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Psychological Effects of Meth

person with head in hands in dirty room considering the psychological effects of meth addiction

You may already know that methamphetamine is one of the most health-destroying street drugs available. It damages numerous organs, including the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys. However, you may not be aware of the severe psychological effects of meth addiction. If you or someone you love needs help from a proven meth rehab center, call Woodland Recovery Center at 662.222.2989.

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a synthetic stimulant that can be injected, snorted, smoked, or taken orally. It is classified as a Schedule II stimulant by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Though it is rarely prescribed, it is occasionally used as a short-term treatment for ADHD and weight loss. The potency of prescription methamphetamine is much lower than that of illicit meth and has a lower chance of being misused.

Meth works by rapidly releasing dopamine into the brain’s reward centers. It speeds up the body’s systems, increasing blood pressure as well as respiratory and heart rates to sometimes lethal levels. Long-term health risks associated with meth use include:

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Permanent heart damage
  • Intense itching that can lead to skin infections
  • Severe dental problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Paranoia
  • Violent outbursts

Fatal overdose is also a risk of using methamphetamine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the rate of fatal overdoses involving meth continues to rise.

What Are the Short-Term Psychological Effects of Methamphetamine Addiction?

Meth use can cause a number of different psychological effects that worsen if a person continues to use the drug. There are three main phases during an episode of meth use. The psychological effects differ during each phase.

Phase One: Binging

With continued use, larger and more frequent doses are needed to create the same euphoric effects. This can lead to meth binging. During this phase, a person feels confident and happy and may engage in repetitive or compulsive behaviors.

Phase Two: Tweaking

As the effects of meth begin to wear off, the person goes through a phase known as “tweaking.” Individuals may act out in unexpected, unpredictable ways and experience:

  • Delusions
  • Rage
  • Panic/paranoia
  • Psychosis

During this phase, brain imbalance is at its most severe.

Phase Three: Crashing

Eventually, the drug is completely metabolized and begins to leave the body. Severe depression can occur at this time and may last for many weeks or until the person uses meth again.

What Are the Long-Term Psychological Effects of Methamphetamine Addiction?

Like other drugs, meth use can permanently change brain structure and affect brain health. However, methamphetamine has some of the worst long-term effects of any drug. Even after quitting meth, people can still experience:

  • Impulse control problems
  • Trouble with daily cognitive function
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Uncontrolled anger
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis
  • Inability to concentrate

Some of these effects can be helped with nutritional and pharmaceutical therapies as well as psychotherapy. Whether brain injury can be resolved depends largely on which part of the brain was damaged. If new or remaining cells can compensate for the damage, better outcomes can be expected.

Unfortunately, total repair is not always possible. The longer a person continues to use meth, the higher their risk of causing irreversible damage.

Neurologists can only get a clear idea of the damage and best course of treatment once the individual stops using meth. Improvement in the ability to focus and the normalization of brain receptors can happen in as little as six months after stopping the drug.

Don’t Risk Your Brain Health—Woodland Recovery Center Is Here to Help

The psychological effects of meth addiction are serious and can be permanent. If you are currently struggling with addiction to meth, or you know someone who is, don’t wait any longer to get treatment. Call Woodland Recovery Center now at 662.222.2989 and get on the road to recovery today.