Methamphetamine, known as meth, is a potent stimulant drug that has gained notoriety for its devastating effects on individuals and communities. The effects of methamphetamine extend far beyond a mere physical high, infiltrating the realms of the body, mind, psyche, and emotions.
From its destructive impact on dental health to the upheaval it causes in mental well-being, methamphetamine leaves a trail of wreckage in its wake. Understanding methamphetamine’s influence on the body, mind, psyche, and emotions can help emphasize the importance of seeking help and support for those affected by this particular substance.
Where Does Meth Come From?
Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug chemically produced in illegal laboratories. Meth is made by combining decongestants in cold or allergy medicines, such as pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, with other substances and solvents. Generally, the process works as follows:
- Producers obtain pseudoephedrine or ephedrine from various sources.
- Once obtained, meth producers extract pseudoephedrine or ephedrine from cold and allergy medications by dissolving the tablets or capsules in anhydrous ammonia or denatured alcohol to separate the active ingredient.
- The extracted pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is then subjected to a series of chemical reactions to convert it into methamphetamine.
- After the synthesis, the resulting mixture is purified to remove impurities and unwanted by-products. Once purified, producers continue to process the methamphetamine to form crystals or powder, depending on the desired final product.
What Does Meth Do To Users?
Methamphetamine can affect every aspect of a user’s life. Methamphetamine especially affects the physical body, mind, emotions, and skin.
The Body. Methamphetamine’s effects on the body results in:
- Increased energy and alertness: Methamphetamine stimulates the central nervous system, leading to increased wakefulness, energy levels, and a reduced need for sleep.
- Decreased appetite and weight loss: Methamphetamine suppresses appetite, leading to significant weight loss. This effect can cause malnutrition and other related health issues.
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure: Methamphetamine raises heart rate and blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular problems, including irregular heart rhythms, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Dilated pupils: Methamphetamine causes the pupils to become dilated, resulting in the appearance of large or “blacked-out” eyes.
- Dental problems: Methamphetamine use is associated with severe dental issues, commonly called “meth mouth.” It leads to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss due to dry mouth, teeth grinding, and poor oral hygiene.
The Mind & Psyche. Meth’s effects on the mind can lead to:
- Euphoria and intense pleasure: Methamphetamine releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, resulting in intense euphoria.
- Increased focus and motivation: Methamphetamine enhances concentration, focus, and motivation, making users feel more alert and productive initially.
- Cognitive impairment: Prolonged methamphetamine use can impair cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and decision-making abilities.
- Psychosis: In some cases, chronic methamphetamine use can lead to psychosis, characterized by hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and erratic behavior similar to schizophrenia.
Emotions. Methamphetamine can also affect a user’s emotional well-being. Chronic use of the substance can lead to:
- Intense mood swings: Methamphetamine use can cause extreme shifts in mood, leading to feelings of euphoria, irritability, aggression, anxiety, and depression.
- Emotional instability: Users may experience heightened emotional sensitivity, mood instability, and difficulty regulating emotions.
- Increased risk-taking behavior: Methamphetamine can lower inhibitions and increase impulsivity, leading individuals to engage in risky behaviors they would not consider otherwise.
The Skin. Methamphetamine also has significant effects on the skin, which often include:
- Sores and skin problems: Methamphetamine users may develop skin issues because of intense itching and picking at the skin, resulting in open sores, scabs, and infections.
- Premature aging: Long-term methamphetamine use can accelerate the aging process and result in premature skin aging, such as wrinkles, sagging, and a dull complexion.
Treatment For Methamphetamine Abuse and Addiction
Methamphetamine addiction is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive approach to address the addiction’s physical, psychological, and social aspects. Our treatment programs offer a range of effective interventions tailored to our client’s needs.
The first step often involves medical detoxification, which allows individuals to withdraw from methamphetamine while under medical supervision safely. Following detox, residential treatment provides a structured and supportive environment where individuals can receive intensive therapy, counseling, and education to address underlying issues and develop coping skills.
Outpatient treatment programs offer continued support and flexibility as individuals transition into their daily lives, providing therapy sessions, support groups, and ongoing monitoring.
We Can Help
Here at Bridges Of Hope, we are dedicated to helping individuals break free from addiction and build a foundation for lasting recovery. We do that through drug and alcohol detox and various residential rehab programs that help people safely recover from substance use disorders.
Let us help you or someone you love overcome methamphetamine addiction. Contact us today to speak to one of our recovery experts.