The Dangerous Side Effects of Meth Outweigh Any “Good” Feelings They May Give Addicts…
Every illegal drug is dangerous for the user, but the side effects of meth are particularly ugly. Some side effects, such as sweating, dry mouth, insomnia, agitation, heart palpitations, and irritability are common to most drugs. In addition to the common side effects, meth users also experience behavioral problems and develop the “wounded” face look so prevalent among meth addicts.
How Meth Affects the Addict
Meth addicts can experience a bundle of mental and physical problems including paranoia and psychosis. These problems are most prevalent in those users who have a predisposition to mental illness. When people abuse meth regularly they experience extreme mood swings, are unpredictable, suspicious, angry, and depressed. They have difficulty establishing healthy relationships and interacting socially with other people.
Physical side effects of meth can drastically affect a person’s appearance. Meth dries out the user’s skin completely and causes extreme itching. Addicts believe they have “crystal meth lice” and severe scratching of the face and arms leaves the face looking bloody and wounded. The person will use anything to scratch at the imaginary “meth lice” including sharp objects such as tweezers. This obsession with scratching and digging is called “picking,” and it can lead to serious wounds on the face. Dental issues plague the addict, and side effects of meth include rotting teeth and a collapsed jaw. The gums get dried out and that causes people to grind their teeth. Extreme dental work, possibly including oral surgery, will be necessary to restore the addict’s dental health. Extreme weight loss combined with high energy causes sleep issues for the individual.
Everything suffers in the life of a crystal meth addict. Broken families, ruined relationships, serious health issues, lost jobs, frequent arrests, and time spent in jail are all part of the life of a meth addict.
Meth and Sexual Behavior
One of the side effects of crystal meth is an enhanced sex drive combined with suppressed sexual inhibitions. Sexual promiscuity is one of common side effects of crystal meth. When a user is high and engaging in sex with multiple partners, using protection is seldom important. The addict is often swapping sex for money or drugs and highly vulnerable to contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Judgment is impaired and an individual can be easily persuaded to inject meth. Unprotected sex and shared needles put the addict at risk of several highly infectious diseases, and some have no cure.
Meth Addicts and Pregnancy
The most common reason pregnant women seek drug counseling is the use of meth. There are serious risks involved in a “meth” pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. Many times the pregnant mother abuses alcohol along with meth. The unborn baby faces the risk of serious health problems including birth defects, premature birth, and heart defects. It does not require the mother to use more than a single dose of meth during pregnancy to place her baby at risk of being born with serious health problems. Many of the health problems will be lifelong, including learning disabilities when it reaches school age.
Meth withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks. Brain chemistry has been changed, and an addict using the drug a long time will go through a longer period of withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms take place anytime the user is out of drugs or is trying to stop using. The body can react to this deprivation in a violent manner, and meth withdrawal can be a painful process. The withdrawal symptoms generally begin between twenty-four and forty-eight hours.
Many addicts choose to enter a rehab facility to get help through this difficult procedure. Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, and strong cravings for the drug are all part of meth withdrawal. The drug treatment center will provide counseling on how to live drug-free after withdrawal. Although most of the symptoms subside in a few days, the cravings and emotional problems are ongoing for months and require regular counseling for the individual to remain drug-free.
In the Tampa Bay area, WhiteSands Treatment Center offers rehab services for the crystal meth addict. Detox, followed with counseling has been able to put many individuals back in charge of their lives.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.