Meth, or methamphetamine, is a highly addictive drug that is a culprit of widespread substance abuse in the United States. It is commonly sold as a white powder that can be smoked. Another form of the drug, known as crystal meth, can also be smoked.
Effects Of Smoking Meth
Smoking meth allows the drug to enter your bloodstream quickly. It then travels to the central nervous system, where it affects dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine controls mood, cognition, learning, and other important aspects of the body.
Meth is smoked through a glass pipe to increase energy and wakefulness. These effects tend to last a short time before the effects wear off, leading to a “crash.”
Short-Term Risks Of Smoking Meth
Smoking meth can cause immediate side effects such as:
- high blood pressure
- high body temperature
- increased heart rate
- loss of appetite
It is also possible to overdose on meth. Mixing methamphetamine with substances like fentanyl may increase the risk of an overdose. Health reports listed meth as part of thousands of overdose deaths in 2019.
Long-Term Risks Of Smoking Meth
Long-term meth use can put your physical and mental health at risk.
Physical Health Effects
Smoking methamphetamine can put stress on the mouth. “Meth mouth,” a common side effect of long-term meth use, is characterized by significant tooth and gum damage.
Meth can also cause severe weight loss, which can partly be caused by a loss of appetite when using meth. People who use meth repeatedly may go for long periods of time without eating or drinking.
Psychosis & Cognitive Problems
Long-term methamphetamine use is linked to several forms of psychosis, including paranoia and hallucinations.
The long-term effects of meth on dopamine can lead to changes in behavior, coordination, and learning ability. Memory loss, confusion, and sleeping problems have been observed in victims of long-term meth abuse.
Substance Use Disorder
The effects of meth are likely intense and brief. The “rush” caused by meth use can lead to repeated use in a short amount of time, encouraging binges or “runs” of substance abuse that can last for days.
Heavy meth use is seen as addictive behavior and a sign of a substance use disorder. Substance use disorders are serious mental health problems defined by uncontrolled drug use.
Smoking meth can lead to drug addiction, physical dependence, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit, which are often signs of a substance use disorder. In 2020, around 1.5 million U.S. residents had a methamphetamine use disorder.
Treating Amphetamine Addiction
Treatment programs for amphetamine abuse use behavioral therapy to treat patients. This method of addiction treatment helps patients figure out ways to avoid further drug use. Medications and detox methods for meth addiction are still being researched.
Patients who struggle with severe meth abuse may benefit from a referral to a treatment facility. Dedicated treatment centers allow patients to focus on recovery while reducing their exposure to triggers or stressors.
To find out if our amphetamine abuse treatment options are right for you or your loved one, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today.