Brain Recovery After Stopping Methamphetamine

What Does Meth Do to Your Body?

Brain Recovery After Stopping Methamphetamine

Meth is a dangerous, highly addictive drug that can greatly impact your physical and mental health. The long-term effects of methamphetamine can be dangerous, and even deadly. Learn what meth does to your brain and body, and why you should quit.

Meth’s Effect on Your Brain

When you abuse meth, the brain produces excessive amounts of dopamine, which is a chemical that creates feelings of euphoria. Taking the drug regularly starts depleting your natural supplies of dopamine. This brain chemical plays an important role in many functions, so when it’s off balance, your entire system is impacted.

When you’re addicted to a substance, your brain begins depending on that drug to function normally. When you try to stop using meth, dopamine levels drop, and your brain sends your body into withdrawal in an effort to restore chemical balance.

Research suggests changes in the brain due to meth affect brain structure and function. The impact on your neurotransmitters can lead to psychotic symptoms or violent behavior. Methamphetamine psychosis can include symptoms :

  • Hallucinations – seeing, hearing, or sensing things that aren’t there.
  • Ideas of reference – a belief that people are talking to you when they’re not.
  • Disorganized speech – quickly switching between topics, stringing sentences together that don’t make sense, jumbled words, and repeating words.
  • Persecutory delusions – believing that a person or group is going to hurt you or out to get you without any proof.

Meth can cause brain damage by decreasing white matter, killing brain cells, and altering neurotransmitters. Users may experience short-term and long-term memory loss, mood disturbances, confusion, and serious mental health issues.

Meth’s Effect on Your Heart

After accidents and meth overdoses, heart disease is the leading cause of death in meth users. The stimulant drug affects the cardiovascular system in several ways. The American Heart Association reports meth users are at risk for these conditions:

  • Constricted blood vessels, which can lead to dangerous blood pressure spikes.
  • Severe heart disease (and at a younger age).
  • Abnormal and increased heart rate.
  • Structure changes in the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
  • A unique form of severe heart failure in young meth users.
  • Heart attacks even years after you stop.

Meth’s Effect on Your Immune System

Research shows chronic methamphetamine abuse can significantly affect your immune system. Meth can alter your immune cells and disrupt their signaling pathways. It may suppress white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses. This can lead to poorer immune system functioning and increased risk of infections.

Meth abuse can cause mouth abrasions and mucous membranes to dry out, decreasing natural barriers against infection. People who abuse meth are at greater risk for diseases hepatitis B and C and HIV.

If you inject meth and share needles, it increases your susceptibility to these illnesses. Meth also greatly clouds your judgement and makes you less inhibited, which can lead to risky behaviors unprotected sex.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, studies found that meth users were at higher risk of infection and death from the disease due to their compromised immune system.

Meth’s Effect on Your Muscles

The effects of methamphetamine abuse can even reach into your muscles, causing issues :

  • Involuntary movement
  • Muscle twitching
  • Repeated movements
  • Tremors
  • Muscle atrophy

A small body of research suggests a link between methamphetamine abuse and Parkinson’s Disease or early onset of the disease, which attacks the musculoskeletal system.

Meth’s Effect on Breathing

Meth can put you at risk for acute respiratory failure, pneumonia, and other types of lung damage.

This is caused by constriction of your blood vessels, which puts pressure on the arteries leading to the lungs. Smoking crystal meth is a common way to take the drug because it leads to a quicker high.

Using meth in this way increases your risk of the myriad of respiratory issues that come from smoking substances.

Meth’s Effect on Your Appearance

Meth abuse can affect your physical appearance. Some of the effects of meth are due to the way the drug changes your priorities. When you’re addicted to meth, it becomes the central focus in your life. You’re not concerned with personal hygiene, nutrition, or other factors that affect your appearance and health. Meth abusers often share these physical characteristics:

Rotted Teeth

Also known as “meth mouth,” meth abusers may have several dental issues because they neglect oral hygiene and nutrition. Methamphetamine is also acidic which can compound these problems. Many meth users crave sugary foods and drinks, which exacerbates dental issues. Meth mouth may include tooth decay, missing teeth, and dry mouth.

Skin Conditions

You may have heard the term “meth mites.” A common meth hallucination is the feeling that bugs are crawling on you. Known as “crank bugs” these hallucinations can lead you to obsessively pick or scratch your skin causing sores that often become infected.

Chronic methamphetamine abuse often leads to acne. This is due to a few factors:

  • Some meth toxins are excreted through the pores.
  • Meth restricts blood flow to your skin.
  • Meth users often have poor personal hygiene, not cleaning their faces regularly.

If you use meth, you might look older than your age. Restricted blood flow can cause your skin to lose some of its elasticity, appearing wrinkled and sagging.

People who use meth by smoking it may have burns or sores on their face or hands.

Meth is a stimulant and appetite suppressant. People who use meth are often thin or underweight. Clothes may be baggy and disheveled.

A meth addiction is difficult to overcome, but not impossible with the right treatment, support, and motivation. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out to us.

Footprints to Recovery provides evidence-based substance abuse and mental health treatment that addresses the root causes of your addiction. These may include trauma, a dual diagnosis, and other challenges.

Our holistic approach to addiction treatment teaches you healthier ways to cope without drugs and alcohol and helps you begin repairing the mental and physical effects of methamphetamine abuse.

We’ve seen thousands of clients take back their lives from addiction. You can too. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


Meth Recovery

Brain Recovery After Stopping Methamphetamine
Matt Gonzales |Last Updated: 2/26/20|5 sources

Recovering from meth addiction involves several steps. It begins with treatment, which helps people overcome methamphetamine abuse problems through detoxification and behavioral therapies. But recovery continues when rehab ends.

Completing treatment does not ensure sobriety. Addiction is a brain disease that can compromise abstinence. People in recovery from methamphetamine addiction must commit to staying sober for their entire lives.

Stages of Meth Recovery

Meth recovery occurs in five stages. The first two weeks are the most intense. But over time and with help and support, people learn new skills to overcome meth abuse and discover new life interests.

1. Withdrawal Stage (Days 0 to 15)

The withdrawal stage is the first phase of recovery. During withdrawal, people can experience fatigue, disorientation and depression as well as shaking and heart palpitations. Meth withdrawal symptoms should be managed at a rehab facility, where trained addiction professionals can administer antidepressants to improve mood, concentration and sleep quality.

2. Honeymoon Stage (Days 16 to 45)

After meth withdrawal ends, the body begins to recover. Cravings fade, energy increases, and mood, confidence and optimism improve. In some cases, however, individuals falsely believe their meth problem has ended. This causes many rehab clients to leave treatment and continue using alcohol or other drugs.

3. The Wall (Days 46 to 120)

During this stage of meth recovery, individuals are particularly vulnerable to relapse. They also find little pleasure in life and experience low energy, difficulty concentrating, irritability and insomnia. Clients often believe these symptoms are long-term problems.

4. Adjustment Stage (Days 121 to 180)

The risk for relapse reduces during the adjustment stage of meth recovery. During this phase, people feel accomplished and optimistic. They begin to adapt to their new lifestyle, which may include new jobs or relationships.

5. Resolution Stage (Day 181 onward)

The resolution stage represents six months of sobriety. By the six-month benchmark, people have transitioned from learning new skills to sustain sobriety to knowing the signs of relapse, maintaining a new lifestyle and identifying new areas of interest.

What Meth Recovery Is

Recovery can be a struggle during the first few months. People who complete treatment often face triggers that lead to cravings. They may go back to old neighborhoods where they used to engage in meth use, which can lead to relapse.

Many individuals recovering from meth addiction continue to work on their sobriety after rehab. They attend 12-step meetings such as Crystal Meth Anonymous, where they communicate with others in recovery and learn ways to avoid triggers and manage cravings.

People in recovery might still feel the effects of past meth abuse. For example, meth mouth does not go away after treatment. To treat tooth decay or gum disease caused by meth use, it is important to visit a dentist as soon as possible.

Dental experts might be able to craft a treatment plan and offer tips for addressing mouth disease, including sores in the mouth. Those in recovery can also improve oral health by avoiding sugary products such as soda or candy.

Depression, a common symptom of meth addiction, can also linger into recovery. This mental illness affects how a person thinks, feels and handles daily activities. A combination of therapy and medications can help improve mood and reduce depressive thoughts.

Brain Recovery After Meth Abuse

Meth addiction permanently changes the brain. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies have shown that chronic meth use alters the part of the brain that controls emotions and memory. It can also reduce motor speed and impair verbal learning.

This means that people in recovery from meth addiction may have problems learning and controlling impulses. They may have problems in school, at work or within the family. It takes time and commitment to overcome lingering problems caused by meth abuse.

But scientists have found that the brains of methamphetamine users can improve over time. In fact, brain scans show that reduced dopamine levels in the brain caused by continued meth use improve significantly after 14 months of abstinence from the drug.

Interested in Meth Addiction Recovery?Our recovery programs deliver treatment that works.Get Help Now

Ways to Avoid Meth Relapse

Relapse is common among people recovering from drug addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of those in addiction recovery experience a relapse after completing rehab.

Cravings can be difficult to handle, but they do not last long. According to the Counseling and Psychological Services department at University of California, Santa Cruz, urges to use meth often last only 15 to 30 minutes. Knowing that these feelings will subside can help people avoid giving in to urges.

  • Understand your triggers and avoid situations that can cause relapse, such as parties or concerts
  • Craft a plan for avoiding triggers
  • Establish relationships with people who do not use drugs
  • Spend time with people you trust and who care about your well-being
  • Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy, such as playing sports

People recovering from meth addiction should continue therapy after completing meth treatment. Therapy can keep people focused on their sobriety. Recovering addicts may also move to a sober living home — a residence where people practice a sober lifestyle.

These strategies can assist those in recovery to maintain abstinence. If you have experienced a relapse, please contact a meth hotline. An admissions representative will offer advice and walk you through your options for additional rehab treatment.

Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.


Добавить комментарий

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: