The Physical Symptoms of Methamphetamine Abuse
Methamphetamine, or meth, as it is more commonly known, is one of the most addictive drugs that are susceptible to abuse. A controlled substance, meth is legal for doctors to prescribe for certain patients. It is only occasionally used to treat obesity and sleeping disorders. Because it is so addictive and can cause so many side effects and adverse physical symptoms, meth is not often prescribed. People wanting to get high use it in an illicit manner much more often. Once hooked on meth, the physical symptoms caused by the drug can be devastating and have long-lasting consequences.
Among the physical signs of meth use in women and men both, one of the most obvious and disturbing is what is referred to as meth mouth. The term refers to the tooth decay, sometimes severe, that plagues abusers of meth. Meth mouth includes rotting and lost teeth, cracks in teeth, and erosion of enamel. Exactly how meth causes these problems is not known, but it is likely a combination of teeth grinding, poor nutrition, dry mouth, and other symptoms that accompany meth use.
Meth mouth treatment is difficult if the abuser is still using drugs. Treatment requires that the patient follow a regimen of good nutrition, better oral hygiene, and that he follow through with a series of dental treatments to remove and repair teeth. The treatments can be painful and expensive.
Facial Sores and Acne
Meth causes blood vessels to constrict, which means that regular users suffer damage to tissue from lack of blood flow. The result is that the body can’t heal itself very well and sores and acne are common on the skin, most visibly on the face. Facial sores also appear on many meth users because they hallucinate and think bugs are crawling on their skin. They pick at their skin as a result and get sores that don’t heal quickly.
Meth has the effect of increasing a person’s energy, suppressing appetite and stimulating the metabolism. This is why meth may be prescribed, in extreme cases, for people with obesity. For those abusing meth, the result is extreme and unplanned weight loss. Meth addicts often aren’t hungry and with their revved up metabolisms, they can lose weight very quickly. The result is an unnatural and unhealthy thinness.
In addition to all of these physical signs of abusing this most addicting drug, there are other effects on the body. Meth use causes the heart rate to go up, as well as blood pressure and body temperature. It can cause liver damage, convulsions and stroke. Ultimately, meth use can be fatal. If you see any of the signs of meth use in someone you know, and you suspect they are abusing this drug, take a stand now and intervene or encourage them to get help before it’s too late.