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A young adult struggling with meth addiction sits alone in the dark.

What are the Side Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse?

Methamphetamine was developed from its parent drug, amphetamine, in the 20th century. Its initial use was to relieve nasal congestions and bronchitis. It may also be used as a treatment option for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methamphetamine is also classified as a highly addictive drug. It is now acquired illegally as a stimulant and has adverse effects on the nervous system. 
A continuous intake of methamphetamine causes addiction. According to studies, there is an increase in abuse of this drug in the United States. Methamphetamine abuse causes significant health complications that might be long-lasting. The drug intake can be through- smoking, injections, or orally. There are short-term and long-term side effects associated with methamphetamine abuse.

Short-term Side Effects

  • Weight Loss: Methamphetamine can also be used as a weight-loss treatment option. However, this prescription is rarely given by a health provider. By overusing, it can cause extreme weight loss, which is unhealthy. The drug reduces the need to eat. Therefore, abusers might go for a long while without a proper meal. It, in the end, causes a drastic loss of weight.
  • Hyperactivity: When methamphetamine is overused, the abuser feels a sense of more energy. It, hence, causes them to do more activities than the body can handle. It, in turn, causes the body to break down.
  • Heart Problems: When the potent drug is taken for a long time, it might cause irreparable damages to the heart. The heart problems that abusers get as a result of methamphetamine include heart failure and an irregular heartbeat. Records state that a lot of people abusing this drug seek treatment because of heart-related issues.
  • Attack of Gums and Teeth: This highly addictive drug causes intense teeth and mouth problems. Due to this, the abuser might experience gum diseases and tooth decay. The damage to the teeth and gums is severe as it can be impossible to stop the cracks. Therefore, this can lead to massive teeth removal.

Long-term Side Effects

After using methamphetamine for a while, the pleasure aspect reduces. It, hence, causes the abusers to take more drugs to achieve the same feeling they had before. This causes intense side effects that can last a long time. Here are long-term side effects as a result of methamphetamine abuse.

  • Addiction: Once an abuser is used to methamphetamine, it is difficult for them to withdraw from it. Even when they know the side effects caused by the drug, they cannot stop using it.
  • Mental Disorders: Depression is one of the most prevalent mental issues that methamphetamine abusers have. It results from the reduction of dopamine levels in the brain, which causes their sense of pleasure to go down. The abusers, therefore, cannot experience joy.
  • Kidney Damage: When individuals indulge in methamphetamine too much, they tend to forget their body needs for survival, such as food and water. When the body does not have enough water, it will decrease the blood flow, which causes low blood circulation to the kidney. The drug is known to cause muscle breakdown, which causes the release of toxic substances to the kidney. When this organ is not performing its function, the operation of the whole body is affected.
  • Lung Failure: This primarily affects individuals who take methamphetamine through smoking. Since the lungs are affected, the drug abuser might experience pulmonary edema. This causes them to have difficulty in breathing and produce a wheezing sound. When there is a lack of enough oxygen in the body, the result can be death. Abusing methamphetamine can also cause bleeding in the pulmonary vessels, and an individual can get other respiratory diseases.
  • Financial and Legal Problems: Once an individual is used to methamphetamine, they cannot retain excellent financial health. This might, therefore, cause them to use a lot of money in purchasing the drug. Due to some side effects explained, such as addiction, it might be challenging to maintain a job or perform it adequately. As a result, an abuser might lose their source of income and experience a hard time getting another.

Since it is necessary to have money to purchase the addictive drug, an individual might indulge in unlawful activities. The use of methamphetamine is illegal. Hence, when caught with them, the abusers can be charged and end up in jail.

Methamphetamine abuse has a massive impact on how an abuser leads their life. Since the side effects affect the health and physical aspect, it is impossible to make significant strides. However, by seeking the appropriate medication and going to inpatient rehabilitation, getting off the toxic drug is possible. It is important to note that some side effects as a result of the drug are irreversible.

fall seasons woman walking

Do the Seasons Affect Addiction?

Seasons may have a role in substance use patterns. Anecdotally, many people who have addiction issues will tell you winter is hard for them. They may have used drugs a lot more often during the winter season or holidays. Is this only in your head, or is there a science behind it?

Seasonal Affective Disorder’s Role

In the darker months, we’re less likely to be upbeat and cheerful. For one thing, humans get a lot less sun than we used to. Studies show that a lack of Vitamin D can lead to depression. And in the winter, everyone needs a little more Vitamin D.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also affects as many as 4-6% of the population, according to American Family Physician.  These people experience a “winter depression” almost like clockwork every year when we begin to have less daylight. Their depression subsides when the spring season begins and should be resolved entirely after Daylight Savings Time. Some people who experience SAD also have other mental health disorders. The depression may not go away for them but may lessen during the darker seasons.

Recognizing Depression

People who are depressed may have the following symptoms:

  • Using substances like drugs or alcohol to numb your feelings.
  • Less interest in going out, spending time with others.
  • Just wanting to “be alone.”
  • May take less care about their appearance or neglect their health.
  • Fatigue, or a change in sleep patterns. (Insomnia or sleeping a lot.)
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless.
  • Not talking a lot, being quick to tears when talking.
  • Isolating and not returning phone calls or texts.
  • Eating much more or less than usual.

If you or somebody you know experiences depression during the winter seasons, there’s help available. Many people in sobriety stay sober and strong by treating their mental health and physical health.

People in sobriety often get depressed during the holidays, too. It’s normal to have a feeling of sadness or loss around the holidays. This is especially true for anyone who is newly sober. Many people describe feelings regret or shame during the holidays. Your feelings may be very raw when you’re first sober, but they will pass.

Speaking with a therapist, getting more exercise, and even sitting in front of a sun lamp every morning can help you treat SAD. However, if these methods don’t work, you should ask a medical professional for help.

Getting Help

If you or somebody you know has an alcohol or drug problem, help is available. If you’re coping with a mental health disorder, we’re here to help with that too. Taking care of your body, mind, and spirit is part of the journey of recovery. Give us a call to learn about how we can help at 855-631-2548.

dual diagnosis

Understanding Attachment Issues and Disorders

Many people who are recovering from addiction have unresolved issues such as trauma or mental health disorders. One of these types of disorders, called attachment disorder, is used to describe people who have difficulty connecting with others and forming friendships and relationships with them. For most people, an attachment disorder develops as a baby or child, when they had trouble connecting with their mother, father, or other caregivers for a variety of reasons.

Attachment disorders are a genuine problem that can affect people throughout their life, causing them problems in their daily lives because of the dysfunctional relationships that they can cause.

Many people who have a problem with addiction or other mental health disorders have attachment issues. Finding a way to have healthier relationships helps people begin to heal from them.

What Causes an Attachment Disorder?

Just like some other mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress, an attachment disorder can often stem way back to childhood. Some people who experience it may have experienced neglect or abuse, but this is not always the case.

An attachment disorder may form for other reasons, such as trauma or environmental issues. For example, a child with a single parent may have to work long hours and have little time to spend with them daily.

Why Do People Develop Attachment Issues?

Children from birth to adulthood, are dependent on their guardians to help provide for them. Babies will cry or hold on tight to their parents when they’re scared or in need of attention. They will cry when they need a diaper change or are hungry. If the parent or caregivers don’t react to a baby or meet their emotional needs, there may be trouble with forming attachments. These issues can continue throughout life.

Eventually, these behaviors can translate to social skills for children, and then later in adults. Some people have trouble growing into new actions as adults because their needs went unmet as children.

Therapy or treatment can help a person begin to heal from attachment problems and form healthier relationships. Everyone deserves to have healthy, fulfilling relationships, but when a person suffers from attachment issues, they may have trouble understanding what that entails.

Many people in recovery from addiction have attachment issues to a certain extent. Addiction is a lonely disease, and many people self-medicate out of loneliness or to numb the pain of their dysfunctional relationships.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love suffers from addiction, you’re not alone. You deserve to take your life back and begin healing from the pain of addiction. We help people from all walks of life begin the journey to recovery. Learn more about our programs and how we can help by calling us at (855) 409-8869.