Damage to the Brain and the Mind Commonly Experienced by a Methamphetamine Abuser

The brain is constructed to be tough and resilient but it is no match for the toxicity and stress of meth abuse. Changes occur in a meth user’s brain that may take years to heal if they ever come all the way back. Anyone who is going to use this drug needs to understand their risks for permanent injury to body or mind.

brain inside head


Because of the stress on blood vessels, there is an increased risk of stroke for a methamphetamine abuser. A stroke can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Prolonged meth use can cause the user to develop symptoms like Parkinson’s disease.

Meth appears to have a toxic effect directly on the tissues of the brain. Even after a year of abstinence, methamphetamine abusers showed impairments in memory, judgment and motor coordination. These changes are thought to result from lasting damage to parts of the brain.


The heavy abuse of methamphetamine can cause lasting changes in personality and intelligence. A report from the Office of National Drug Control Policy noted that combined methamphetamine and crack cocaine abuse can result in a severe decline in IQ.

A current meth user can become so disorganized that he is unable to cope with daily life. His risk of becoming aggressive, nervous, irritable, violent, suicidal, delusional or psychotic is very high. Some people suffer from schizophrenia. These mental effects may improve but not disappear after a person stops abusing the drug.

anxiety from meth abuse

Former methamphetamine users suffer from anxiety, paranoia, and depression that do not necessarily cease when the drug use stops. After ceasing use of this drug, a former user can suffer from an inability to experience any pleasure. This effect alone is enough to send some people back to use of the drug.

Users often experience delusions that they have insects crawling under their skin, causing them to pick at their skin for hours on end, resulting in deep sores. This effect results from changes in the brain that trigger compulsive, repetitive actions like twitching or picking at things.

Pregnant Women May Impose Serious Injuries on their Babies

ultrasound image of unborn baby

Meth use during pregnancy has been found to affect the development of the fetus and is associated with bleeding, prematurity, separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus and miscarriage.

As with other drugs, a meth-abusing mom can cause a baby to be born addicted to the drug she was using. Worse than that, these children may suffer problems that far outlast the withdrawal syndrome they may experience. They suffer higher than usual numbers of birth defects to eyes and cleft palates. Heart defects and mental disabilities also occur in greater numbers.

Children born to mothers who had used meth still showed mental effects when they were five years old. They tended to be smaller and handled stress poorly. They were more lethargic than babies born to non-meth-abusing mothers and reached developmental milestones later.

Even in their teens, these children tended to achieve at lower levels in mathematics, language, and sports.

By now, it should be obvious to the reader than the abuse of methamphetamine is terribly harmful to the body, the mind, and unborn children. One hopes that understanding these terrible, permanent risks would keep one from ever touching this drug.

If you care for someone who is addicted to methamphetamine and who needs help getting off this drug, contact Narconon International.


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