The two most common names for methamphetamine are meth and crystal meth. They come in two popular forms; powder and rock. Meth, in particular, is a crystalline powder usually used by smoking, snorting, or injecting it into a person’s body. Meth can also cause physical damage to the body, like meth sores.
It is a very addictive stimulant drug that affects a person’s central nervous system. Using meth gives a person a rush of energy and intense feelings of pleasure. Meth is made from a mixture of household products and agricultural chemicals with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, a decongestant found in over-the-counter cold remedies like Sudafed.
Meth is popular and very addictive because of the euphoric effects it gives its users. However, it’s illegal because its continuous consumption has been proven to alter and destroy brain functions that can result in psychosis, stroke, or even death.
What is a Meth Addiction?
More often than not, people have the misconception that drug addiction is the cause of a lack of morals or firm resolution. However, drug addiction is much more complicated than that since it is a chronic disease.
Drug addiction rewires brain functions and pushes people to continuously crave and use drugs despite the visible adverse effects on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Methamphetamine stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is in charge of the body’s reward system. It’s known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter because it makes a person feel pleasure and satisfaction.
Normally, the brain’s reward system motivates a person to do healthy tasks that benefit the human body. But when a person starts to use meth and triggers the surge of dopamine, the brain rewards the act of using the substance. Consistent use of meth eventually starts to change the brain’s decision-making centers and destroys brain functions until a person depends on the drug.
A meth addiction follows after this dependency, and the user’s body will begin to constantly crave more and more of the substance to feel the euphoria they first thought during the first time they used it.
What Does Meth Do to Your Face?
There are many physical effects on the body when meth is abused.
Physical meth symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid eye movement
- Severe dental problems (meth-mouth)
- Skin sores
- Rapid heart rate
The skin sores mentioned above usually appear on the face and mouth area of a person who uses the drug. However, they may also appear on a person’s chest and arms. These sores look like small round patches of red or irritated skin. They can look similar to acne and are sometimes mistaken for pimples or rash.
The cause of these skin sores can be meth-induced paranoia or hallucinations, which pushes people to pick on their skin until there are scabs. Or they can be from lack of self-care and personal hygiene due to the meth addiction.
Aside from the sores, meth can also cause severe tooth and gum decay in the long term.
Why Does Meth Change Your Face?
As said before, meth can cause sores because people who abuse the drug tend to lack self-care and personal hygiene. A person addicted to meth is prone to neglect cleanliness and can cause their meth sores to become infected and spread to more patches of skin in the body.
Meth is also known to be a substance that can be dissolved in water or alcohol. Since users dissolve meth and inject it into their veins as a liquid solution, this meth can be sweated out. This sweat can form around the hairline and come in contact with the skin of the face. This can damage the pores of the skin and cause even more sores. This is why meth face happens.
The mouth is also prone to have these meth sores. This happens because not only does the meth damage teeth and gums, it also triggers less saliva production. That leads to a drier mouth, and its natural acids will begin to eat into the teeth and gums, causing them to break down and rot. The lack of good dental hygiene, combined with tooth and gum decay, allows sores to form in and even around the mouth.
Continuous meth use will then eventually change the appearance of a person’s face because of these long-term effects. Meth is seen to induce other skin issues as well as facial fat and muscle loss.
When meth is used for long periods, a user’s face tends to appear more aged or even deteriorated as a result.
Recovery Steps That Help Clear Up Meth Face
Normal sores usually heal independently and can be alleviated through good hygiene practices. Infected sores may need medical attention, and a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection.
However, since meth face is caused by meth abuse, the best treatment or solution is to discontinue the drug entirely.
When someone becomes addicted to meth, there is an intense psychological and physical impact that comes along with it. Dependency on the drug becomes a psychological problem and will be very hard to cure. But it is never too late, nor is it impossible. If someone you know is suffering from meth abuse, the first step is to conduct an intervention.
Completely stopping someone from using meth is a long and hard process since an intense withdrawal period follows after it. The best way to help a loved one recover from drug abuse is to consult medical professionals, check rehabilitation centers that match the person, and create a support system.
Treatment and rehabilitation from meth addiction do not happen successfully overnight, but it is one of many steps towards permanent recovery.
Take The First Step With Buena Vista
Do you need help or know someone battling meth abuse? Are they seeking a place for meth recovery in Phoenix, AZ? Here at Buena Vista Health and Recovery Center, we will guide you or your loved one as you go through your recovery journey.
If you want to take that first step together with us, you can contact us at (800) 922-0095, or go to any of our Arizona locations. We are here to help.
29858 N. Tatum Blvd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
3033 South Arizona Avenue
Chandler, Arizona 85248
5151 East Pima Road
Tucson, Arizona 85712