Meth, otherwise known as methamphetamine, is an extremely addictive stimulant that takes a huge mental and physical toll on its users’ bodies. It is one of the most commonly abused stimulant drugs in the world. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) done in 2017, over 14.7 million people have tried methamphetamine at least one time. Not only does it affect the brain and how it functions, but it can also cause long-term users to experience physical changes to their appearance. Fortunately, there are successful and proven treatment methods for methamphetamine misuse.
If you are struggling with the physical side effects of methamphetamine use and are having difficulty stopping, call us today at (385) 327-7418. We can connect you with a treatment center that can help you take control of your life and feel proud of your appearance.
Meth can have devastating effects. Read below about what someone in your life, or even you, could be suffering through. Do not wait to get help. Call us today, and we can get you started on a healthier path.
Side Effects of Meth Use
There is a multitude of side effects of meth that can be disastrous. Although, the side effects vary depending on how long the individual uses the drug. The majority of the damage caused occurs inside the body. However, the most obvious harm shows through a person’s appearance.
Meth is a very strong stimulant and can have effects even with the smallest dosage. Those who have only been using meth for a short period may experience heart problems, such as a rapid or irregular heart rate and increased blood pressure. In addition, elevated body temperature and convulsions are related to overdose, and if one does not seek treatment as soon as possible, it can result in death. Furthermore, other short-term side effects include increased respiration, decreased appetite, and increased activity.
Those who have been using meth for longer periods can have more serious side effects. For example, these side effects include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Violent or aggressive behaviors
- Mood disturbances
- Lack of thinking and motor skills
Unfortunately, psychotic symptoms can be present for months or even years after an individual has quit using methamphetamine. Additionally, those who inject methamphetamine have a higher chance of contracting HIV and hepatitis B and C. Coming into contact with blood and bodily fluids on drug-related equipment can spread these diseases.
In addition, the use of methamphetamine can cause changes in the brain. For instance, using methamphetamine long-term can change the brain’s dopamine system. Specifically, this is connected to damaged verbal learning and reduced coordination. Also, note that long-term use can cause extreme changes to the parts of the brain related to emotions and memory. For example, a recent study suggests methamphetamine users may have a larger chance of developing Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nerves that affect movement.
Luckily, many of these changes can be reversed after discontinuing drug use for about a year. While many previous studies have concluded that the long-term effects of meth are permanent, it shows more and more that the brain has an amazing ability to recover and heal.
Physical Effects of Meth Use
The most visible effect of meth use is physical ones. Those who are long-term users of meth can experience a variety of uncomfortable physical changes. These changes can affect the skin, mouth, and body.
Changes to the skin are just one of the physical changes that occur. The texture of the skin may become leathery and gray. Acne can show up or worsen. Additionally, an increase in sweating may occur.
Meth can cause intense itching. As a result, compulsive skin picking can occur. Itching and picking can cause sores, ulcers, and scarring. Skin picking can also be a result of a hallucination of bugs crawling underneath the skin. These are sometimes known as “meth bugs.”
How Can I Heal My Skin from Meth Use?
The best step that someone can to heal the skin is to seek addiction treatment. Seeking help will not only prevent the condition of the skin from getting worse, but it will help individuals to be in control of their life. Also, they start a life free from addiction. Furthermore, if the skin is not infected, steps can be taken to heal the wound. Cleaning and protecting the wound with a bandage is the first step. Then, care must be taken to prevent the wound from exposure to picking, scratching, or rubbing. However, if a sore is not healing or an infection occurs, medical attention may be necessary. Most importantly, not using meth is critical in the healing process of the skin.
Also, users may experience severe tooth decay and gum disease. This decay often results in teeth breaking or falling out. It is often known as “Meth Mouth.” These dental problems can be from poor dental hygiene and diet and the chemicals in meth. Likewise, it can also be from teeth grinding and dry mouth. The teeth of those with an addiction to meth look stained, blackened, rotten, and falling apart. In most cases, teeth cannot be saved and end up needing removal altogether. Fortunately, you can restore a smile with damage from methamphetamine use.
How Can I Fix My Teeth from Meth Addiction?
Once again, the first step a person experiencing meth-related dental damage should take to get healthier is finding help for their addiction. Getting treatment improves their life as well as stop further dental damage. After an individual is pursuing recovery, a dentist can help decide how to fix their smile. Luckily, any smile can be restored no matter how much damage the teeth have currently sustain. For instance, there are many options to fix stained or missing teeth, such as veneers, implants, and dentures. Finding a dentist and discussing goals with them will help immensely in restoring confidence in your smile.
Methamphetamine causes a decreased appetite which allows users to go long periods without eating anything. Due to this, significant weight loss can occur in long-term users. Malnutrition cause individuals to look extremely thin and almost skeletal. Unfortunately, the combination of these physical effects may cause users to look much older than they are.
In addition, as individuals increase the use of meth, these physical consequences become more obvious to the user and others. The results can further damage how the meth user feels about themselves. Thankfully, methamphetamine users can halt these physical effects when they decide to discontinue the use of methamphetamine. Those who pursue treatment and recovery from their meth will have the ability to stop these physical issues from getting worse.
Finally, do not let someone you care for suffer the effects themselves. Call us today, and we will help you get them the help they deserve. Let’s start a new journey to a happier and healthier life together.
Self-Esteem and Meth Addiction
For those who have a substance use disorder, low-self esteem may be one of the causes of their addiction. Concurrently, addiction can make low self-esteem worse. Studies have shown that individuals who have lower self-esteem are more likely to develop a substance use disorder. This can be especially true for adolescents and young adults. Also, studies have shown that those who experience the physical effects of meth are self-conscious about their appearance.
Ways to Build Self-Esteem
Building up self-esteem can be a difficult challenge, even when experiencing the physical effects of meth use. Taking control of your thoughts and beliefs will help you change how you feel. Some ways to work on having more confidence and developing self-esteem include:
- Acknowledging the positive aspects of life
- Not comparing yourself to others
- Refraining from dwelling on the past
- Seeking out support
- Treating yourself kindly
Adjusting the way you think is the most important step in changing how you feel about yourself. Try replacing negative or incorrect thoughts about yourself with encouraging and correcting thoughts. Making these changes can present a huge difference.
Some methods that can be used include:
- Avoiding statements with “should” and “must.”
- Using hopeful statements
- Relabeling upsetting thoughts
Finding out what exactly damages your self-esteem and confidence is key to improving self-esteem in the long run.
Fortunately, those who are experiencing confidence loss due to the physical effects of methamphetamine do not have to face it on their own. Treatment is proven to work and is widely available. Treatment will give users the skills and knowledge required to stop abusing methamphetamine and regain control over their life and appearance. Call us today, and our experts can help you determine the right course of treatment for your situation.
How Can I Get Help for Meth Addiction?
If you cannot stop using meth even if you want to, or if the urge to use methamphetamine is too strong to control, you may have an addiction.
Asking for help is the first step to treat an addiction to meth. If possible, discuss your use with a family member or friend that you trust. This can help immensely. Making an appointment with a doctor is a great starting point. A doctor can evaluate your health, answer questions you may have, and refer you to a treatment center.
What Happens in Treatment?
The first step in treatment will be detoxification. This process assists patients in getting all of the drugs out of their system. Your doctor and treatment team will assist you throughout this process. During the detox process, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. For example, these symptoms can include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Decrease in energy
- Cravings for meth
- Lack of motivation
After methamphetamine is no longer in your system, then your treatment team will help you get ready for the next step in your treatment plan.
The main priority of treatment is to help individuals learn how to live a healthy and happy life without methamphetamines. There are many different options for meth addiction treatment. In fact, there are times when more than one treatment method is used at the same time. If you need more information about treatment options for meth addiction, then call us today. Our team of experts will help you start your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Reach Out for Help Today
It is very important not to lose hope before, during, and after treatment. Hope is the belief that challenges and conditions can be overcome. Hope is the basis of recovery. As a matter of fact, recovery is an extremely personal journey that is different for everyone. There may be challenges and setbacks along the way. However, it is important to continue to grow and improve despite the setbacks that may occur. Continuing to pursue recovery will not only improve your appearance but will change your life for the better.
Finally, it is time to change a life for the better. Contact us today, and we can help you or someone you care for the help that they need. Our specialists will help you get the treatment best suited for you and your needs.