Destination Hope Blog » The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meth Addiction

The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meth Addiction

Meth addiction is one of the uglier chemical dependencies you’ll run into on the street in terms of the physical toll it takes on the body. We’ve all seen the billboards of the effects of meth addiction. Methamphetamine is highly addictive and it can happen very quickly.

Users report feeling an incredibly intense high and rush of euphoria when ingesting the drug. Additional reported side effects are increased energy, focus, confidence, sexual prowess and feelings of desirability. Just like many other illicit substances, more and more of the drug is required to achieve that same high that was experienced in the beginning, and before you know it, you’ve succumbed to the nasty disease of meth addiction.

Meth is a very versatile drug as it can be dissolved and swallowed, smoked, snorted or injected. The psychological and physical effects of prolonged meth use are equally versatile, quickly damaging the brain, skin, tissue, teeth and mouth as well as countless other organs in the body.

Effects of Meth Addiction on the Brain

Drug abuse almost always becomes habitual simply because the user likes the way the drug makes them feel. Pleasurable, euphoric feelings are produced in our brains by the chemical dopamine. Every single drug that’s abused including alcohol and cigarettes causes excess dopamine to be released from our brain. No other drug on the market causes your brain to produce more dopamine that methamphetamine.

It produces such a windfall of the chemical that over time, excessive meth use actually destroys the part of your brain that creates dopamine, making it impossible for those afflicted with meth addiction to feel pleasure. In addition to the complete destruction of the dopamine receptors in the brain, chronic meth abuse can also lead to psychotic behavior including paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, intense aggression, delusions and hallucinations and even death.

Effects of Meth Addiction on the Physical Appearance

The reason that the billboards scattered across the country with images of meth addicts depicted on them remain so vividly in our minds is because of the astounding impact that methamphetamine has on its user’s outward appearances. Many physical implications of meth addiction include the following:

  • Acne and sores that take an excessive amount of time to heal as a result of the destruction of tissues and blood vessels in the body, rendering it incapable of properly healing itself
  • Pale complexion
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • Strong body odor due to a lack of personal hygiene
  • Skin losing its elasticity and therefore starting to appear to hang off the bone, making the addict appear significantly older than they are
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Discolored, rotten or missing teeth also known as “meth mouth”

Methamphetamine is a terrible drug that in addition to the psychological and physical effects listed above, increased risk factors as a result of meth addiction also include liver damage, stroke, a jump in body temperature which can cause brain damage and death.

Destination Hope is a drug addiction treatment center for men in Florida. If you or a loved one has found yourself with a meth addiction, please call the counselors at Destination Hope today so they can safely help you recover from this self-defeating illness. Call us today and choose to be an example of how one can move on from meth rather than a future billboard of what can happen to you if you never stop.