“Don’t do it. Not even once.” Everyone has seen those commercials about methamphetamine. They know the risks and dangers, but that still doesn’t stop 1.2 million Americans from using the drug each year. It has serious, life-altering effects, and, as you’re about to see, can really ruin your entire future! We put together these before and after pictures of meth users who have been seriously harmed by the stimulant. We also added in some important tidbits of information that ANYONE should know before getting involved with meth.
Here are 18 people who had their lives RUINED by meth, plus some interesting facts!
#18 A Dangerous Drug
Methamphetamine, also known as “meth” is a stimulant drug that about 1.2 million Americans use each year. It works by agitating the central nervous system to make the user feel more alert and focused. When taken as prescribed by a physician, it has relatively few side effects. But, it is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world and carries some pretty serious consequences.
#17 Pick Your Poison
There are a number of ways to use methamphetamines. Doctors typically prescribe it in pill or capsule form, but when it’s being bought off the street, it is usually inhaled, injected, or smoked. People will often refer to it as “crystal meth”- this indicates the solid form of the drug. No matter which way you take it, though, there’s no doubt that it’s dangerous!
#16 Some Legal Uses
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that there ARE some legal uses for methamphetamine. It is often prescribed for ADHD or other attention problems under the brand name Adderall or Vyvanse. As long as a doctor carefully monitors the patients and watches for signs of abuse, it can really be a life-changing drug for plenty of people!
#15 You’re Stuck For Life
Meth is a highly addictive drug. It’s impossible to tell who will or will not become a drug addict, so deciding to use meth for the first time is a huge risk. It can lead to a lifetime of addiction and dependence and some serious side effects. But, we’ll start explaining some of these side effects a little bit later. Keep reading to find out more!
#14 Jail Time
In addition to being super addictive, meth is highly illegal. Many meth users will face serious jail time (sometimes for 10-20 years!) and spend their lives locked up in a cell instead of receiving the necessary treatment for their addiction. Often, they return straight to drug use as soon as they’re released from jail.
Check out the stages of feeling someone goes through when they’re on meth!
#13 The Rush
Right after someone takes methamphetamine, they feel a rush of euphoria and joy. Their heart beat rises and their metabolism speeds up while their blood pressure rises. They typically feel pretty shaky and restless during this time, but still, consider the experience to be pleasant overall. This initial “rush” lasts about thirty-five minutes. After this, though, things start to go downhill!
#12 The High
During the “high” stage of the meth experience, users feel more aggressive, smarter, and focused. Typically, this lasts fourteen to sixteen hours. This is a high that lasts longer than most drugs. Don’t expect to get any sleep during this time- you’ll be too busy hyper-focusing on something insignificant like mopping the floor or tying your shoes!
#11 The Binge
After the ‘high” wears off, users go on a drug and alcohol fueled binge. For the next three to fifteen days, users find themselves unable to control their use of illicit substances. So, they often use more methamphetamine. Eventually, they become immune to the effects of the drug. That doesn’t make the next stages any easier, though!
Tweaking is considered to be the most dangerous phase of the meth experience. During this time, users begin to experience hallucinations and delusions. They may also become highly aggressive and dangerous to those around them. This is when most meth users are arrested- they can’t help but draw attention to themselves with their outrageous behavior!
#9 The Crash
After being kept awake for days at a time during the tweaking phase, meth users go into the “crash” stage. This is where users become almost completely comatose. They often sleep for days at a time, only waking when absolutely necessary for things like going to the bathroom. This phase is fairly short, though- it only lasts a few days!
#8 The Hangover
After crashing, the drug abuser becomes severely depressed and exhausted. They are physically and mentally worn out, and generally starving from going weeks without eating. These feelings are often so excruciating that the addict begins to use meth again to put them back into the happy state they were previously in. Though this provides short-term relief, it enforces the cycle of addiction.
#7 The Withdrawal
Thirty to ninety days after taking their last dose of methamphetamine, the drug user goes into withdraw. This usually includes violent shakes, depression, intense cravings, and severe physical pain. Withdrawing from meth is so difficult that up to 93% of users relapse during this phase and begin using again. It’s no wonder why… this sounds awful!
#6 Seeing Things
Often times, the telltale sign that someone is on meth is the presence of hallucinations and delusions. These are often very disturbing to the user and can cause long-term emotional and psychological damage. They can last for several hours and cause the user to behave in very destructive ways. Clearly, meth, is not something that you want to mess with!
A hallucination happens when a person hears, sees, or feels something that is not really there. This is a psychological phenomenon, often seen is diseases such as schizophrenia, and is typically disturbing. We’ll explain one of the more common meth hallucinations in slide 3… right after we learn a bit about meth delusions!
Meth users commonly experience delusions. A delusion is a belief or impression that someone has, despite it being false. No matter how much logic and rationality is inserted into the situation, the person refuses to stray from their belief system. This is dangerous and often very scary for all the people around the meth user! You will be freaked out by this next one…
#3 Speed Bumps
Meth addicts are often afflicted with “meth mites” or “speed bumps.” This is medically referred to as “fornication.” While suffering, the addict has a visual and tactile hallucination of bugs crawling over their skin. Sometimes, they claim to even hear the pests. This sounds more like a nightmare than something somebody would enjoy. This next one seems like a positive but can lead to death…
#2 Weight Loss
One of the side effects that makes methamphetamine so appealing is the weight loss. While on meth, users find it near impossible to eat, so they typically lose a large amount of weight in a very short time. This is initially very exciting but can have dangerous effects like heart attack, organ failure, and osteoporosis. Plus, your body stops taking in proteins and fats that help you fight off diseases and bacteria.
#1 Meth Mouth
Meth users, especially crystal meth users, are often afflicted with “meth mouth.” This is a common term to explain the severe tooth and jaw decay that comes along with drug use. These side effects are typically very ugly, and even if an addict is able to get clean, they’ll face thousands of dollars in medical bills to repair their teeth.
As you can see, meth addiction is a very serious illness! These were all wonderful, intelligent people before they started using drugs. From then on out, their bodies and minds were ravaged by something they promised to do “only once.”
This is the sad reality of drug dependence in our country. Choosing to experiment with a drug one time can lead to a lifetime of jail time, medical complications, and addiction. This is costly, sad, painful, and devastating.
These people can’t go back and change what happened to them, but you can make the decision not to use meth.