The Startling Effects of Meth Abuse

When I arrived at Pathfinders Recovery Centers, my meth addiction was terrible. Substance abuse runs in my family, and my meth use was another unfortunate example of that. Methamphetamine abuse is one of the most difficult addictions to contend with, and for someone in my situation, it was only a matter of time before my body gave out.

Every day that I was feeding my meth addiction, I felt that my heart was going to explode. I felt like every person I walked past was saying something negatively about me, judging me. I was probably wrong in most of these instances, but with my physical appearance being what it was, I’m certain that I scared people with my presence.

The common signs of meth abuse are some of the most obvious of any drug addiction, and I had them all. Meth mouth, skin sores, dilated pupils, red eyes, you name it. My meth eyes were what I think scared people the most. When I looked people in the eyes, I could feel their stomachs turn.

Keep reading if you are struggling with meth, to find out about getting past the damage done and into healing with the help of Pathfinders!

Seeing The World Through Meth Eyes

There are plenty of negative health effects from methamphetamine drug use, but the meth eyes are the most startling. I viewed the world through blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, and psychosis. My eye movements were rapid and startling. I felt like a squirrel trying not to get run over by a car.

The eyes are one of the most precious tools in our bodies. We use them not only to see but to communicate. There is a connection there when you look at someone in the eyes. When you stare into a pair of meth eyes, you are immediately filled with a sense that something is wrong.

The ocular effects in meth users can be easy to spot even if you have limited knowledge of meth addiction. The rapid eye movement, the pale skin, the sores, all of these make for a morbid physical appearance. My vision impairment was off the charts when I was using meth heavily. The rapid eye movement made me feel like I could never have one peaceful moment.

Your Meth Addiction Only Has You Fooled

Meth Addiction

Despite how obvious my condition was, I still felt like I was fooling everyone. That’s one of the biggest tricks that drug addiction plays on addicts. You think you can fool everyone. At first, you can, but the cracks begin to appear quickly and there isn’t much you can do to hide it after a while.

As I looked at the world through meth eyes and blurred vision, I looked for everyone and everything to blame but myself. It’s because of all the other external forces in my life that got me to this point. It’s hard to accept blame, even harder if you’ve been in the thick of methamphetamine addiction.

This is a common symptom of drug addiction. This is all across the drug spectrum. Whether you have an issue with prescription drugs, alcohol, or an illicit drug like meth. Drug abuse is related all across the board.

The Power Of Methamphetamine Drug Use

I never imagined I would end up in the situation that I did. As I mentioned above, drug addiction is something that has always existed in my family. I saw a lot of family members abuse alcohol and drugs.

It freaked me out when I was young, and I promised myself and the few sober family members that I had that that would not be me. Drugs would not enter my life at all. When you’re on the outside looking in, it can be easy to say that you won’t do the same.

Just saying it doesn’t make it possible. Even as you go through addiction treatment, the drug can still talk through you. The adverse effects that methamphetamine use has on your mind can be even more glaring once you stop using the drug.

Beyond the eye damage and the other side effects, the mental effects are extremely difficult to navigate. Meth use takes over your mind to a point that is terrifying. I look back on some of my decision-making and can’t believe that I was capable of some of the things that I did.

The All Consuming Effects Of Meth

The effects of meth can turn you into a person you won’t recognize. I put myself in a lot of life-threatening situations. I associated with some very questionable individuals and pushed away all of the positive people in my life. When my meth use was at its peak, I was sleeping on the streets and committing petty crimes to feed my habit. ‘

I never conceived that my meth use would have me sneaking into businesses and stealing merchandise. As I gave myself over more and more to the methamphetamine drug, I rationalized every horrible decision that I made. I made myself not care about the people that I was affecting.

The long-term effects of meth have followed me even well into my sobriety. I still get the urge to use it, and I still see myself falling back into my old crowd. I feel guilty sometimes that I got out of it while so many others didn’t. This is a common sign in recovery. It’s a form of survivor’s guilt that I continue to struggle with, but through treatment, I’ve learned to accept it and manage it.

The Lies Of Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse

When I entered my teen years, I engaged in alcohol abuse, which slowly progressed into cocaine addiction. I realized that uppers were my thing. It wasn’t long after I first got into cocaine that I began using crystal meth. This is before I graduated high school. My father was sober at this point and pressured me into addiction treatment.

I couldn’t really say no, because I was still living under his roof. I did it because I was forced into it, which typically never works out. To get over substance abuse, you have to want it for yourself. Meth use isn’t going to fix itself.

I remember my father once asking me about my rapid eye movements, and why I couldn’t sit still without obsessively shifting around. I felt attacked, and would usually blow up at him ending the conversation.

I didn’t want it. I wanted the drug. My methamphetamine addiction was in its infancy. Of all the illicit drugs that I and my peers were into, crystal methamphetamine was to me the greatest substance in the world. Something I needed to get through my day. When I didn’t have it, it was a living hell. No one tries to be a crystal meth addict.

Methamphetamine Myths

Substance use disorder makes you believe all of the lies that the drug is telling you. It doesn’t matter what drug you are addicted to. Each of them has different effects and different ways that they change the brain, but overall, substance abuse in general changes your brain for the worse. Every time someone tried to help me or talk sense into me, I felt attacked and offended.

I made up excuses. I lied. I projected and tried to turn it back on them. There was no talking any sense into me. Even as my symptoms presented themselves in such an obvious fashion, I still couldn’t admit I had a problem.

The drugs were doing the talking, not me. It wasn’t until I was in treatment at Pathfinders that I could speak for myself. Meth abuse isn’t much different than alcohol abuse or any other type of substance abuse.

The Effects Of Meth On Everyday Life

Because meth is a stimulant, it’s much different than any central nervous system depressant. You don’t sleep on meth. I’ve gone days without sleeping, and it feels like you are literally in a nightmare.

There isn’t any other highly addictive drug that I feel can put you into that state of psychosis. If you are dealing with a mental illness of any kind, it can shake things up. Not only that, the withdrawal symptoms can greatly increase your psychosis. Meth is the one drug that made me feel like I had lost my mind.

Methamphetamine Abuse And Your Body

Methamphetamine Abuse

Meth addiction creates some very complex problems in your brain. The effects of meth on your mind are brutal and hard to describe unless you’ve been through it. First, let’s get into the physical symptoms.

Beyond meth eyes, meth mouth is a serious and potentially life-threatening side effect. Meth users grind their teeth, and the chemicals from the drug do a lot of damage to your gums if consumed orally.

There is an increased risk of high blood pressure, vision impairment, vision loss, changes in body temperature, and retinal vascular occlusive disease. I developed a retinal vascular occlusive disease, which affected my vision. This occurs when there is a blood clot in the veins around your eyes.

Methamphetamine use increases your risk of poor blood flow and high heart rate. All of this combined throws your body into a tailspin. What negative effects does your body try to fight first? The central nervous system can only handle so much of the effects of meth.

Meth and Body Temperature

The way methamphetamine made my body temperature rise and fall was shocking. Beyond the vision impairment, skin sores, and rapid eye movement, I always felt like I was being put in and out of an oven. Meth interrupts blood flow and

Your physical health and mental health are very closely related. One doesn’t work all that well without the other. Health problems greatly affect your mood and general disposition. When you’re using crystal meth or any other drug, you’re sapping your brain of dopamine. The dopamine receptors in your brain greatly affect your emotions.

Drug abuse puts these receptors into overdrive until they can no longer produce any more dopamine. When your brain is emptied of dopamine, it can create some real havoc. The support groups that I was a part of in my initial recovery were so great at teaching me about the way methamphetamine made me feel.

Even long after I stopped using the drug, I still felt the effects. This is one of the common symptoms of those in recovery. Just because you got clean, doesn’t mean you’re not going to desire that feeling again.

Addiction Treatment and Meth Use

Both prescription and illegal drug abuse require a lot of support. Getting clean is a decision you make on your own, but you need a lot of help along the way. The support groups I have joined have given me a great sense of purpose and responsibility.

Addiction Treatment

I try and stay clean not just for myself, but so I can help someone else see that it is possible. I no longer see the world through meth eyes. Crystal methamphetamine turned me into a person that I don’t want to become again, but I know it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

I may not be engaging in meth use now, but I can’t predict the future. I try to live moment by moment and help others see it that way too. Ultimately though, I’m only in control of my own life. I work on myself first before anyone else.

Long Term Effects After Treatment

The effects of meth are still with me, but I try to use them as a tool to help others. I may have gotten over my physical effects, but there are long-term effects that last well into recovery. The retinal vein occlusion is gone, but the effects linger. Meth seems like it will always be a part of my life, whether I still use it or not.

When I was going through my initial treatment at Pathfinders, I knew I had made the right decision even if the withdrawal symptoms were tearing me apart inside. I had tried treatment many times over the years, but never truly wanted it for myself.

A Journey of Recovery from Methamphetamine

Being in treatment has given me a new lease on life, and I make sure every day that I’m doing the best I can to not go back to methamphetamine. The long-term effects of meth may be there, but I know that it’s something I can handle if I put in the work.

If you are struggling with meth, or have a loved one that is, reach out to Pathfinders and ask about your options. I know it may seem scary, but I was pretty far gone, and they helped me find a strength and hope I thought were long gone. I bet they can help you find them too, all it takes is a phone call to get the ball rolling and claim your own recovery!


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