More than any other substance of abuse, the ravages of meth addiction is the most apparent. While the physical changes can be rapid and unpleasant, appearance is not the only nuance between meth addiction and other illicit drugs. The major difference between meth and drugs like cocaine or heroin is the lingering effect meth has on the brain. While most other drugs cause dysfunction in the central nervous system, the sustained effect of meth in the brain can cause irreversible damage. It is not uncommon for scans of patients with long term meth addiction to have severe brain damage.
The path to this adiction for many users begins with the first dose. Not unlike other chemical substances, the first time someone tries meth it registers a hard coded memory of the euphoric experience that the individual will seek to duplicate. This memory can be so powerful for the meth user, that it can cause an intense desire to repeat it and drive the pattern of use that lead to addiction.
People with meth addiction lose sight quickly of everything else in their lives. Their commitment to family, friends, careers children and even to themselves decline rapidly. The use of this drug despite the innumerable negative consequences testify to the pervasive nature of this drug. Because of the concentration and habitual use that meth demands, the onset of addiction is fast. For most people with loved ones who are addicted to meth, the signs are evident and sometimes frightening. They may include:
According to studies completed at UCLA Medical Center, meth use can cause permanent damage to the brain, harming the nerve cells resulting in symptoms similar to those seen in Alzheimer's disease, psychosis, and dementia. Constriction and destruction of the blood vessels that is common to meth addiction can also cause increased heart rate, abnormal blood pressure as well as compromise the kidneys and liver.
When struggling with a meth addiction, a comprehensive rehabilitation treatment is necessary so the person can get clean and regain sobriety. This process should always be handle by addiction professionals at a rehab facility.