Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth or crystal meth, is a white, odorless powder stimulant. The powder itself has a bitter taste, and it dissolves in water or alcohol.
Meth is extremely potent and a much higher level of the actual drug enters into the brain compared to other drugs during each use, increasing the risk of damage to the central nervous system.
After a person uses meth, it creates a feeling of extreme alertness and euphoria. People are often able to stay awake for extended periods without feeling tired. This extreme change in emotion is believed to be a result of a dramatic release of dopamine in the brain. Meth can release up to twelve times the amount of dopamine typically released by sex, food, or other activities that cause a great deal of pleasure. Additionally, meth works as an appetite suppressant so, unfortunately, some people try meth as a method of losing weight.
Some of the most common symptoms of meth abuse are:
- Increased attention and alertness
- Feeling extremely talkative
- Suppressed appetite
- Extreme euphoria
- Increased respiration
- Irregular heartbeat
Warning signs are often exerted by meth addicts as well. These are often present in physical changes that are noticeable by onlookers. These symptoms include:
- Tooth decay – this is commonly referred to as ‘meth mouth’ as the drug causes tooth decay and, in some cases, tooth loss
- Skin crawling – meth addicts often report that they feel like their skin is crawling. This disorder, known as formication, often results in skin picking
- Skin picking – being high on meth causes some individuals to continually pick at their skin. They may feel ‘skin crawling’ that causes them to itch and pick or they may just feel inclined to do so
- Hair loss – the lack of nutrients, coupled with the harmful chemicals ingested, causes hair breakage and hair loss
In addition to short-term symptoms and side effects, users of crystal meth often experience long-term side effects as a result of their drug use. These effects include:
- Addiction, often severe
- Changes in brain structure
- Loss of memory
- Mood disturbances and aggression
- Weight loss
- Paranoia and/or hallucination
- Dental problems, often severe
Individuals who use meth often run the risk of developing respiratory problems, heart failure, and even death. The harmful chemicals ingested during use have a very negative effect on the body and the brain and side effects can last for years even after users stop abusing the substance.
A Meth addiction is extremely serious and extremely difficult to address. At Asana Recovery, we work hard to help individuals suffering from this devastating addiction. We have a specialized detox program that helps rid the substance from users’ systems and an exceptional inpatient program to help them get on the right path. Call us today at (949)438-4504 to see what we can do for you.