting meth includes an unusual array of items, such as:

  • Strips of aluminum foil
  • Short pieces of drinking straws
  • Gutted light bulbs
  • Hollowed-out pens
  • Glass tubes
  • Torch lighters
  • Syringes
  • Armbands
  • Bent or burnt spoons

Recovery from meth addiction is possible, even in severe cases. Programs specializing in methamphetamine use disorder provide the medical and psychiatric care necessary for recovery.

Treatment begins with medically supervised detox to ensure the health and safety of the patient. Other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral, group, and family therapy, are included to help patients address their addiction on every level.

Find Treatment for Meth Abuse at Northpoint Omaha

Northpoint Omaha offers programming specifically for people struggling with meth addiction. Our meth rehab program addresses the physical and psychological effects of meth and gives patients the tools they need for long-term recovery. Contact Northpoint Omaha at 888.687.8014 for more information on our programs.