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Effects of Methamphetamine

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Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that produces an array of side effects when it is used. Even in the smallest of doses, methamphetamine can produce a rapid inhibition of appetite, increased energy and euphoria. Taken for a prolonged period of time, repeatedly or excessively, methamphetamine has the ability to produce an array of potentially dangerous side effects that may linger even after the user decides to seek help and quit.

Immediate Effects of Methamphetamine Use

meth effects

Methamphetamine can cause severe paranoia as well as violent behavior.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when methamphetamine is used, the immediate effects can come on very rapidly and may present as:

  • rapid heart beat
  • increased blood pressure
  • hyperthermia (rapid increase in body temperature)
  • irregularities in heart beat or arrhythmia
  • increased energy
  • reduced appetite
  • talkativeness
  • feelings of pleasure
  • increased motor function
  • euphoria
  • a rush

Long Term Effects of Methamphetamine

According to NIDA, “long-term methamphetamine abuse has many negative consequences, including addiction.” Addiction is a chronic condition that will never go away fully. As such, users who become addicted are always at risk of possible relapse that can result even many years following their discontinued use of methamphetamines. Additional long-term effects of methamphetamine use include:

  • tolerance which develops quickly and results in the need to use more and more of the drug
  • trouble feeling happy or feeling pleasure without the use of methamphetamine
  • withdrawal when methamphetamine is not used
  • irritability and agitation
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • disturbances in mood
  • rapid mood swings
  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • methamphetamine induced psychosis
  • kidney failure
  • organ damage
  • meth mouth
  • rotting teeth
  • sores and infections on the skin
  • HIV or AIDs from shared needles or unsafe sexual activity
  • learning troubles
  • memory problems

Neurobiological Effects of Meth Use

There are a number of confirmed neurobiological effects associated with methamphetamine abuse. Users are at an increased risk of having verbal memory problems, poor motor function and long lasting risk of stroke. Parkinson’s disease is another major concern in people who use meth as according to NIDA, a recent study connected meth users with a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease over time.

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