The Long-Term Effects of Crystal Meth
Recovering from crystal meth use can be tougher than other forms of recovery. Crystal meth is one of the strongest drugs that a person can take, and it can have a combination of short and long-term effects. These effects can vary from person to person, but having the right type of help and knowing what to expect can make recovery more manageable. In this article, we discuss the long-term effects of crystal meth.
How Crystal Meth Works
When ingested, crystal meth changes the way the human brain works. More specifically, it can change how someone feels and acts by adjusting brain chemistry. This often leads to a combination of short-term effects and long-term effects when people try to quit. Withdrawal from meth addiction comes from the body trying to readjust to not having meth available. Some of the symptoms take a long time to recover from.
Crystal meth use can cause a wide range of withdrawal symptoms and signs of damage. These symptoms include:
- Trouble regulating emotions
- Poor sleep
- Being hyperactive
- Physical damage to the body
These symptoms can appear in short-term withdrawal when the effects of crystal meth wear off. They also occur in long-term recovery when a person stops taking crystal meth entirely.
Physical Damage to the Body
Crystal meth use can cause long-term and permanent damage to the body. When taking crystal meth, people feel an unnatural boost in energy and decreased ability to stay within their body’s limits. This leads to overusing muscles, damaging them, and taking unnecessary risks that lead to injury. This damage can take a long time to heal. Some of the damage can become permanent if done too often.
Aside from physical damage, using crystal meth can also change the way that your body functions. People who successfully stop taking crystal meth can have a permanently increased heart rate. Similar symptoms include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Damage to blood vessels
- Higher risk of stroke
- Greater risk of developing an irregular heartbeat
- Increased risk of heart attacks
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Lung damage
These effects may not be damaging on their own, but they can be contributing factors to larger health problems. These symptoms often lead to more serious conditions, and cannot be cured with medical interventions.
Crystal meth directly affects the way the brain works. If used long enough, specific changes can become permanent. In general, there can be a decrease in your ability to think and reason. Some people also experience extensive memory loss. Fortunately, the impaired thinking may not be permanent as some people do recover from it. However, it is likely that they have memory loss related to their time with impaired thinking.
The Way You Take Meth Matters
One way that the effects of crystal meth use change is based on how crystal meth is used. There are several ways that crystal meth can be ingested and it makes a difference in which symptoms develop. For example, smoking crystal meth leads to increased damage to the lungs, which leads to difficulty breathing. Injecting crystal meth can lead to increased damage to blood vessels, especially around the injection site.
Behavioral Health Problems
Since crystal meth changes brain function, it can also change how people act. People who stop taking crystal meth have behavioral problems. They tend to be more irritable and quick to anger. Impulse control weakens and people’s actions often lead to unsafe or unacceptable behavior. The loss of friends and close relationships shows that behavioral problems developed. This is why people fighting addiction focus on rebuilding family and friend relationships. Impulse control becomes a big problem since people who use crystal meth begin to lose their ability to manage their emotions effectively and cannot resist their impulses. This often leads to strained social situations and similar outcomes.
Emotional Health and Mental Health Outcomes
People who stop taking crystal meth can also have mental health problems over the long term. People hurt themselves with their actions on crystal meth. The stress of fighting addiction also causes mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, and anger are common issues to deal with. Some people may experience delusions as well, which further contribute to mental health problems. Professional help is needed to overcome these problems. Without the right help, patients can fall into a never-ending circle of negative emotions caused by negative actions. Treatment with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and similar treatment methods can be effective.
Legal and Financial Problems
Using crystal meth can affect a person’s financial well-being as well. Meth is expensive and many people find ways to afford it that cause financial problems. Many people spend all of their money to get meth, including selling assets and things that they need. Others tend to borrow money to pay for drugs. Recovering from these financial problems can take a long time. This is especially true when a person needs to pay for treatment and rebuild their life. Recovering from methamphetamine addiction can be easier when you have the right help. There are programs available to help you get treatment and establish long-term care plans. To learn more about recovering from meth addict