What are the Long Term Effects of Injecting Meth?
What happens to people who use crystal meth over the long run?
Few drugs leave you with more disastrous results than injecting meth. The dangerous combinations of chemicals found in methamphetamine wreak havoc on your body. Even after only a short period of time, meth can cause all types of complications.
6 percent of adults ages 26 and older have tried meth at least once in their life. Thankfully, active meth use is much less common. Less than one percent of people report using the drug in the past 30 days, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
What is it about the drug that makes it so dangerous? Why do people continue injecting meth when they know full well what the end results are? Continue reading to find out what happens to people who use meth and how you can get help.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is an illegal street drug classified as a stimulant. It is closely related to amphetamine, the active ingredient in medications like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. Meth, also called crystal meth, is known by a few other slang names such as:
The drug usually comes in crystal form, either as larger chunks of crystals or crushed into a powder. Users take meth a few different ways:
- Swallowing it (when it’s pressed into a pill)
- Smoking it from a pipe (usually called a “pookie”)
- Snorting the crushed powder
- Inserting the drug rectally (also referred to as “boofing”)
- Injecting meth after cooking it down
Effects of Crystal Meth Use
Since meth is a stimulating drug, it speeds up the communication between your brain and your body. This leads to a number of noticeable effects like speaking quickly and twitchy, jerky body movements. It also causes feelings of excitement and euphoria that keep users hooked and unable to stop getting high.
Meth causes other effects such as:
- Boosted confidence
- Increased motivation
- Impacted decision making skills
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
- Dilated (large) pupils
- Little to no appetite
- Increased sex drive
- Difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep
Another side effect of meth use is an extreme focus on seemingly mundane activities for hours at a time. Some people find themselves meticulously cleaning for hours on end, organizing their house, or other odd activities.
Many times people who use methamphetamine end up going on meth binges. Rather than letting the effects of the drug wear off, they continue getting high. This keeps users up for days or sometimes even more than a week at a time. Addicts who prefer injecting meth find themselves locked into a cycle of use.
The lack of sleep, little to no food intake, and impacted decision making skills create a dangerous mix that can lead to serious consequences. Dangerous sexual practices, driving under the influence, or illegal activities are some of the results of these binges.
Injecting Meth: The Dangerous Impacts on Your Health
Heavy methamphetamine use causes people to do some crazy and dangerous things while under the influence. Their sometimes careless decisions not only impact themselves but sometimes they put others in harm’s way as well. The effects of the drug don’t only impact users while they’re high, though.
Serious health complications often occur as a result of crystal meth use, especially when injecting meth. Some of these effects are short-term consequences while others have a more lasting impact.
Short-Term Effects of Meth on Your Health
The short-term impacts of meth often revolve around the impact of limited sleep and poor nutrition. Since the stimulating effects of smoking, snorting, or injecting meth keep users up for long periods of time, they experience consequences from getting little sleep.
They also have a difficult time eating which keeps them from getting the proper nutrients necessary for their health. Irregular eating habits also lead to rapid weight loss. It’s easy to know when someone regularly uses crystal meth as they are noticeably and often dangerously underweight.
Long-Term Effects of Meth on Your Health
Long-term effects of meth use tend to be more severe. One of the inevitable effects of meth use is known as “meth mouth,” an oral hygiene nightmare. The drug dries out your mouth and limits the saliva production that usually keeps acids from eating away at tooth enamel. Users find that their teeth first start to decay and, if not attended to, eventually fall out. These effects aren’t reversible.
People who prefer injecting meth may develop infections at the injection site, especially when using dirty or infected needles. If they do not seek medical attention for these infections, they can turn into abscesses.
Psychosis is one of the worst long-term effects of methamphetamine use. While it tends to dissipate with time, the effects of psychosis are alarming. It occurs when a user detaches from reality and can’t determine what is real and what isn’t. Visual and auditory hallucinations are common giving them a hard time figuring out what is actually going in.
Seeking Help for Crystal Meth Addiction
The effects of smoking, snorting, or injecting meth can sometimes diminish after getting clean. It’s difficult to quit using meth but it’s possible with the help of resources like addiction treatment and rehab. If you want to get clean, facilities like Hawaii Island Recovery give you the tools you need for long-term recovery.
Give us a call today at 877-721-3556 to learn about the programs we offer!