Meth is one of the most heavily trafficked drugs into the US, according to The New York Times and is still an addiction problem. Highly addictive, cheap, and potent, this synthetic drug causes many long term effects which require treatment and recovery to heal.
Impaired cognitive functioning
Meth is a central nervous system stimulant, meaning it quickly reaches the brain and strongly impacts it. Drugs like meth affect many areas of the brain and damage them. The prefrontal cortex, which houses our cognition and our cognitive functions, is one of the areas most severely impacted by meth addiction. Our cognition is the operation center for all of the things which makes us human and defines our behavior. Everything from our motor functions like walking and talking to our judgments, perceptions and more live in our cognition. When our cognitive capabilities are damaged due to meth, it can take time to repair and heal the prefrontal cortex. As a result, some cognitive damages can be long term. Severe meth addiction can result in permanent damage to motor functions like speech or muscular coordination.
The stimulant nature of meth is so intense that it causes the brain to speed up beyond its own ability to process. Sensory input channels are blasted wide open allowing an influx of information into the brain. In addition to all of the chemical responses happening in the brain as a result of meth, the brain reacts in peculiar ways like hallucinations and paranoia. Recovering meth addicts often share stories of their frightening delusions, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, and paranoia. Meth can cause an individual to enter a permanent state of psychosis if they suffer a mental break. However, miracles do happen in treatment for meth addiction. People are able to recover in remarkable ways, getting all of their mental abilities back in healthy function.
“Meth mouth” is one of the most common long term damages caused by meth addiction. Users who choose to smoke crystal meth are regularly inhaling a concoction of chemicals which greatly reduce the quality of their mouth health. Meth blasts through enamel and gum lining, creating rotted teeth and gingivitis. Addiction in general can pull attention away from the need to maintain dental hygiene. Staying awake in a blackout for potentially weeks at a time, a side effect of meth, can also result in neglecting dental practices.
Users who inject meth intravenously can damage their veins, get infections, and cause a great deal of damage to their physical health. Many intravenous users have permanent scars and bruises on their bodies from over injecting and turning to veins all over the body.
A meth addiction can sometimes be distinguished by the condition of a suspected user’s skin. Excoriation disorder, known as skin picking disorder, is common with meth addiction. The heightened energy, alertness, and focus created by meth can find a focus in dermatillomania, or picking the skin. Commonly, users who go on a meth ‘binge’ will end up with bloodied, scarred faces, arms, and legs, from spending a number of hours specifically focused on picking their skin. Typically this behavior ends when meth addiction ends. However, it can last and become a new ‘addiction’ in recovery.
The best move to make for recovery from drug abuse is the quickest move by calling and asking for help immediately. Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.