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long-term meth abuse

What are the Symptoms of Long-Term Meth Abuse?

Few substance dependence disorders will change you as quickly and as obviously as meth addiction. Long-term meth abuse always has severe consequences. Continuous meth use will wreck both your mind and body in several ways.

According to the CCSA, a coroner service report in British Columbia identified meth as the third most commonly detected drug in overdose death cases. Long-term meth use increases the risk of overdose, which is often fatal.

This blog covers the symptoms and long-term dangers of meth abuse. We’ll also examine preemptive steps to avoid being a victim of these undesirable effects. That said, let’s start by examining the signs of meth abuse.

Symptoms of Long-term Meth Abuse

Meth addiction directly results from its abuse and indiscriminate consumption over a long time. That makes addiction the primary sign of meth abuse.

But aside from addiction, the following are the three categories of long-term meth abuse symptoms.

Behavioural Symptoms

Behavioural symptoms primarily involve changes in character, attitude and general disposition to matters. Behavioural symptoms are reflected in a mindset shift towards certain activities and internal or external stimulation.

If you notice a significant behavioural change in an individual with a history of meth use, you should keep a close watch to ascertain if they’ve been abusing the substance.

The following are common examples of character changes you’ll notice in someone abusing meth over time.

  • Irritability and explosive outbursts over trivial matters that may not warrant such a response.
  • Erratic mood and temperament changes, such as sudden withdrawal and dislike for social activities.
  • Alternation between hypomania and depression
  • Increase in vices such as lying, stealing, and a general dishonesty
  • Lackadaisical attitude towards responsibilities and assignments.
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Suicidal tendencies

Physical Symptoms

The common conception is that addiction primarily affects people mentally, influencing their psyche and making them show behavioural changes. But that’s not the entire truth.

Meth abuse has a tremendous effect on a person’s physique, and it can change your looks significantly. The following are physical symptoms of meth abuse:

  • Drastic weight loss is also a common physical effect and symptom of meth abuse. In the past, medical practitioners used to prescribe meth to people dealing with weight problems in addition to doing regular exercises and watching their diet.

But they have since stopped this practice due to the drug’s addictive nature. Many people began consuming meth for recreational purposes thanks to the surge of energy and high alertness it causes. Significant weight loss in someone who uses meth may indicate that the individual is consuming too much of the drug.

  • Poor hygiene is another physical sign of long-term meth abuse. Meth hijacks your mind and induces a lack of interest in mundane activities such as cleaning up. As such, you may not care much about hygiene or clearing up the environment.
  • Decaying teeth, also known as meth mouth, are a telltale sign of meth abuse
  • Sudden acne development or other skin conditions also happen due to meth abuse
  • Sores, lesions, and wounds may also stem from continuous injections.

decaying teeth

Cognitive symptoms

Cognitive symptoms reflect meth’s effect on your brain and thinking processes. These signs are more common and often occur simultaneously with behavioural changes.

Below are some common examples.

  • Memory loss or difficulties remembering things
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Indecisiveness and poor decision making
  • Poor judgment and impulsivity
  • Hallucinations, delusions and general paranoia

Related Article: Finding the Right Meth Rehab Program: How to Choose the Best Treatment Center for Your Needs

The More Severe Long-Term Effects of Meth Abuse

Long-term meth addiction creates several far-reaching physicals, mental and social health consequences. Here are a few long-term undesirables that’ll result from consistent meth abuse.

Facial disfigurement

The chemicals released from smoking meth are highly corrosive and cause the gum to pull away from accompanying teeth. This process ultimately kills the teeth and results in decay.

Similarly, snorting meth scars the nasal passages causing chronic sinus issues and infections. In the long term, it can collapse the septum.

A combination of these two effects will lead to an almost permanent facial disfigurement in the user.

Severe Reduction in Mental and Cognitive Abilities

Meth directly affects your mind when you use it. Consuming too much of the drug will lead to structural and functional changes in your brain, especially in areas governing memory, emotions, and learning. Abuse over time will weaken your brain function in those areas.

Cardiovascular Issues

Long-term meth abuse can lead to heart problem symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. Ultimately, these issues strain the organ and may lead to irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.

In addition, prolonged meth use can cause arteries and blood vessels to hadden. You’re in immediate danger of a heart attack and stroke when that happens.

Related Article: Understanding Meth Addiction: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

heart problem symptoms

Safeguard Yourself From Meth Addiction

Knowing what meth abuse looks like helps you to avoid it and escape being a victim of substance dependence disorder.

But then, if you or someone you know are exhibiting symptoms of meth abuse, the best way out is to seek professional help. Let trained addiction specialists and therapists assist in overcoming your dependency.

At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we adopt an holistic approach designed to treat the whole individual, not just the addiction. As such, we can provide a wide range of treatment options that we can customize for your needs.

Contact us today via 1-855-787-2424 to discuss meth addiction programs for your needs.

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