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What Are the Common Side Effects of Meth Use?

a person sits on the floor of their bedroom while in the dark and struggling with the side effects of meth use

Contrary to popular belief, people from all walks of life use methamphetamines. Commonly known as meth or “crystal meth” in its most concentrated form, meth is a popular and illegal stimulant drug. Known for increasing sensations of pleasure and causing manic states, people take meth for various reasons. Unfortunately, meth is made with highly toxic chemicals and can negatively affect the body and brain. Meth addiction treatment is the most successful way to stop meth side effects and prevent permanent damage to the brain and vital organs.

If you or someone in your life is struggling with the side effects of meth use, you are not alone. Treatment options are available. The team at A Better State is here to help you and your loved ones at our convenient, holistic outpatient clinic. We provide clients across New England with trauma-informed meth addiction treatment. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about preventing meth side effects.

Short-Term Effects of Meth on the Body and Brain

Meth provides an immediate high. Like other stimulants, it floods the bloodstream with dopamine. The “pleasure-causing chemical” jump-starts every system in the body. This increases heart rate and blood pressure. It can cause someone to become hyper, anxious, and suddenly full of energy without feeling pain. Sometimes this stimulation can lead to cardiac arrest and death.

Some side effects of meth use on the brain and body include:

  • Feeling joyful
  • Hyperfocus
  • Paranoia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Distortion of reality
  • Increased libido
  • Increased alertness
  • Manic behavior
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

These are only some effects of meth use. Side effects of meth can vary based on dosage and ingredients. Because meth is made in home labs, it’s hard to know when the drug is laced with other substances that cause their effects on the brain and body.

Long-Term Effects of Meth on the Brain

Meth can stay in the body for a long time, especially if someone takes it frequently. The longer someone uses meth, the less dopamine their brain will naturally produce. This can increase side effects and decrease a person’s ability to function without meth. Over time, the brain may stop making dopamine altogether. This can cause long-term meth side effects, including:

Physical Decline

People smoke, snort, or inject meth, leading to damaged lung tissue, nasal passages, mouth, tongue, and collapsed veins. Because meth is made from toxic chemicals, it is highly poisonous to the body. Meth sweat causes skin sores and burns. Many also experience sores from picking moles, scabs, and dry skin patches during high or withdrawal.

Changes in Perception

Temporary psychosis, paranoia, and delusions can cause erratic behavior when someone stops meth use cold turkey. A lack of dopamine can cause these effects to worsen, especially among people with co-occurring mental health conditinos like anxiety or depression.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Meth detox begins with a week of withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, symptoms can persist for months or years after someone stops meth use. This is called PAWS or post-acute withdrawal syndrome. PAWS can be dangerous without medical support, often leading to relapse or other drug use.

These are only a few effects of meth on the brain and body. Unfortunately, many people can develop meth addiction and even overdose the first time they use meth. Luckily, meth side effects are preventable. A meth addiction treatment program can help.

Start Meth Addiction Treatment in New Hampshire Today

The effects of meth on the body and brain can be life-changing. If you or someone you love is struggling with meth, don’t quit cold turkey. Meth withdrawal can be too difficult to endure without medical and therapeutic support. Many people use meth as a form of self-soothing for underlying issues like depression, anxiety, or unresolved trauma.

If you or someone you love is struggling with the side effects of meth, we can help. Our trauma-informed clinic focuses on uncovering and treating the root cause of addiction for lasting results. With a range of treatment programs for addiction, depression, anxiety, and PTSD, the team at A Better State is here to help you recover and thrive.

With daytime and evening PHP and IOP opinions, we make meth addiction treatment accessible.

Learn How to Prevent Meth Side Effects from A Better State

Contact us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the side effects of meth use and our meth addiction treatment programs and feel better today.