Meth, Hair Loss, and Other Distressing Consequences
Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive and powerful drug that can have devastating and distressing effects on a person’s central nervous system, physical appearance, and even sleep habits.
Taking this drug gives the addict a profound feeling of pleasure, otherwise known as a “high,” that can last up to 12 hours. It is essential to educate yourself about meth and the associated distressing consequences if you, or someone you care about, are addicted to methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine chemical makeup is very similar to a drug used to help with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
First, here are a few common alternate names for methamphetamine that you should know:
If you, or someone you love, suffer from methamphetamine addiction, please call (623) 263-7371 to find addiction recovery treatment. Talk to one of our representatives about what you can do to get the help you need today.
Meth Has Different Looks
Next, if you are concerned for a loved one, then you will need to know what the drug methamphetamine actually looks like.
The drug will often look like tiny fragments of glass. Likewise, they can also look like small blue-white rocks that have a shiny appearance. It is important to realize while knowing what to look for, you should also know the different ways someone can ingest it.
Different Ways People Can Use Meth
When someone starts using meth there are a few different ways they can acquire the substance into their body that you should be familiar with. Some of these ways can include:
- Swallowing a pill
- Injecting the powder: It is often dissolved in water or alcohol to create a liquid base.
Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time to find out how this drug can affect the person who has the addiction. Do you think someone in your life is using meth? Then call us today. Work with one of our specialists to get the help that you need today.
Does Methamphetamine Affect the Brain?
When someone takes methamphetamine it increases the amount of dopamine being released in the brain. Dopamine is a natural chemical that involves the body’s movement, motivation, and the reinforcement of the rewarding areas of the brain. When the drug is taken it gives the brain a high level of dopamine in the reward parts of the brain, making it so the addict wants to keep using the drug to get the same feeling of reward.
Now that you have become more educated about what it means to become addicted to meth, it is time to learn what effects come associated with long term and short term use.
An addict may run into cognitive development problems associated with
Effects When Using Meth
When someone decides to start using meth there are many short terms and long term effects that will occur. It is smart to be aware of all of the known effects that are associated with meth use. This can eventually help you or someone you know who is an addict.
When using meth, the “high” that comes from using the drug starts and ends fairly quickly. As an effect of this, people will often take part in what is called a binge and crash. This is when someone will repeatedly take more drugs to avoid the end of the high. They will then continue this pattern, so they don’t have to experience the crash that follows the binge.
One common way of binging meth is called doing a “run”. A run is when the addict will give up eating and sleeping. Then, they will continuously take the drug every couple of hours for several days. This is in order to maintain as much of the “high” for as long as possible.
It is important to note that all addicts experience the effects of methamphetamine differently. While the effects that are listed are common, not all users will experience them all at the same time. Each person is different, and everybody reacts differently. Do not let someone in your life suffer from the consequences of meth alone. Call us today and we can work together to get the help that you need, and you can help the person you care for.
When taking a drug that acts as a stimulant, such as a methamphetamine or cocaine, there are a lot of similar short-term effects that come along with this type of drug usage. Some of these effects can include:
- A boost of feeling more awake
- An increase in physical activity
- Diminished appetite
- Accelerated breathing
- An accelerated or erratic heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
- A high body temperature
It is important to watch out for these effects that associate someone with short-term methamphetamine use. When it comes to long-term use, the effects can become more severe and have even more distressing consequences.
Those who use meth for a long period of time are at risk for even more consequences than those who only use it for a short period of time. Many of the negative ramifications that come with long-term use are:
- Severe weight loss
- Loss of hair
- Extreme dental issues: commonly called “Meth Mouth”
- Itching or picking of the skin: this can lead to skin sores
- Heightened anxiety
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Uncontrollable behavior
- Developmental issues with brain function and structure
- Paranoia: causing intense and irrational distrust in others
- Hallucinations: Seeing and sensing things that seem real but aren’t actually there
- Higher risk for Parkinson’s
- Risk of contracting HIV or AIDS (along with HEP B and C)
Someone who uses methamphetamine is at a higher risk of obtaining highly infectious diseases, such as HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. A person who uses meth is a higher risk for catching these diseases because of how they are contracted into the body’s system. In order to get HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C there needs to be contact with blood, or other fluids from the body, and these often remain on the drug equipment that people will reuse or share with other addicts.
The use of meth also causes changes in someone’s judgment or decision making. This will lead them to take more risks, such as having sex while not using protection, and this will in turn cause an increase in risk for obtaining these infections.
What can methamphetamine physically do to someone’s body?
The Physical Consequences Associated with Methamphetamine
When someone decides to partake in using meth, the drug will have a toll on their physical appearance in addition to their mental health. For example, severe dental problems, weight loss, skin picking, and hair loss are some of the physical consequences someone can experience. Dive into a few of these consequences and find out how you can help yourself or someone you care about.
Dental Diseases and Oral Hygiene
You can distinguish the teeth of a person who has an addiction to methamphetamine quite easily. This is because the teeth have distinct characteristics that make it more apparent of their use of the drug. Some of these characteristics are teeth that are:
- Falling apart
Once the teeth have hit this stage they are unsavable, and the only solution is to have them removed. There are a few different factors that cause a meth addict’s teeth to get to this phase. The combination of dry mouth, teeth clenching, teeth grinding, long periods of poor oral hygiene, the acidity of methamphetamine, and the high-calorie, carbonated and sugary beverage cravings can all be associated with tooth loss caused by methamphetamine.
The more meth a person consumes, the worse their tooth decay becomes. Most addicts will also experience an increase in cavities, tooth decay, and missing teeth.
Skin Picking and Itching
You may notice that a meth user will obsessively pick and/or itch at their skin. This is a common effect of having an addiction to methamphetamine. Many long-time users experience chronic methamphetamine psychosis, which is the delusion of parasites, or small bugs, crawling all over their body. They will also feel the sensation of being bitten by these bugs. Feeling these bites causes them to itch and pick at their skin, trying to get it to stop.
Meth also causes a person’s blood vessels to become constricted or pinched. Because of this, there is no steady flow of blood throughout the body. This causes blood vessels to be destroyed, tissue to be damaged, and does not allow the body to work on healing itself. Acne, sores, abscesses, and cellulitis are also common effects from skin picking and itching.
The appearance of multiple scratch-like marks on a person’s face or extremities, or the recurrence of skin abscesses, should be a red flag for chronic methamphetamine use.
HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C
The primary way that a methamphetamine addict will contract infectious diseases such as HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C is because they will reuse or share needles, syringes, and other drug-related equipment. When multiple people are sharing and re-using the same equipment the exchange of bodily fluids can cause them to contract a disease.
There are other reasons why someone who has a meth addiction may contract one of these diseases. Often, when using meth, a person will act in more risky sexual behavior. Unprotected sex, in combination with how they use their drug-related equipment, can put someone at higher risk for an infection.
If the person addicted to meth contracts HIV or AIDS, then the need for methamphetamine may increase and worsen. When someone gets HIV or AIDS while using meth it can cause more injury to their nerve cells. Those who don’t use the drug, but still have HIV or AIDS, do not experience the same extremities of effects as those who do use the drug.
Meth Can Lead to Parkinson’s Disease
Defining Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder that affects the nerve cells that are located in the brain over time. Most of the time you will find Parkinson’s in someone who is 60 years of age or older. However, methamphetamine users are put at three times higher risk of contracting this disease because of their compromised immune system.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Tremors that start in the hand or fingers
- Shaking that also often starts in the hand or fingers
- Sluggish movements
- Firm muscles
- Loss of automatic movements: such as blinking or smiling
- Changes in speech patterns
At this time there is no cure for this disease; however, there are medications and surgeries that can help slow down and relieve the symptoms.
The next step is to do what you can to get you, or someone you know, the help that is needed.
We understand that there can be shame and embarrassment when it comes to addiction. Whether you are looking for help for yourself or for someone you love, call our experts today. We will work with you to get you, or your loved one, on a journey to a happier and healthier life.