Exploring the Long-Term Effects of Meth Addiction on Physical Health

There are consequences to our every single action. And in the world of consequences, a consequence can only be good or bad. If you do something beneficial and morally upright, you reap good consequences. If you do something unhealthy and harmful, you will have to deal with bad consequences. A person who suffers from meth addiction would have to deal with the negative long-term effects of meth use on his or her health. The long-term physical effects of meth addiction that everyone should be aware of, especially those who suffer from meth addiction and those who have loved ones who suffered from meth addiction, are as follows:

1. Dental Problems

People who’ve used meth for a long time end up having dental issues referred to as “meth mouth.” Meth use causes much damage to one’s dental health as it can trigger the presence of gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. Long-time meth users often end up losing most of their teeth, in worst cases, some even end up toothless. These issues stem from the fact that meth use causes dry mouth which leads to the absence of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is extremely important as it protects the teeth by dealing with acids and removing food particles that cause tooth decay.

2. Cardiovascular Issues

A person who uses meth experiences the following: irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, and increased heart rate. If such happens all the time, as it is in the case of long-time meth users, blood vessels end up damaged. A person with damaged blood vessels is more at risk of having a stroke and heart attack.

3. Weight Loss

Meth users end up losing weight. This is the case because methamphetamine is an appetite suppressant. People who use it do not have a healthy appetite. If one has no appetite for so long, one ceases to eat well and ends up suffering from malnutrition. Weight loss becomes the natural consequence as the healthy drive to eat good food is absent.

4. Skin Problems

People who used meth for a long period also end up having to deal with skin issues. They end up having acne, sores, and “meth mites.” Meth mites are unique to meth users as it is a situation where a person hallucinates and is convinced that there are insects crawling under his or her skin.


This leads to skin picking that can cause sores, scars, and in the worst cases, infections. As meth use constricts blood vessels, blood flow to the skin becomes restricted which leads to skin damage and poor recovery from wounds.

5. Psychiatric Symptoms

People who were addicted to meth often end up having mental health concerns. Some end up suffering from anxiety, paranoia, depression, and even psychosis. This is the case because meth alters the brain chemistry of its users.

6. Neurological Damage

As meth alters the brain chemistry of the person who uses it, neurological damage takes place. This is the case because meth ruins the brain’s dopamine system. This in turn leads to memory loss, cognitive issues, and troubles with motor skills. The following are experienced by meth users with neurological damage: tremors, muscle tension, tics, teeth grinding, impaired balance, and in worst cases, paralysis.

7. Respiratory Issues

Meth is often consumed via smoking. Smoking meth effectively damages the lungs and the whole respiratory system. A long-time meth user with a damaged respiratory system often suffers from having a chronic cough, pulmonary issues, and respiratory infections. This is because smoking meth is harmful to a person’s lung tissue. Meth irritates the lining of the lungs. As meth production involves the use of hydrochloric acid and ammonia, a person’s respiratory system also gets exposed to toxic chemicals.

8. Sleep Disturbances

As meth users have compromised brains with a dopamine system that no longer functions, almost all parts of the brain are compromised including the part that allows for a sound good night’s sleep. People end up having a hard time sleeping as meth is a stimulant that can easily keep a person awake and alert for extended periods. Sleeping becomes hard and troublesome.


Meth users also have increased energy so it becomes impossible for the body to feel tired and crave sleep. Long-term meth use can cause sleep fragmentation where one ends up waking up frequently when asleep at night. It becomes difficult for long-term meth users to sleep and stay asleep. This is extremely dangerous as the body loses its chance to repair cells, restore energy, and rejuvenate.

9. Liver Damage

Methamphetamine has metabolites that can be damaging to liver cells. Oxidative stress, the imbalance between reactive oxygens (peroxides, hydroxyl radical, superoxide, and singlet oxygen) in the body and substances from the body that neutralizes them, is increased every time a person uses meth. This leads to liver damage that impairs the functions of the liver. The liver is the part of the body that is responsible detoxification and storage of essential nutrients. If it does not function well, one’s body will not be able to detoxify well and consume enough essential nutrients.

10. Increased Risk of Infectious Diseases

Meth use involves needle sharing that can easily be a vehicle of infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS. Meth users can also suffer from sexually transmitted diseases as they usually involve themselves in risky sexual behaviors.


Know the Risks of Meth