What if there were a poison that was so potent, so relentlessly powerful, that just one dose of it could potentially lead to disfigurement and the loss of your peace of mind, your family and friends, your money, and even your life? There is. It’s called meth.
Crystal meth, sometimes referred to as ice, crank, chalk, glass, or speed, is a man-made stimulant drug made from pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medicine. But there is nothing common about the effects of the drug.
Meth is Deadly from the First High
Crystal meth’s claim to fame is that it produces a powerful and immediate high. It triggers the production of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain. It acts incredibly rapidly on your central nervous system, giving you a sense of euphoria and increased energy that is highly addictive. Just one dose can be enough to get you hooked and locked into a spiral of abuse and addiction that can cost you everything you have or ever hope to have.
While meth looks deceptively innocent, it is a monster that destroys everything in its path. Just ask Brendan Sant, a recovering meth addict who speaks up about its effects on methproject.org. Brendan states,
“I am warning anybody who is curious about this drug. It is a complete gamble with the devil. You trade in not only your looks, your wealth, and your sense of self, you’ll never be able to live the same way again after trying this poison, the addiction seems to never end, one moment you will find yourself a week sober the next minute trying to buy some crystals and starting the nightmare all over again.“
Short- and Long-Term Effects of Meth Abuse
In the short term, meth produces feelings of intense pleasure or euphoria. Users experience increased alertness and energy, sometimes staying awake for days at a time. Appetite decreases, which leads to the gaunt look associated with meth users.
Other short-term effects include elevated blood pressure, increased body temperature, rapid heartbeat, and convulsions.
Sadly, its long-term effects are even worse. Meth affects your body and your brain, sometimes to the point that complete healing is not possible. According to AddictionResource, long-term physical effects include:
- Drastic weight loss
- Damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys
- Damage to the nasal pathways (especially if the drug is snorted)
- Sores and abscesses that often become infected, leaving disfiguring scars
- Dental decay and tooth loss
- An aged appearance that is the result of poor diet and hygiene, the presence of various medical conditions, and a stressful lifestyle
But meth affects more than just your body; it damages your brain as well. It can cause psychosis, paranoia and anxiety, mood disturbances, and impairment in cognitive function. It can lead to violent behavior, memory loss, and inability to experience pleasure. Like a monster that feeds on your body and brain, meth alters everything about you, and not in a good way.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable clues that a person is a meth addict is the presence of open sores, wounds that just will not heal, across the face, arms, and chest. Meth addicts often develop meth mites, a persistent feeling that bugs are crawling under their skin. This feeling causes meth addicts to scratch and claw compulsively at their own skin to “get rid of the bugs.”
In turn, the scratching and clawing can cause skin infections that remain open, largely because meth addicts’ immune systems have become so compromised by their meth addiction that their bodies are simply unable to heal.
AddictionResource reveals this sad truth about meth abuse and healing:
“Because of the immense damage of meth to the physical body, full healing may not be possible. Treatment for meth requires a physical detox. Once the body is rid of meth, a return to healthy habits is possible and soon after the skin and the body can attempt to heal.”
Is Meth Addiction Recovery Possible?
Despite the sometimes irreparable damage to your body and brain caused by meth, you can still recover. Like battling a monster, you may be scared, but you can still prevail over meth addiction.
In most cases, meth addiction is too strong to battle on your own. It is best to enter a drug rehab program, where you can get the support and the weapons you need to fight against meth. Harris House, based in St. Louis, offers drug rehab services.
At Harris House, you can check into an inpatient rehab program, where you will be able to detox from meth safely with the help of professionals. Once your body is free of the poison of meth, you can begin the healing process by taking advantage of intensive counseling and therapy designed to help you understand the root of your addiction and how best to fight it.
Harris House also offers continuing support in the form of outpatient counseling so that you can continue with the progress you make in drug rehab. Support groups that include counselors and other recovering meth addicts can give you additional strength to defeat the monster of meth once and for all.
We’re Here to Help
If meth has taken hold of you or someone you love, do not hesitate for even one more moment. You cannot afford to wait. It is not too late, but it soon may be. Call us right now to learn about admissions and make the first blow in your battle with meth addiction.