This article is about the objective consequences to one’s health that occur when meth is used over a long period of time. If you know someone who is using meth, this may scare them straight.
Stimulants are often used to stay awake or increase production. They were even used in WWII by Nazi Germany, who advocated these drugs made their soldiers “fearless.” The affected soldiers were overconfident and less attentive to details. Military authorities gradually realized there was no improvement in the performance of the soldiers. They also discovered there was rampant paranoia amongst the ranks. Germany eventually stopped giving stimulants to the soldiers, who then experienced more extreme levels of paranoia and even hallucinations. Germany learned a valuable lesson about using drugs to try and boost performance. There is always a catch.
The paranoia associated with meth use and withdrawal is really some scary stuff. Many users report experiencing a combination of paranoia, aggression, delusions, and hallucinations. Some of these experiences can be quite disturbing. Users have reported “bugs underneath their skin” and “bees in their teeth.” If they are left alone, they will often pick at their own skin repeatedly until they bleed, trying to get these perceived “bugs” out. Another scary symptom of meth abuse is the perception someone or something is watching you.
Many current and past meth users have had shared experiences that are collectively referred to as “gang stalking.” This is an expression referring to the hallucination that a group of people is out to get you. This group of people can range from the government or the police, to “those guys in black hats.” Whoever the user thinks are following them, despite bring completely irrational, are entirely real to them. Trying to reason with someone experiencing this phenomenon can result in them accusing you of being “one of them.”
Delusions such as this can follow an addict long after they have stopped using. In severe cases, it can take months or years for a recovered meth addict to genuinely understand there were no hidden cameras, no microphones, and no secret society watching their every move. In some extreme cases, the person never fully pops out of it.
Hallucinations aside, there are several physical consequences of long-term meth abuse. I’m going to skip those that simply regard appearance, but there are many. There is more severe and longer-lasting physical damage that is caused by methamphetamine abuse.
Some of the medical consequences of long-term stimulant abuse include:
- Liver damage
- Lung disease
- Brain damage
- Memory loss
- Heart Damage
According to one study, when it comes to methamphetamine-induced strokes, the real risk of methamphetamine use is a larger increase in strokes among younger people, a demographic which is typically at very low risk of stroke. Also, young men are 50% more likely to suffer a stroke than women. The other alarming issue is that strokes in younger individuals seems to have a significant mortality and morbidity rate.
Meth use also increases the possibility of Lung Disease or pulmonary issues. Both regular and irregular use of the drug can cause toxic injury to the soft tissue of the lungs. This was reported on by Eilís McCarthy and Erik McClain in 2019 in a paper. A person smoking meth is more likely to have pneumonia and can cause long-term damage to their lungs even with short-term use of the drug.
In addition, they are at a higher risk of heart disease which can cause increased complications medically. Acute methamphetamine use causes a rapid increase in both heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the risk of a stroke. Long-term methamphetamine use serves to exasperate the risk of vassular issues including heart disease. In a study it was found that methamphetamine users had a 19% increase in contraction of coronary artery disease when compared to a .5% contraction rate of those in a comparable control group.
Getting your loved one the treatment they need to recover from methamphetamine addiction could not only be the difference between life and death. It could also prevent some very serious long-term medical issues that are caused by the substance. Even though they might not end up looking like this immediately, it does not mean their body is not being damaged. The Narconon program has a unique approach to help individuals to recover from the physical effects of addiction. Before digging into the underlying issues of their addiction.