Crystal Meth Abuse Linked to Long-Term Memory Loss

bag of crystal methThe outward effects of crystal meth abuse are not pretty. “The Faces of Meth” campaign has been very effective at letting people know that an individual’s physical appearance will be destroyed if they abuse the highly addictive substance for any length of time. However, little is known on a wide scale in our society about the detrimental results of crystal meth abuse on the brain or an individual’s physical and emotional health after using the illicit drug for any length of time.

In an article recently published in the scientific journal Synapse, researchers at the University of Florida found that crystal meth left users with long-term memory loss. These results only followed the animal subjects up to 21 days after they stopped doing meth, so no one knows for sure how long the memory deficits may last. The impairments may be permanent or they may slowly reverse themselves over time as the one-time addict gets further and further away from the last time they used the substance. However, according to this latest research, the memory issues related to crystal meth are not just present during active use of the drug but still persist three weeks later.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Crystal Meth Use?

Even though the long-term persistent results of crystal meth addiction are still being sorted out, we do know what happens while someone is actively using the drug. A user may experience any number of disturbing physical and emotional effects including:

  • No desire to eat
  • Erratic sleep habits
  • Unpredictable behavior that may turn violent
  • Nausea
  • Rise in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Higher than normal body temperature
  • Mania
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Death

Known Long-Term Results of Crystal Meth Use

Scientists are still trying to understand all the long-term effects of crystal meth use on the human body once an individual ceases taking it, and whether or not these changes are permanent or will slowly return to normal after a certain period of time. However, the effects of long-term abuse of the drug are well documented at this point.

Individuals with a history of crystal meth addiction may suffer from brain damage that creates gaps in their memory, inability to understand abstract concepts, and results in mood swings. The following is an extended list of possible consequences from long-term crystal meth abuse:

  • Damage to liver, lung and kidneys
  • Injury to blood vessels in the heart and brain
  • Increased potential for heart attack, stroke and death
  • Severe, irreversible tooth decay
  • Brain damage similar to stroke, seizures and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Psychosis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Confusion
  • If injected, a wide variety of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis
  • Death

If you or someone you love is addicted to crystal meth, help is available here at Axis. Don’t give up another day to crystal meth abuse or continue to risk the pitfalls that come with addiction. We’re here to assist. Call now.