Smoking Meth – Side Effects and Dangers
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a central nervous system stimulant. It makes a person feel energetic, awake and happy.
This drug is sometimes prescribed for narcolepsy, obesity and ADHD, although it is very carefully controlled when used for these purposes.
Many people use this drug in an illegal and harmful manner. It is often made in home labs, using a variety of over-the-counter and household substances. Using meth in any manner, including smoking it, can cause many dangerous side effects. Meth that is smoked is formed like a rock that a person burns and then smokes through a pipe.
If you are using meth in an illegal manner or you are addicted to it, there are many resources, doctors, counselors in top residential treatment centers available to help you quit. If you need help finding one of them for yourself or someone else, give us a call today.
Problems From Using Meth
When you use meth, you run the risk that you may become addicted to it, needing more than you once did to obtain the same effects from the drug. Meth can cause a number of mental health concerns, including anxiety and irritability. It can make people act in a strange way. Some of these ways include:
- Thinking there are bugs on or under your skin
- Being extremely energetic and agitated
- Acting in an erratic way, such as being happy and then suddenly becoming angry for no apparent reason
- Doing unnecessary things like organizing a shelf over and over again
Taking meth can also cause a number of physical problems. These can include:
- Not wanting to eat, leading to weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
- A high body temperature and high blood pressure
- Heart problems and heart attack or stroke
- Brain cell damage
- Digestive system problems
If you take a lot of meth or you use large amounts on a long-term basis, you might start to experience psychosis, which can be dangerous for both yourself and others. This can include hearing things and seeing things that are not there, being paranoid and becoming violent. These effects can even last after you stop taking meth, due to the long-term damage meth causes.
- Feelings of agitation
- Feeling very tired and sleeping a lot
- Suicidal thoughts
Dangers of Smoking Meth
Some other health consequences are specific to smoking meth. The Office of National Drug Control Policy explains that you are more likely to become addicted to meth if you smoke it than if you use it in other forms. This is because smoking makes the meth go straight to your brain, more quickly than it does with other forms of ingestion. This can also boost the negative health effects from the drug.
Another consequence specific to smoking meth is something called “meth mouth.” The Meth Awareness and Prevention Project of South Dakota explains that the harsh chemicals used to make meth are very destructive to your mouth. This can cause rotting, decaying and cracked teeth, as well as mouth sores, gum disease and a dry mouth.
Problems of Meth on Society
In addition to harming your health, the meth industry has some far-reaching negative effects on society and the environment. The Drug Enforcement Administration explains that meth labs are full of dangerous and harmful chemicals that are often dumped, which has disastrous consequences on the environment. These labs are also in danger of exploding or catching on fire – this can damage surrounding homes as well.
Meth and Pregnancy
Using meth while you are pregnant has potential risks for the baby. The American Council for Drug Education explains that it can cause:
- The woman to go into labor early before the baby is fully developed
- The placenta to separate
- A lack of nutrients for the baby
- Babies that are lower in weight than they should be
- Babies with brain damage
If you are abusing meth, there are options available to help you quit. Just as with alcohol and many other drugs, there is a 12-step support group available for meth users. You can see if there is a brand of Crystal Meth Anonymous in your area. Narcotics Anonymous is another option, as they are open to members who use any kind of drug.
You can also find help through both private and public treatment programs and counseling.