Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and very powerful, illegal stimulant drug that affects a person’s central nervous system. Methamphetamine, also called meth, glass, or ice, often comes in crystal chunks ranging in colors from clear to blue. Meth is used either by smoking, snorted, or injected into the vein. Meth causes a powerful rush of energy and “power” that people can get hooked on right away. When it is used, it causes dopamine to flood parts of the brain responsible for regulating feelings of pleasure in a person. It causes a person to feel very energetic and confident.
Once a person is addicted, they will do anything to feel that rush again. As this drug is used more and more, a tolerance is built up, meaning the user will need to continue to use higher and higher doses to feel the same high they felt at the beginning. Meth abuse and addiction can cause a lot of side effects including increased aggression, paranoia, hallucination, problems with the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and lungs, weight loss, tooth decay, infection, and many other side effects
Effects of Meth on the Skin
Meth sores are a very common side effect of meth use and are most commonly seen on a person’s face, mouth, cheeks, and forehead. They also appear on the limbs, hands, and feet. They may start out looking like acne or a rash but can become infected and spread even more. They often form on the skin because of irritation and persistent scratching. This drug triggers itching, which makes a person want to scratch their face and body; oftentimes to the point where they are bleeding.
Most meth sores are self-inflicted and are often caused by another side effect called meth mites, also known as ice mites or crank bugs. These are imaginary bugs that many meth users say they feel crawling all over their skin or under their skin. This is a hallucination known as formication. Formication is described as a physical hallucination that sometimes is also accompanied by visual hallucinations. This makes the user truly believe they are covered in bugs and will pick and scratch to get them off, leading to meth sores.
What Happens to Skin Because of Methamphetamine
Men and women that abuse meth often have poor hygiene habits. This also contributes to the itchy skin and can lead to the meth sores getting infected. As the sores get worse and infected, they sometimes develop brown or black centers until they grow into a blister and fill with pus. Infected skin sores may even require medical attention. If an infection is bad enough, treatment may need to include antibiotics or draining of the sore.
The best way to get rid of meth sores is to stop taking meth. Once a person stops using meth and begins to take care of their skin again, the sores will heal and scab over however, depending on the severity of the sores, they can scar a person’s skin.
The best and safest option for getting off methamphetamine is by the use of one of our many treatment programs. We offer partial care and outpatient treatment programs that provide therapeutic education and guidance for each individual to help them safely reintegrate into society. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs.
Addiction treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to avoid relapse in the real world.
Treatment for Meth Addiction
Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face and the health risks are not worth a short high. Getting sober can be hard, but the rewards you will get in life are worth it. For your sake, you do not have to face getting off crystal meth on your own. Our admissions counselors and addiction professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your or a loved one’s life and overcome meth addiction.