The Effects Of Meth Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms
Poor man's cocaine, Ice, stove-top, crank and trash are various street names for one of the most addictive substances - Methamphetamine. It contains pseudoephedrine, which is a decongestant. It also possesses highly toxic and inflammable elements like acetone, hydrochloric acid, toluene, lithium, and red phosphorus.
Apart from being available as a whitish / yellowish powder, it is also found as crystals and tablets. No matter how it is introduced into the body - smoked, snorted or injected, meth addiction causes tremendous physical and psychological damage to the user.
Effects of meth on the body and brain
This synthetic drug stimulates the central nervous system. Meth augments the levels of the neurotransmitter called dopamine that excites the brain cells. It leads to changes in mood and movements of the persons suffering from meth addiction.
Immediate effects of meth
- If the addict smokes or injects the drug, he feels an immensely pleasurable rush. However, if the drug is snorted, the user does not feel any rush. Rather, he experiences extreme happiness or euphoria.
- The Even small dose of this drug can cause higher wakefulness and greater physical activity. The user has high blood pressure. His heartbeat is faster and irregular. The overdose of this drug can lead to a collapse of the cardiovascular system. Meth also damages the blood vessels in the brain, which causes strokes.
- The user suffers from extended insomnia and anxiety. He becomes irritable and aggressive. He may be paranoid and may appear confused.
- Reduced appetite and hyperthermia are other short-term effects of meth addiction.
Long-term effects of meth
The initial pleasurable feeling that meth induces is what forces the user to seek it again. The prolonged use of this drug causes life-altering effects on the user.
- The user shows psychotic and violent behavior. Worsening of mood, paranoia and delusions are common. Auditory hallucinations add to his distress. He frequently contemplates suicide or homicide.
- The heavily damaged tooth is another long-term effect of meth addiction. The teeth of the addict turn black and brittle. This condition is called meth mouth. Tooth extraction is the only remedy available for them as tooth decay cannot be stopped. The associated factors that promote deterioration of the oral condition are poor hygiene, habit of grinding teeth and cravings for sugary beverages.
- Since meth damages the blood vessels, the blood flow to the brain is dramatically reduced. There is an alarming increase in free radicals and damage occurs in nerve endings. It causes changes in the chemicals in the brain. The brain cells of the user die.
- The extreme damage to the brain produces effects similar to that of the conditions like epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and stroke. The meth addiction leads to severe movement disorders. His thinking and memory are impaired.
- The meth addicts are prone to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. Meth users often indulge in unsafe sexual practices and expose themselves to STDs. The drug results in the uncontrollable sexual desire and reduced inhibitions. Sometimes the user offers sexual favors for getting hold of meth.
- Women meth addicts run pregnancy risks. Meth affects the development of the fetus severely. The children have withdrawal symptoms when they are born. 49% of the children, who are exposed to the meth during their in-utero stage, are born with abnormalities like cleft lip and abnormal heart. The risks of being born premature and dying are very probable.
- The meth addiction results in altering of the addict's appearance. Extreme anorexia naturally occurs in him. Drastic weight loss and loss of teeth due to tooth decay make the user look prematurely old.
- Moreover, the self-destructive habits like poor hygiene, lack of personal grooming and malnutrition further add to the worsening of his looks.
The overdose of meth is highly dangerous because it does not provide immediate indications. The abuser realizes about the fatal dose not before it is too late. Under most circumstances, the user cannot be saved. The deterioration of the user's condition happens too fast. Death occurs suddenly in the form of stroke.
The symptoms of overdose are evident as heavy sweating, dilated pupils, faster heart rate and increased breathing. The abuser runs high temperature. His kidneys fail and his cardiovascular system collapses.
Withdrawal symptoms in meth user
When the meth addict stops taking the drug, he experiences several withdrawal symptoms. Apart from the persistent cravings for meth, he is depressed and fearful. Irritability is highly conspicuous. The user's energy levels dip.
Besides the psychosomatic symptoms, the user also demonstrates physical symptoms. Tremors, palpitations, and nausea are common. He experiences hyperventilation and enhanced appetite. He sweats a lot.
The user alternates between sleepiness and insomnia.