Health problems from chronic meth abuse can be life threatening. Smoking causes respiratory problems, residue concentrates in the lungs, aggravating pre-existing respiratory problems. Smoking meth is highly addictive and tolerance builds fast, causing the user to consume huge amounts in a short time. Meth in large quantities can cause circulatory problems leading to strokes and heart attacks.
IV meth use creates issues more severe than smoking. Complications from infections can lead to amputations, blood infections, and abscesses. A bacterial infection known as “cotton fever” can develop, causing fever, joint pains, and flu like symptoms. Vascular scarring from needle damage leads to vein collapse. The sudden spike in blood pressure after injection causes strokes and heart attacks. Blood born diseases are common in IV use. Hepatitis C and B and HIV are passed through sharing of syringes. These diseases are chronic, leading to serious problems.
After prolonged use, paranoia and schizophrenia develops. Disturbing behavior manifests. Delusional and obsessive behaviors interfere with all aspects of life. Involuntary movements of the face and tongue make the user appear mentally disturbed. The mental effects of prolonged abuse turn the addict into an outcast. This draws them closer to other addicts and deeper into addiction, contributing to the vicious cycle.
Meth addiction leads to criminal behavior. Identity theft is the most common crime committed by meth addicts. Crimes are committed to obtain personal information and forge documents. Fraudulent activities involving credit cards, checking accounts and credit accounts commonly occur. Crime is not limited to identity theft. Prostitution, child neglect, robbery, and violence are common. Meth users are prone to violence because of paranoia and delusions. At this point in the addiction process, the justice system often becomes involved. Once the justice system becomes involved, It’s a matter of time before rehab or jail becomes the reality.