Methamphetamine, usually referred to simply as meth, is a serious amphetamine that delivers some equally serious blows to the bodies of users. Although the possession, distribution and use of meth are illegal in the US, use of the drug continues to rise in this country, according to the DEA. Some people blame this increase on Mexican drug cartels while others link it to the easy-to-buy ingredients involved in meth production. Whatever the case may be, this increase in meth use should be taken seriously. Meth is a neurotoxin that wages war on nearly all parts of a user’s body. Here are the five main targets.
1. The Heart
The use of meth can be incredibly damaging for the human heart. Meth use can result in a rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, an irregular heart beat, damage to the blood vessels, inflammation that affects the lining of the heart and stroke.
2. The Brain
Meth can hijack a user’s brain and disrupt normal brain functioning. Using the drug, especially over a long period of time, can cause anxiety, insomnia, disturbances in mood, confusion, molecular and chemical changes in the brain, compromised motor skills, behaviors that are obsessive and repetitive, restlessness, depression, methamphetamine psychosis, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, increased violence, a reduced capacity for verbal learning and emotional and cognitive problems, especially impacting memory.
3. The Skin
Meth use often shows through the skin of a user. Some of the negative impacts meth can have on the skin include acne, flushing and dry skin.
4. The Muscles
Using meth can impair muscle functioning in many ways, including twitching, tremors and increased movement.
5. Other Physical Side Effects
The laundry list of physical side effects of meth use continues with symptoms like dizziness, numbness, increased body temperature, digestive disturbances resulting in constipation and diarrhea, pallor, “meth mouth,” which is an early decay and loss of teeth, regardless of how the user receives doses of meth, and anorexia.
In addition to the ways that meth can negatively impact a user’s body, the substance carries with it many other types of consequences, as well. As a highly addictive drug, tolerance develops with meth and typically increases quickly for those that use regularly. Regular meth users have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and damaged dopamine and serotonin neurons. They also have an increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, especially HIV.
Overdosing on meth can cause many serious conditions, including cerebral hemorrhage, renal failure, pulmonary hypertension and cardiogenic shock, among others.
The consequences of meth use are incredibly severe and some of them can never be reversed. If you’re struggling with an addiction to meth, be an honest advocate for yourself and seek out professional help before it’s too late. Virtually every part of your body can be destroyed through the use of meth. No amount of perceived pleasure or increase in energy is worth the health risks associated with the use of meth.