Understanding the Long-Term Effects of Meth

man with head in hands considering the long-term effects of meth

Meth is a destructive and highly addictive drug. The longer meth is used, the greater the chance of an individual facing the long-term health consequences of meth use. Meth takes a serious toll on both the body and mind. It takes a meth addiction treatment program to help a person learn to make a lasting recovery from meth abuse.

Meth abuse only gets worse over time. If you or a loved one need help to stop meth use, contact Northpoint Ohama at 888.687.8014 today to learn more about our meth treatment programs.

What Is Meth?

Meth, short for methamphetamine, is a synthetic stimulant that is widely used and highly addictive. Many individuals report developing a psychological dependence on meth after just one use. Meth use brings many short and long-term consequences that have a serious negative impact on physical and mental health.

Meth is a crystal that is often ground into white power. It can be taken orally, intravenously, snorted, or smoked. The substance creates an energizing feeling of euphoria. A person who has used meth may appear animated and experience a reduced need for sleep or food.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the short-term effects of meth use include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular heart rate

Meth use can depress awareness of physical sensations, increasing the risk of overdose on other substances used simultaneously.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth Use?

Over time, regular meth use results in increased tolerance, meaning a person has to use greater amounts more frequently to feel the same effects.

While many of the other most common illicit drugs are derived from plants, meth is made exclusively of a blend of chemicals, many of which are highly toxic.

Meth may contain:

  • Acetone
  • Gasoline
  • Paint thinner
  • Battery acid
  • Drain cleaner

The above list includes only a few potential ingredients.

The high toxicity of the materials that go into manufacturing meth naturally leads to significant health issues with long-term use.

Long-Term Physical Effects of Meth

Meth takes a serious toll on the body with extended use. One of the best-known side effects of meth use is how it impacts the skin.

Meth creates open wounds on the skin, commonly called “meth sores.” When these appear on the face, they can be mistaken for severe acne, but they can appear anywhere on the body.

The stimulant effect of meth also takes a toll on the heart. Long-term meth use can lead to an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and weakening of the heart muscle. This can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and many other serious heart conditions.

Additional physical effects include the risk of tooth decay and oral abscess as well as damage to the kidneys, liver, lungs, and brain.

Long-Term Mental Effects of Meth

The long-term effects of meth on mental health can be just as severe as the physical effects. According to NIDA, long-term meth use commonly leads to mental health concerns that include:

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Erratic or violent behavior
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia

Over time, the toll meth takes on the mind can lead to a decline in cognitive function. Individuals may experience confusion and issues with memory, focus, and impulse control.

Get Help for Meth Abuse at Northpoint Omaha

Northpoint Omaha exists to help individuals overcome substance use and get their lives back on track. We are an outpatient substance use treatment facility that offers targeted substance use disorder treatment to patients dealing with meth abuse.

If you or a loved one are struggling to overcome meth use, help is available at Northpoint Omaha. Call us today at 888.687.8014 to learn more about the programs and services at our treatment center.