Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug with a high risk of addiction. In addition to the legal impact of methamphetamine use, it can also have a serious effect on your health. This is especially true when the drug is used for an extended period of time.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains some long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse. These effects highlight the importance of comprehensive drug treatment for people with addiction and misuse issues.
Changes in the brain
Like many other drugs, methamphetamine use affects the pleasure receptors in the brain. Over time, the drug will disrupt brain function and structure. These effects lead to problems with memory, impairment of verbal learning, reduced motor function, and disrupted emotional response. It is believed the changes to the brain make methamphetamine abuse much harder to treat when compared to other drugs.
Methamphetamine use causes users to lose interest in other areas of their life, including basic hygiene. This leads to a range of physical effects of the skin and mouth. Users may obsessively pick at or scratch the skin, which causes sores and lesions to form. Tooth decay and loss are also common with this drug. Dental damage is thought to be a combined effect of lax dental care and obsessive grinding of teeth.
Psychosis is common with methamphetamine use. Along with repetitive, obsessive behaviors, users also experience paranoia and delusions, including hallucination. Users also exhibit aggressive, angry behavior without provocation. Anxiety and mood fluctuations are common with long-term use. During withdrawal, depression is also common.
It is possible to reverse the above effects, even after long-term use. Those with addiction issues must receive the proper treatment and rehabilitation in order to take control of their addiction and their life.