In the United States today there are more than 25 million people abusing methamphetamines or crystal meth, according to the DEA. Surprisingly, of those, nearly 12 million people admitted to using methamphetamines for non-medical reasons throughout their lifetime.
If you are one of these millions of meth users, you may be wondering if abusing methamphetamines can have lifelong adverse effects, even after recovery. The simple answer to that question is yes; there are lasting effects from abusing meth that can persist for a lifetime.
Lasting Effects of Abusing Methamphetamines
Methamphetamine abuse takes a toll on a person’s mind and body in several ways. Some of the most common side effects experienced include:
- memory loss
- changes in brain structure and function
- aggressiveness, violence
- mood disturbances
- psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations
- weight loss
Comparatively, the most noticeable effect of methamphetamine abuse is “meth mouth.” This condition is the result of severe tooth decay after using meth repeatedly. Unfortunately, tooth loss is irreversible. Obviously, this is a side effect of meth that will affect the person for the rest of their life.
Other Lifelong Effects of Meth Abuse
Even after recovery, some of the consequences of meth abuse persist for the remainder of the person’s life. Furthermore, there are damages to the brain that are also long-lasting or permanent. For instance, neuroimaging studies reveal that the functionality of the dopamine area of the brain is affected, resulting in reduced learning ability and reduced motor skills of the person. Some of these changes are partially reversed after stopping meth use. However, other changes remain for years.
Unfortunately, long-term meth abuse can also result in life-threatening complications such as cardiac arrest, stroke, and death.
Seeking Help for Dealing With Lasting Effects of Meth
Of course, after recovery, one of the hardest things for a person to do is to accept the fact that the drug left permanent damages behind. All in all, whether these damages are internal or external, the fact remains that you are a changed person. How do you resume your place in society when you aren’t the same as you were before? Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations that are dedicated to helping recovering addicts reacclimate themselves into their families lives and the community surrounding their home.
In conclusion, here are some of the agencies that you can contact for assistance:
- Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
- Partnership for a Drug-Free America
- National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)
- National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information (NCADI)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Stop Meth Addiction
- Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- National Methamphetamine Training and Assistance Center
If you would like further information about the lasting effects of abusing methamphetamines, please call our toll-free number today. One of our staff will be available to talk with you and help in any way we can.