Methamphetamine (a.k.a. meth) is a highly addictive and extremely dangerous illicit substance. The intense high that meth produces often leads to repeated use and physical dependence, while severely damaging the user’s health and quality of life. In the United States, around 500,000 people over the age of 12 are currently estimated to struggle with methamphetamine abuse.
Whether smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed as a pill, the abuse of methamphetamine can cause devastating and irreversible physical damage.
In the long term, methamphetamine dependency can cause:
- Brain damage
- Heart damage
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage
- Increased risk of stroke and epilepsy
- Infectious diseases and respiratory problems
- Trouble breathing
In spite of the significant medical, legal, financial and other consequences of their behavior, individuals who are dependent on meth often go on extended binges, abstaining from food and sleep for many days.
Common signs of addiction include:
- Anxiety, depression, and/or mood disorders
- Reduced appetite or sudden weight loss
- Dental problems and hair loss
- Increased energy and talkativeness
- Irrational, delusional, or violent behavior
- Skin picking and/or complaints of crawling skin