We already know that methamphetamine is a highly dangerous narcotic, rendering any user in its long-term path into a somewhat deteriorated state physically and mentally. However, not only is meth extremely damaging to the adult brain as it becomes exposed to long-term use of it, but a recent study found that it is actually even more damaging to that of the teen brain. Teenagers are at a far higher risk of brain damage when taking meth as opposed to young or older adults. Using it in the long run will no doubt imbue damage on those who use it.
The study which took South Korean meth users in comparison to South Koreans who did not use the drug revealed some pretty interesting results. First of all, these researchers did MRI brain scans on 51 teens and 54 adults, all of which were chronic meth users. When comparing a teen brain that had been exposed to chronic meth use versus an adult brain that had been exposed to exactly the same chronic meth use, it was shown that the teen meth users had more overall and far-reaching brain damage. The area of the brain which has to do with cognitive ability (the frontal cortex) seemed to have particularly the most glaring damage.
This part of the brain, which is obviously still developing with teens, is actually very important and the damage from abusing meth could be critical. This could explain what is known as “adolescent addiction” which is far higher than regular addiction. Ever wonder why teens who take drugs are at a higher risk of becoming and staying addicted to said drugs? This could partially explain why that is, as the part of the brain which is necessarily involved in the person’s ability to organize thoughts, reason or think clearly and remember things is literally being impinged by whatever drug the person’s taking. And in the case of meth, the damage seems to be significant enough to, ironically, keep the person actively addicted.
What is worse is that, generally, teens use smaller amounts of meth than adults do. This means that it takes a lot less meth to wreak havoc on the brain of a teen than it would with adults. This could mean pretty severe brain damage in, for instance, the case of a teen meth overdose.
Recognizing Meth Abuse
If someone you care about was addicted to meth, would you be able to tell? This question is especially important if we are talking about your teen son or daughter, as susceptibility to drugs like meth is a lot higher in teens and, therefore, addiction’s a bit more likely. There are certain signs and symptoms of meth addiction that are good to keep yourself informed of. The symptoms that indicate someone is withdrawing from meth and also dependent on it are things like anxiety, depression, increased appetite, insomnia, irritability, mental confusion, restlessness, severe cravings, sleeping problems and suicidal intentions. Some other telltale signs are a failure to fulfill major obligations (whether at home, work or school) and a lack of interest in the activities (whether social, occupational or recreational) that they were once active in. What it comes down to is that meth is highly addictive, equally dangerous and it is important to be able to recognize and then do something about this individual’s problem as you can save a lot of heart-ache (and brain damage for that matter) in the future and long run.