Crystal meth, one form of methamphetamine, is a highly addictive stimulant drug that holds a great potential for abuse. The drug may be administered orally, inhaled or injected and creates an intense euphoric feeling for the user. The intense euphoria causes many to get hooked right off the bat. With the continued use of crystal meth comes a number of negative physical effects and changes.

Skin Effects

A major reason some users begin to use meth is for its effectiveness in weight loss. But you have to ask yourself, is the weight loss worth all the other side effects that follow as well? The rapid weight loss from the use of crystal meth is from the suppression of appetite due to an increased metabolism. Over time, due to long periods without eating, the body begins to feed on the muscle tissue and fat. This is what gives many meth users the hollowed facial appearance.further, the use of meth can cause psychosis and hallucinations. One of the most common hallucinations is having bugs crawling on or under your skin. This leads to the user constantly scratching and picking at their skin. This is why many users will have scabs and open sores on various parts of their body. Depending on the individual, acne may also appear. Through these various impacts on the body, a user can look anywhere from a couple years to over a decade older in as little as two years.

“Meth Mouth”

On top of the extreme weight loss, the effect meth has on the user’s teeth (known as “meth mouth”) is another drastic physical change in a short amount of time. The chemicals found in meth are so toxic that they can lead to the tooth enamel to dissolve. Blood vessels within the teeth and gums can shrink, causing the rate of decay to increase. In addition to this, while using meth it is common for the individual to grind his or her teeth, and have extremely poor oral hygiene due to general neglect and nutritional deficiencies. This results in not just tooth decay but the loss of teeth as well.

Hidden Changes

Other physical changes can result from crystal meth use that are not so visible to the eye. One such result is the constriction of the user’s blood vessels. This constriction limits the amount of blood flow throughout the body. Continued and excessive use can cause the tissues to be susceptible to damage as they are not getting the blood needed to keep them stable. Over time this disables the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

If you may think a loved one is using, some signs to look for early on are dilated pupils, rapid eye movement, continuously picking at their skin and hair, mood swings and a loss of appetite. If you are sure about their use, it is in their best interest to contact an addiction professional. Make them aware that the addiction is something they can beat, and offer your full support.

For a free confidential addiction assessment, call 1-800-203-2024.