Methamphetamine may be one of the most widely abused man-made stimulants. Going by names such as rock, glass, crystal meth, shards, and ice, it is a very potent and highly addictive drug. They look like small pieces of glass or rather shards and are fully transparent. Meth can either be taken through injections, snorting or smoking. Although they cause a momentary euphoria, in the long term, this stimulant can have very long-term side effects, affecting not only the normal bodily functioning but also the brain. Meth testing has revealed that those who regularly administer methamphetamine are more susceptible to health complications and long-term psychological damages. However, the most dangerous aspect still is the powerful addiction that is developed towards this stimulant, which is like a disease in itself.
Immediate effects of using methamphetamine
- Although methamphetamine gives a strong burst of intense energy, it gradually causes restlessness and even insomnia
- It reduces appetite, thus resulting in weight loss
- Causes hyperthermia
- Causes intense euphoria immediately after administration
- It can also cause delusional brain activities such as confusion and paranoia
- Prolonged use causes aggressiveness and irritability
The general downsides of meth abuse
The main reason for the effectiveness of methamphetamine is because it triggers the brains to rapidly release euphoric chemicals such as dopamine. This can result in increased pleasure and brain activity. However, the downside is that it inhibits the body’s natural ability to release these chemicals. To be able to naturally release dopamine and serotonin, the body takes quite a lot of time to heal itself. If the meth abuse is continued, the body’s ability to recover may even be permanently damaged.
Long term side effects on the brain
The major downside of abusing methamphetamine is that it plays havoc with the central nervous system. Meth testing reveals that the drug tampers with normal cell regeneration processes, thus causing irreversible nerve cell damages in the brain area. This can result in detrimental brain damage and erratic behavior. People who are addicted to meth also have a general tendency to be aggressive and show impulsive behavior. The drug also causes obsessive delusion and paranoia.
Other long term effects of the drug
The number of side effects caused can vary depending on the amount of methamphetamine that has been administered into the body. Some of the physical effects are immediate while others take time and are long lasting. Meth testing shows the following side effects after a long term use.
- Weight loss
This is one of the most immediate and very apparent effects in the aftermath. Depending on the amount of use, weight loss of up to 10 to 100 pounds is usually the standard. The process is very rapid and it can also cause dehydration and malnutrition. All of these result in a very weak immune system, thereby leaving the user very vulnerable and susceptible to diseases, infections and other health conditions.
- Tooth decay
The main reason for this is because methamphetamine is manufactured using harsh chemicals. Meth testing done on the users reveled that blood circulation to the gums were drastically reduced, thus causing various oral problems. In the beginning, teeth turn gray, then black and finally start to decay. This condition is also known as the meth mouth.
Infections usually result from the unsanitary use of injections. Due to decreased immunity, this can finally result in blood-borne illness and severe conditions.