Bad and Broken: The Long Term Effects of Meth Use
At first, meth seems like crystallised fun, a good time to be injected and smoked on the weekend, passed around the table before heading out. The first inhalation hits and the rush begins to engulf your body, your senses, even the crannies of your mind; it’s intense, happiness unbound, easily accessible and best of all, you can take on the world without leaving your chair. You are electricity. Meth has entered the social lexicon, occupying news reports, radio blasts, countless webpages and prime-time spots, inspiring the gritty anti-heroic figure of Walter White in Breaking Bad. Before you misrepresent this presence as positive and cast Mr White as an aspirational figure, take a look at some of the long term effects of meth use. Be warned, it’s not pretty.
Anybody who uses ice (another name for meth) regularly and insists they can give up anytime they want to, is in for rude surprise when reality finally strikes. Meth is composed of a highly addictive form of amphetamine, drawing people into its clutches after a short time has passed – by the time the romance or veneer of street cred has worn off, the user is completely hooked, building the beginnings of a tolerance that will demand increased doses for the same effect. Your life will become centred around scoring, the where, when, how and how much, and everything else that once meant something is no longer a passing thought.
We all like to look our best, and while the fat chomping elements of meth may attract some to its transparent crystals, there are a host of health problems (including mangled, rotten teeth) to change your mind. Since the laundry list is extensive, let’s just have a look at the bullet points.
The “Small” Stuff
• Nosebleeds, sinus irritations and infections.
• Weakened immune system.
• Oral hygiene (tooth and gum rot).
The Big Stuff
• Sinus damage and tissue breakdown
• Injecting and sharing needles leads to Hep C, Hep B, HIV, blood poisoning and skin sores.
• Blocked blood or inflamed vessels
• Organ damage (including liver, heart and kidneys).
• Cells lose the ability to regenerate and thus heal the body.
Emotional and Psychological Complications
No drug is without its emotional snap-back. While some aren’t as bad as others, meth users often fall into the prison of aggressive psychosis if they are unable to give up their lifestyle. Although it delivers the dopamine motherload, the feeling is fleeting and the downward spiral at the end of trip is sharp, brutal and long-lasting, until next time that is. A meth user is at the complete mercy of his or her poison. The shackles aren’t simply shaken off in the event a brave soul finds salvation and support on a site like non12step-rehab.com; meth leaves a lasting mark on its victims, altering their brain chemistry until they can no longer feel any pleasure at all. What began as an insane dopamine trip ends in black hole of negativity and loneliness.
Meth might look cool, accessible and virtually harmless, but you will quickly lose control. Overdose can happen to anyone at any time, whether it be your first hit or your six hundred and seventy-eighth, you never know when your life will blink out. Meth, it’s just not worth it.