Meth and crystal meth are man-made in clandestine laboratories. Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine and is just one form of the drug methamphetamine. It is a dangerous and potent chemical and, as with all drugs, a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. It is associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and potential heart and brain damage.
A Dangerous Mix
Meth is a powerful substance that attaches to specific receptors in the brain and triggers the release of very powerful chemicals associated with pleasure. People may also feel very alert and awake. Even a single dose can cause the desire to use repeatedly.
Brain receptors are turning off and chemical production decreases. Larger doses of the drug might be required to bring about the same effect.
The damage that meth can do isn’t limited to addiction either, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that meth has also been associated with:
- Decreased verbal skills
- Reduced motor skills
- Memory problems
- Rotting teeth
- Lack of impulse control
- Weight loss
Some of this damage resolves when treatment is acquired and maintained for a year or longer, according to the NIDA. Other issues can be treated with the help of a medical or dental team. But some of the damage associated with meth use is so strong and so persistent that it lingers, even when the person is no longer misusing the substance.
Some of this damage concerns the heart. Meth can cause the heart to beat in a rapid and irregular manner, and the fragile muscle cells that line the heart can buckle and break under the strain. Meth also seems to have the ability to disrupt the electrical signals that power the heart, causing it to stop beating altogether. Some people have heart attacks while under the influence of meth.
People with a meth misuse disorder find it hard to simply stop their behaviors once they’ve started. Any underlying conditions like mental health conditions or eating disorders can also play a destructive role, keeping a person locked into their behavior. Therapy can help, however, as treatment allows people to develop a holistic view of their addictions and their habits.
At Futures Recovery Healthcare, we help people heal from meth addictions. Please call us to find out more about treatment programs and learn how we can help.