The mental and physical damage that ensues because of a crystal meth addiction is supremely destructive. Having gained notoriety following the popularity of shows such as Breaking Bad and Southern Justice, the true effects of the drug have been gravely misrepresented to gain viewership and sensationalize the manufacturing of the substance.
In reality, crystal meth causes addicts to experience erratic brain functioning and subsequent physical irregularities. This can lead to an array of physical ailments, severe mental health instability, maladaptive social connections and criminogenic behavioral patterns.
Understanding the impact that crystal meth has on your body and why the drug is so addictive can aid in deterring continued use and potentially save you from a life-long addiction to the substance.
Why Is Crystal Meth Addictive?
The very real answer to the question, “Is meth addictive?” is: Extremely.
Crystal meth is a powerful central nervous system stimulant and is classified as an amphetamine.
Meth is a man-made, or synthetic drug that can be snorted, swallowed, injected or smoked. Regardless of the manner in which the drug is consumed, once ingested, crystal meth immediately triggers a huge release of dopamine, causing an intense rush of pleasure and prolonged sense of euphoria.
The drug itself is extremely addictive due to its impact on brain functioning, destroying an addict’s dopamine receptors and forcing an addict to use increasingly larger amounts of meth to achieve the desired high.
This quickly results in a complete loss of natural dopamine production while inflicting long-term damage on an addict’s cognitive ability and reasoning. These damages can manifest in a number of ways, including:
- Psychotic behavior
- Excessive paranoia
- Debilitating anxiety
How Does Crystal Meth Impact Behavior?
In addition to deteriorating cognitive abilities and function, crystal meth addiction can dramatically alter an addict’s adrenaline receptors. This can cause an addict to act erratically and violent without proper cause or reasoning.
An alteration to adrenaline production directly impacts the body’s ability to regulate its “fight or flight” response, inducing constant wakefulness and intensely focused attention, referred to as “tweaking.” This state of being, or tweaking, causes an addict to exhibit obsessive and hyperactive behaviors, forcing them to channel that hyper-focused state into manic expressions of emotionality and even aggressive outbursts.
In addition to these physical ailments, heavy crystal meth addicts can experience the following physical symptomatology:
- Compulsive fidgeting
- Emotional aggression
- Skin apparitions (Feeling as if insects are crawling on one’s skin)
- Irreversible insomnia
- Extreme weight loss
The Visible Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction
Constant crystal meth use causes the destruction of blood vessels and tissue, inhibiting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This results in deteriorating skin quality, excessive acne, sores along the mouth and face and loss of skin elasticity.
In addition, the loss of appetite and poor diet that accompanies crystal meth addiction typically results in constant tooth grinding and dramatic tooth decay, which is also known as “meth mouth.”
Meth mouth is identified by broken, discolored or rotting teeth, which often cannot be saved without extensive dental reconstruction. Various studies have attributed the decay to the corrosive effects of the chemicals found in meth, such as anhydrous ammonia (found in fertilizers), red phosphorus (found on matchboxes) and lithium (found in batteries).
When smoked or snorted, these chemicals can erode the tooth’s protective enamel coating. However, it’s more likely that this degree of tooth decay is brought on by a combination of side effects – including poor hygiene – from a meth high.
Other effects of crystal meth on the body include:
- Lowered resistance to illness
- Hypertension/High blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Extreme rise in body temperature, which can cause brain damage
If you have landed on this article today to gain some clarity as to what your substance of choice is doing to your overall health, you may understandably feel overwhelmed. However intense your addiction, you must know: you can quit your addiction and lead a sober life with the right support.
Life-Changing, Holistic Meth Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
While the physical and mental toll that crystal meth can have on your mind and body is evident,
the ability to overcome addiction is within your reach.
Learning to identify the problematic behavioral patterns associated with meth addiction, including the precipitating factors and negative social influences impacting your behaviors, can prepare you to face the addiction head-on and formulate a plan to defeat this disease.
At Ranch Creek Recovery, your successful recovery and sober re-entry into society is our utmost mission. At our holistic recovery center, our meth treatment program delivers all-encompassing methodologies of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential therapies and preparation to forge the drug free future you desire.
Learn more about our meth addiction treatment program to start your journey toward detox and
Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.