The Effect of Crystal Meth on a Person’s Health
My drug abuse finally caught up with me after over a decade of meth use. I was nearly dead when I arrived at Pathfinders to begin my recovery process. Luckily in my case, I was able to beat my meth addiction and live a normal life again.
Recovery is possible for anyone who is willing to make it work. Read more to find out how to make it work for you or someone you love. The effects of substance abuse are crippling, particularly with a drug like meth.
I began using crystal meth when I was in my early twenties and used it regularly for 12 years. One of the most obvious signs of my abuse was my meth sores. Meth is a drug that creates a lot of mental and physical symptoms. The more you use meth, the easier it is to develop meth sores.
Keep reading to find out more about meth sores, meth mites, and how to get help if you or a loved one are struggling with meth now!
What Are Meth Mites?
Meth does a lot of damage to a person’s skin, and meth sores can take on a variety of appearances. Meth sores, meth mites, and meth mouth are all easy ways to tell if someone is dealing with a meth addiction. I’ve suffered from all of these conditions, so I am well aware of how to spot when a person’s body has been affected by meth abuse.
Meth use disorder damages your entire body, and the signs of meth use present themselves very clearly. Meth sores form for a variety of reasons, and can typically happen in people who use meth long-term. One common occurrence is meth mites. When you engage in meth use long enough, it can cause extreme paranoia and hallucinations.
You get a crawling sensation that feels like you have bugs running around under your skin. This can cause the user to pick at the skin in order to try and get rid of these imaginary bugs. For someone who hasn’t used meth, this sounds like a living nightmare and it absolutely is.
What Does Meth Do To Your Mind?
When I would smoke crystal meth, I would stay awake for days on end. when you suffer from sleep deprivation, you actually begin to dream while you are awake. Consistent meth use can cause users to stay awake for weeks at a time.
This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation. The body needs sleep to stay regular. Sleep deprivation can lead to a weakened immune system, minor infections, and poor blood flow.
Usually, when you are in the middle of a meth addiction, you aren’t going to seek medical treatment for these issues. Consistent meth abuse will only make the skin-picking and meth mites continue.
Other Forms Of Meth Sores
Meth mites aren’t the only way that one can develop meth sores. If you smoke crystal meth, the heat from the pipe can cause burns around your mouth. These types of meth sores typically don’t heal very quickly, particularly for meth users who smoke it on a regular basis.
When I was abusing meth, my lips were in a constant state of being cracked and burned. I also suffered from meth mouth, which is a result of the damage done to your teeth and gums caused by long-term meth use. Cold sores were another common form of meth sore for me.
Meth and Your Skin
Unhealthy skin is a common trait among meth users as well. Meth users tend to sweat at a higher rate, and because meth is water-soluble, it comes out through your pores. This irritates the skin and can be another cause of meth sores. Since meth causes poor blood flow, it makes the blood vessels contract, which can lead to dry, scaly patches on the skin.
When you abuse meth, your personal hygiene suffers as well. On top of al the other things that can lead to meth sores, having poor hygiene makes it even worse. The only thing I was concerned about was getting high, so I would never treat meth sores. I had poor hygiene on a consistent basis. It’s impossible to lead a healthy and satisfying life when you engage in this kind of drug abuse.
Health Problems Associated With Methamphetamine
Beyond meth sores and skin infections, meth can do a lot of unseen damage to the body. If you have open sores on your body, which many meth users do, it can be easier to develop infections. Some people who use meth use it intravenously, which can be another cause of meth sores. Sharing needles also increases the likelihood of contracting infections such as HIV.
I lost a lot of my teeth as a result of my meth mouth, and after several very painful surgeries, I was able to save some of them. Most of my teeth are fake now. Mouth sores and damaged gums can lead to oral infections. Such infections can be very damaging and lead to a multitude of other oral issues, and these infections can spread to other parts of the body.
For some, the withdrawal symptoms from meth can be very scary. In order for your body to heal and begin to go back to normal, you have to deal with these symptoms and do your best to push through the discomfort. Withdrawal symptoms from meth include chills, intense cravings, depression, anxiety, and fatigue to name a few.
Getting Treatment For Meth Addiction
After over a decade of dealing with paranoia, hallucinations, meth bugs, and constant meth sores, I finally reached a point where I needed to try and get help. I wanted to live a healthy lifestyle, but I had no idea what that looked like. People who use meth long enough start to lose their grip on reality. You can’t imagine not using the drug. The concept of sobriety is totally foreign.
Going through my initial meth detox was the most uncomfortable feeling I can remember. Even with all of the physical issues I had during my methamphetamine abuse, the detox felt worse. After several days going through detox, I was finally able to come out on the other end of my meth withdrawal. Because meth is such a highly addictive drug, your mental health takes a big hit as a result of your addiction.
When someone stops abusing meth, it takes the brain a long time to recover. You are wired to need the drug at all times, and you have to retrain your mind in a variety of different ways. Even though I have been clean for a few years, I still seek professional treatment and put a high priority on my mental health.
Recovering From Meth Abuse Through Support Groups
Your meth sores will eventually heal, but there is long-term healing to be done in order to completely overcome methamphetamine use. The best way to approach recovery is to go all in. Being addicted to meth not only hurts you, but it can tear your family apart as well. When a loved one would address their concerns regarding my methamphetamine use, I wouldn’t listen. I did a lot of damage to the people I love because of my addiction.
I have learned to forgive myself for the way that I became, but it took a lot of behavioral therapy and constant self-awareness. I know the health risks and what stimulant abuse can lead to. Even though I am aware of the dangers, I am still not above relapsing.
The Importance of Sober Support and Social Connections
The support group I am a part of gives me a lot of comfort and hope. I’ve met a lot of wonderful individuals through recovery, and I try to help them stay clean the same way they do it for me.
The risk of relapse is always there, but it’s not something that I allow to control me. My overall health is much better these days, and I will do whatever I have to do to not face the meth sores and the open wounds. My sobriety is the most important thing in my life, and I will do whatever I need to do to protect it. That’s what it takes.
Finding Your Path to Recovery from Meth
For anyone who is struggling to overcome meth, issues with meth sores may actually help you decide to get treatment. I know for me it became important to be able to look in the mirror and recognize myself once again. Pathfinders played a huge role in making this happen.
If you or a loved one also needs a change from a meth-fueled lifestyle, consider giving a call to Pathfinders for a confidential chat. I know it was one of the best calls I ever made, and it can be for you as well!