Meth use has been increasing over the last decade in the United States. Much has been made about the opioid epidemic, and with good reason. However, meth use continues to rise and seems to gain little notice or attention at times.
Often, it is meth use that accompanies the use of fentanyl, heroin, and other opioids. This educational article discusses the truth about the rise in meth use and its long-term effects.
nervous system. It goes by many names: blue, ice, crystal, and, put, Meth. Often, it will take the form of a bitter-tasting, odorless, white powder. According to the NIDA, about 1.6 million people in the U.S. reported using Methamphetamine in 2017. This accounts for about 0.6 of the total population, a level of epidemic proportions.
In the same year, the National Survey of Drug Use and Health claims:
“An estimated 964,000 people aged 12 or older (about 0.4 percent of the population) had a methamphetamine use disorder in 2017—that is, they reported clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home as a result of their drug use.”
Being created from its parent drug, amphetamine, Meth was originally used for colds, coughs, nasal congestion, and bronchial inhalers. Over time, drug dealers found out how to take the pseudoephedrine from these common medicines.
As a result, millions of dollars are made each year by drug smugglers from Methamphetamine. This is due to continual use by users because of the extremely addictive properties. The NIDA says the effects of Meth are similar to amphetamine but delivered in overdrive. Making it easy to get addicted.
With addiction to Methamphetamine on the rise and the DEA helping as much as possible, many wonder what can be done about the problem. Also, many wonder what the long-term consequences of misusing Meth include.
Back to Life: Overcoming Meth and Gambling Addiction
Meth can be found in any state across the country. However, there are areas of the U.S. that are more affected by Meth than others.
There are many different conclusions the DEA has come to regarding the stark difference between meth use in the Midwest and western states in comparison to the eastern states.
One of the reasons has to do with location. Geographically, Mexico sits just south of the areas of the country most affected. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of illegal drugs, including Meth, enter the country.
Despite the U.S. and Mexico working together to stop TCOs from selling Meth over the border, the problem persists. This is because of the simple technique smugglers use to make the drug itself.
With most Methamphetamine being cooked by TCOs in Mexico and their ability to hide it from law enforcement makes it difficult for the DEA to find stable footing.
Not to mention the sale of these drugs to younger people in clubs causes more addiction. Thus, creating demand for more of the drug.
Typically, those who use Meth consistently have an addiction or a Substance Use Disorder (SUD). A meth user with a SUD can be identified if you know what signs to look for.
Overall, noticing these signs in someone who has a Meth SUD could save their life.
Although these signs may indicate a meth addiction or SUD, it is important to remember that these also may be signs of more common problems.
Such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis, skin conditions, or dental issues.
It may not be wise to assume your friend or a family member has a SUD in these cases. However, knowing the signs is better than not knowing.
The long-term effects of Meth can be broken down into three categories: physical, mental, and dental.
There are always noticeable characteristics of Meth abuse that everyone can see. These include:
These come as a result of chronic Methamphetamine abuse. Nevertheless, there are more that may go unnoticed, such as the neurological effects. According to the NIDA
With these cells being too active and attacking neurons, it is understandable how there would also be mental effects.
Overall, many mental effects go along with prolonged meth use and addiction. This is due to the dependence on the drug for normal brain function. Meth rewires your brain to be less efficient when you are not under its influence, thus causing negative effects. The effects include:
Along with these, the speed and accuracy at which your brain operates may also be reduced.
Meth is bad for the human body and brain. The physical and mental effects of long-term abuse are enough to keep anyone from using. Notwithstanding, there are even more undesired effects to consider.
According to HealthyMouth.org, a website created by the American Dental Association, the effect of Methamphetamine on the mouth are:
This creates a big problem for dentists and meth user. The only solution after this is to remove all teeth from the user’s mouth. In a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, “meth mouth” statistics are staggering.
An examination of the mouths of 571 methamphetamine users showed:
As far as these facts go, they are important information to remember. Participating in meth use can ruin your physical, mental, and dental health. If you suffer from meth addiction, is there are way out. The short answer is: Yes. Detox is available at many different treatment centers.
Methamphetamine withdrawal and detoxification are known to be difficult but not impossible. Compared to other addictive substances, it is average in terms of pain. However, this strongly depends on how severe the addiction was. Generally, there is a timeline for Meth detox that includes four different time stages.
Methamphetamine is nothing to be taken lightly. This schedule II drug should only be used in cases of Narcolepsy and ADHD. Furthermore, recreational use of Meth can cause a severe addiction that will ruin health physically and mentally.
If you or a loved one is struggling to conquer a meth addiction, call the number provided. It’s never too late to begin again.
 Psych Central
 Codependency and Addiction Guide
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