What Are the Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamines?

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Anyone who has struggled with methamphetamine or meth addictions can attest to the horrors that come along with it. From staying awake for days at a time and then crashing, to desperately trying to maintain the high. Meth addiction is a cycle that can be extremely difficult to break. The long-term effects of methamphetamines can be extremely hard to live with.

There are a multitude of different things that can occur as a result of methamphetamine use and abuse. But what are the actual long-term effects of methamphetamines? How does addiction to this type of drug impact an individual’s life in the long run? Simply, understanding what meth actually is can assist in creating a realistic picture of how the drug can impact an individual’s life long-term.

What Are Methamphetamines?

The central nervous system, or CNS, is responsible for processing and sending out all different signals to the body. Methamphetamines are a powerful and addictive stimulating substance that impacts the central nervous system. It comes in a couple of different forms including liquid and crystal powder. Methamphetamines were originally created as a nasal decongestant and used in bronchial inhalers.

Methamphetamine has a number of different side effects including high energy levels, decreased appetite, a feeling of euphoria, and an exaggerated sense of well-being in those that abuse it. Methamphetamine is different from amphetamines. Meth is derived from different chemicals and much more of the drug can enter into the brain. Thus, meth has a bigger impact on the functionality of the user. The long-term side effects of methamphetamines occur due to the way in which it enters the brain and harms the central nervous system.

Short-Term Effects of Methamphetamines

While there are long-term effects of methamphetamines that can make daily life more difficult, the short-term effects can also account for decreased productivity in life. Some of the short-term effects of the drug can include things like increased energy levels, decreased need for sleep, or insomnia. Furthermore, decreased appetite can cause extreme weight loss to occur.

Using methamphetamine can cause high levels of anxiety, an increased heart rate, profuse sweater, and a higher body temperature. The short-term effects are detrimental, but what about the long-term effects of methamphetamines? Well, just like all drugs, meth can cause complications in an individual’s life that are lifelong. 

Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamines

Unfortunately, the long-term effects of methamphetamines can be fatal, while other effects can cause ongoing health difficulties. The effects depend on the dose or the presence of other drugs or alcohol. Some of the long-term effects of methamphetamines include:

  • Cardiovascular issues: One of the most important and essential organs in the body is the heart. Methamphetamines have the potential to cause some severe damage to this organ in the long-term. Increases in blood pressure and heart rate can also cause the heart to become overworked. This can cause a strain on the heart. Methamphetamine abuse may also lead to the hardening of the arteries in the heart. This has the potential to cause heart attacks and strokes.
  • Psychiatric conditions: Long-term effects of methamphetamines can cause extreme paranoia. Since this drug affects the CNS, the brain’s processing changes as a result of using the drug. Potentially, someone could go into psychosis. Furthermore, there is a risk for auditory and visual hallucinations and increased, long-term high levels of anxiety. These symptoms may last months or years after the drug is last used. 
  • Poor dental health and premature aging: The long-term effects of meth lead to broken and decayed teeth and decreases in saliva production, which is crucial for protecting teeth from decay. Due to the decrease in saliva, there is an increase in cavity formation. When cavities form, teeth become brittle and are more likely to break. Additionally, drug abuse also leads to premature aging. Methamphetamine abuse is no different. Due to lack of sleep and poor diet, physical health can deteriorate more rapidly than in those who do not use this drug. The long-term effects of methamphetamines can cause someone to look older than they actually are.
  • Chronic disease: Methamphetamines have the potential to suppress the immune system. The immune system is vital in protecting the body from disease. Damage to this system can lead to developing illnesses easier and more often. The long-term effects of methamphetamines also include liver damage, and kidney damage, and research shows there may be a potential link to cancer.

Regardless of these long-term effects of methamphetamines, it is important to remember that recovery is attainable and possible. Addiction is a chronic disease that requires professional treatment from a qualified drug rehab facility. Treatment centers provide the therapeutic help that is needed to recover.

Withdrawal Symptoms from Methamphetamines

Just like any drug addiction, the long-term effects of methamphetamines can lead to uncomfortable and serious withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms include aggression, insomnia, anxiety, severe mood swings, trouble eating, and more. Given these and other symptoms, it is highly recommended to seek out professional assistance and guidance when stopping the use of this drug. Doing this ensures that someone is getting the support they need if they are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.

Recover From Meth Addiction in Cherry Hill, NJ

Methamphetamines are extremely dangerous drugs. Addiction to methamphetamines can lead to life-long and severe side effects. Thankfully, help is available for addiction to methamphetamines. If you or a loved one struggle with this drug, The Healing Center in New Jersey can help. We have a team of professionals to help guide you as you learn to live a life free from addiction to methamphetamines. Contact our admissions team today to learn more.