According to a new study, people who have used methamphetamine have a highly increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Over 40,000 medical records in Utah were analyzed by researchers. Out of the 40,000 about 5,000 of these were of meth users. These 5,000 were three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Another outcome of this study was that particularly women who used meth were five times more likely to develop the disease than those who did not use drugs. This would mean that specifically women who have used meth have a higher risk of developing the disease than men who used meth.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder and normally begins at age 60 or older (it’s pretty rare to occur at a younger age than this). Less than 10% of people with the disease are linked to genetic abnormalities. This means that the development of Parkinson’s is widely due to environmental factors. The symptoms for this disease includes tremors, rigid muscles, slowed movement, impaired posture and balance, loss of automatic movements and sometimes speech changes. Unfortunately there is no cure for this disease, yet there are medications designed to ease the symptoms.
By taking a closer look into why this association between Parkinson’s disease and methamphetamine occurs, you will see that a reason why this might be is because the drug is a synthetic stimulant that affects the central nervous system made from a hideous combination of toxic ingredients. Meth disrupts the natural production of dopamine in the brain and can therefore result in irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain. The drug will actually cause the brain receptor cells to respond by releasing an enzyme that destroys extra dopamine (much needed extra dopamine) and won’t allow the brain to re-capture lost dopamine. It can also cause involuntary muscle contractions and uncontrollable twitching.
Additionally, meth is a highly addictive and very dangerous drug in many aspects. The drug builds tolerance very fast. The withdrawal is a painful, difficult process and 93% of users in traditional treatment return to abusing the drug. It is the top addictive stimulant on the market and many users find it hard to put down even after just trying it one time. During preparation of the drug and its explosive type chemicals for ingredients, there’s a chance that the meth cook can be left severely burned or disfigured. On top of this, for every one pound of meth production there are five pounds of toxic waste left over which could poison whomever is unfortunately exposed to it. As you can see this is a very hard drug with detrimental long-term effects on the body, Parkinson’s included. Long term use can also lead to other equally unbearable situations such as depression, heart attack, stroke, paranoia and anxiety. The fact that use of the drug has a possibility of leading to developing Parkinson’s disease should be enough to deter anyone from even using it one time, as it has potential to put a serious dent on the health of anyone so inclined.