Meth use might seem like a win-win situation at first. Meth reduces the need for sleep, suppresses the appetite, gives the user lots of energy, and increases a person’s desire and ability to have sex for longer than usual periods of time. However, meth use can quickly become meth addiction, which can have some pretty serious consequences. The side effects of meth use can be severe, and the long-term effects of meth addiction can be devastating.
People seeking LGBTQ+ meth addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one might benefit from learning more about the side effects of meth use and options for getting help. Call Pride Institute at 888.408.1625 or reach out to us online for more information today.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth Use?
We are still learning about the long-term effects of meth use, but research into the topic has revealed some of the potential long-term effects of meth use:
- Addiction – This may seem obvious, but addiction is one of the most serious effects of long-term meth use because, as a chronic, relapsing condition, addiction makes it difficult for the user to stop using, all but assuring that other side effects will occur.
- Lack of ability to feel pleasure – Long-term meth users can develop problems feeling pleasure from other activities. This can reinforce meth use, which turns into a vicious cycle.
- Psychosis and other psychiatric issues – People who use meth long-term are at risk for experiencing psychiatric symptoms, including psychosis, severe anxiety, and even violent behavior. These symptoms can persist even after the person stops using meth.
- Alteration of the brain – Studies have suggested that using meth can alter the structures and functions of the brain, which can lead to emotional and cognitive problems as well as difficulties in forming and retaining memories.
- Physical problems – Meth can cause users to experience many health problems, including weight loss, dental problems, skin problems, and issues with coordination.
Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth Use Permanent?
Learning about the long-term effects of meth use can seem a little frightening, but the good news is that many of these effects can be reduced and even reversed by quitting meth use. Imaging of the brains of people who used meth for a period of time and then stopped seems to show that some of the brain changes begin to reverse after a period of non-usage.￼1
Meth and the LGBTQ+ Community
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are at higher risk of experiencing a substance use disorder in general, but in the case of meth, men who have sex with men (MSM) and those who have sex with them are especially at risk. Meth used during sexual encounters is associated with an increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV. However, a culture of partying and having sex while using meth has emerged, placing MSM in particular danger of contracting an STI in addition to experiencing meth addiction.
Pride Institute: Serving the Recovery Care Needs of the LGBTQ+ Community Since 1986
At our treatment centers in Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, Minnesota, our clients can benefit from our programming, which has been specially designed to meet the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Clients can focus on their recovery while being comfortable and honored as their authentic selves. We are of our programming and our vibrant alumnx community who support one another in recovery. If you or someone you care about has been struggling with meth use, or are worried about the long-term effects of meth use, reach out to our caring and compassionate staff today at 888.408.1625 or via our online form. Let us walk with you as you take the first steps on your recovery journey.