human bodyMethamphetamine remains one of the worst synthetic drugs on the streets today. A derivative of its parent drug, amphetamine, meth does incredible damage to the mind and body. It has a high probability of abuse – many people become addicted to meth with as little as one use. While the euphoric effects are the reason people use, over time more and more damage is done to the body.

Meth Destroys the Brain

Methamphetamine is another psychoactive drug that reacts with the brain. It causes an intense surge of dopamine to be released into the body. With prolonged use, the dopamine receptors are destroyed, causing the user to feel less positive feelings toward things they used to love. Research suggests that these receptors can be healed over time, but studies also show the cognitive abilities can be permanently damaged by meth use. While the reasons for using meth can vary from user to user, once they take the drug their reasons become similar: they like the way it makes them feel. The high produced from meth can last from six to twelve hours, making it the most prolonged high of any psychoactive drug. With extended use, even methamphetamine cannot bring a user to feel pleasure after the damage it causes.

Physical Damage

Chronic meth users begin to show physical changes. The chemicals in the amphetamine destroy blood vessels and tissues, which the body uses to repair itself. The before and after pictures are all too prevalent on the internet. Where before a person appeared “normal”, their gnarled appearance after a short time of meth use is enough to cause people to cringe. Acne appears on the skin, as well as open sores that don’t seem to heal correctly. The skin loses some of its life and elasticity. Meth abusers appear years older than they really are because of the damage. While under the influence users believe there might be things crawling under their skin. They scratch obsessively to the point of opening sores along their arms, legs, and faces. Meth has been prescribed as a weight loss supplement in the past. It causes a high boost to awareness while suppressing the appetite – an appealing combination for those looking to lose weight fast.

Meth mouth is one of the most common and noticeable physical changes from meth users. The chemicals in methamphetamine – such as anhydrous ammonia and lithium cause corrosion in the mouth. Side effects from the meth high also include teeth grinding, which combined with a lack of attention on personal hygiene can cause serious damage to the mouth. Extended users tend to have blackened, missing, or eroded teeth. The saliva glands are dried up because of meth, leaving the mouth exposed to the acids and bacterias normally fought off in the mouth. Obviously, this is not productive for oral health.

Psychotic Behaviors

Methamphetamine increases the heart rate and causes a boost in energy; many users are seen doing psychotic things. Some have been known to get on their hands and knees cleaning their houses with a toothbrush while under the influence.

Meth causes the user to feel more attractive and find others more attractive as well. While the drug is actually working against the body and making the user less attractive, that does nothing to decrease the user’s heightened sex drive. Users are more likely to engage in sexual activity, and with their tendency to share needles it puts them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.

Meth causes severe physical changes, lack of mental judgement, decreased awareness over time and drug dependence. Ask yourself if meth is worth the temporary high.

Reference:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/