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Health Effects of Meth Addiction

Meth addiction has caught the attention of Mrs. Hillary Clinton.  The presidential candidate recently instructed her policy team to go beyond standard policies to address what she calls a “quiet epidemic”.  Many residents in Brooklyn has been battling the health effects of meth addiction for decades.  In recent years however, use of this drug that was once contained in a predominantly white demographic has shifted.  As such, the health effects of meth addiction has now become dominant among Hispanics and African Americans of Caribbean descent specifically in Brooklyn. Academics are also seeing the same demographic shifts according to the New York Times.

Without appropriate treatment to halt the abuse, over 12,000 meth users in the New York area will be manifesting the health effects of meth addiction that occurs sooner than for most illicit drugs. High tolerance levels that lead to addiction is a common health effect of meth addiction.  This occurs, according to the US National Library of Medicine, because of the effects that methamphetamine has on the brain, though similar to amphetamine, is typically much stronger and more dangerous. Many meth users indulge in what is referred to as “meth run” which is a form of binging on the drug in an obsessive pursuit to maintain the meth high.

What is Methamphetamine?

Meth is described by the NIDA as a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has classified Methamphetamine as a Schedule II stimulant that is only legally available as a non-refillable prescription for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in low doses.

In appearance, meth is a white crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.  On the street this odorless, bitter tasting substance is often referred to as chalk, ice or crystal to name a few.

Effects of Meth Addiction

The consequences of methamphetamine abuse according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) includes psychological, medical and social. Meth use has the potential to cause:

  • Memory loss,
  • Aggression,
  • Psychotic behavior,
  • Malnutrition
  • Severe Dental problems
  • cardiovascular impairment
  • Rapid onset of the aging process

Another serious health consequence of meth use includes increased opportunity for exposure and transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

In research studies, chronic meth use resulted in negative effects on non-neural brain cells called microglia. These are cells that protect the brain from infectious agents as well as support brain health by removing damaged neurons. Habitual meth abuse can result in over activity of these cells that lead to an assault on healthy neurons. Data from the NIDA of a study of meth abusers using brain imaging found that the microglia cell activity was more than double compared to people with no history of methamphetamine abuse.

Although some of these effects are reversible after abstinence in areas associated with performances on motor and verbal memory tests, recovery was not evident in other brain regions even after 14 months of abstinence. This, according to researchers, is an indication that some meth induced changes can be long lasting.  Other serious long term effects of meth abuse may include a greater predisposition to Parkinson’s disease and stroke which has the potential to cause irreversible brain damage.

Avoid the short and long term debilitation of meth use and addiction.  Call Drug Rehab Brooklyn today at (718) 749-0907.  We have the tools and the expertise to help you stop abusing meth and minimize the life altering effects of this drug.

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