How Meth Affects the Body

The Damaging Long Term Effects of Meth

Methamphetamine is highly addictive drug and can be fatal.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the long-term effects of Meth produce functional and molecular changes in the brain as well as psychotic behavior in the form of:

The Damaging Long Term Effects of Meth

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Violent behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Unhealthy weight loss
  • A decrease in motor speed

Although psychotic symptoms can continue to haunt a meth addict long after rehabilitation from meth use, studies have reported improved performance of motor and verbal memory skills after at least 2 years of sobriety. Other regions of the brain however showed no long-term improvement at all.

Heart Disease and Long Term Effects of Meth Use

The long-term effects of meth also heighten the risk of heart failure or having a stroke which can lead to permanent brain damage similar to that of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Meth Project graphically demonstrates the damaging effects continued meth abuse has on the heart. Long-term meth use speeds up the heart creating an arrhythmia or possible heart failure.

As the heart is strained from extended meth abuse, palpation begin as the heart enlarges and becomes weaker, heart rate increases and blood flow decreases which can cause a stroke.

Arrhythmia will cause shortness of breath as the heart beats too slow, then too fast. As it flutters abnormal blood flow can lead to organ failure.

If you survive this and continue to use, next will be sharp chest pains and heavy pressure, resulting in a heart attack or sudden death.

Next Steps

Get educated. Be crystal-clear about the life-long destruction brought on by using methamphetamine. Get help and the sooner the better! Reach out to a family member or friend and to help find a rehabilitation treatment center today.

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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