The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Use

Published On: December 11, 20233.4 min read683 wordsCategories: Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine often attracts people due to the feelings of euphoria it can produce in the user, but the dangers and significant risks of using this drug are too often easily dismissed. 

While most of us probably associate meth with illegal, recreational use, there are limited medical circumstances in which pharmaceutical-grade methamphetamine can be used. This powerful stimulant produces a wide range of physiological and psychological effects in the user, both in the short term and the long term.

Regardless of the situation, though, methamphetamines always carry a high risk for abuse and addiction, among other serious health risks they can trigger in the body and mind of the user. 

In this article, we’re going to dive into what exactly happens to your mind and body after extended methamphetamine use, the different short- and long-term effects it has on you.

What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine — more commonly known as meth — is a synthetic stimulant drug that’s highly potent and extremely addictive. 

There are specific medical situations where methamphetamine is used pharmaceutically, but those circumstances are not very common, and still have a high potential for abuse. Most of the time, when methamphetamines are being referenced, it’s in an illegal, recreational aspect.

This stimulant drug works by directly affecting the central nervous system, typically resulting in a mental high, bursts of energy (sometimes called “flashes”), and a sense of enhanced strength. 

It’s common for those under the methamphetamine influence to feel as if they’re invincible, when in reality, the drug is taking an extremely detrimental toll on their mind, body and brain.

Short- and long-term effects of methamphetamine

The effects of methamphetamine use on a person can range from mild to severe, depending on how frequently they’re consuming and how long the abuse has been going on.

Physical effects of using meth can vary widely depending on the person, their overall physical and mental health, as well as other personal factors like their diet and social environment. 

The most common short-term effects of methamphetamine include:

  • Feelings of lightheadedness or euphoria
  • Increased alertness or anxiety
  • High energy levels or bursts of physical activity
  • More talkative and sociable
  • Sudden agitation or hostility
  • Increased heart rate

Long-term effects of methamphetamine can have dire consequences on your health, such as:

  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Dental problems (e.g., tooth decay, gum disease)
  • Cognitive impairment and memory issues
  • Dramatic weight loss 
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbance disorders
  • Increased risk of heart attack, disease and stroke
  • Increased risk of infectious diseases
  • Lifestyle consequences (e.g., loss of employment, relationship or financial challenges)

In the most tragic cases, methamphetamine abuse can lead to addiction, overdose and death. The risks associated significantly increase when the individual has existing physical or mental health conditions, or when paired with the consumption of other substances.

Methamphetamine effects on the brain

Methamphetamine affects the brain by altering several neurological systems, including those responsible for producing and regulating dopamine and serotonin. These two neurotransmitters are associated with pleasure, reward and an elevated mood; methamphetamine increases the release of these neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in the mental high.

The effects that methamphetamines have on the brain can be unpredictable and extreme, ranging from triggering anxiety all the way to permanently damaging cognitive function.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, reach out to our team today, we’re only a message away and ready to help.

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Freedom Detox is a premier detoxification center that helps men and women of all ages begin their journey to recovery with personalized, inpatient detoxification treatment services. 

Your comfort and safety are our top priorities, and our team is always close by to assist and support you through each phase of the detoxification process. Once you’ve finished detoxing, we’ll work closely with you to create an aftercare plan with clear, actionable steps to keep you on the path to recovery.

To learn more about our services and see which one best fits your needs, send us a message or give us a call today at 800-475-2312.

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