You wouldn’t go under a plastic surgeon’s knife for a nose job if you knew he mangled the bodies of other patients, and you wouldn’t allow an inexperienced tattoo artist to ink your face or any other visible skin. Yet meth disfigures faces, mouths and bodies.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 1.2 million people tried the drug in 2011 despite the fact that this drug maims and kills. I encourage anyone who’s thinking of trying the drug, facing an addiction, or in love with someone who uses meth to look at the faces of meth addicts and see the reality of how this drug affects you and your loved ones. Here are some of the most horrifying faces of meth addicts.
What is Methamphetamine?
Before we talk about how this drug affects your face, consider what it is. It’s commonly called chalk, crank, ice, speed and uppers. Highly addictive, methamphetamine can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed as users attempt to reduce fatigue, increase productivity, improve sex drive and lose weight. Users experience intense rushes that last a few minutes, and then they experience a high that lasts from six to eight hours.
The drug affects a user’s brain and central nervous system. During withdraw, also known as tweaking, users experience agitation and possibly violent behavior. They also may feel irritable, anxious, depressed, tired, paranoid and delusional. The drug craving also intensifies and leads to an even deeper desire for the dangerous substance.
How Does Methamphetamine Affect Your Health?
In addition to affecting your brain, the drug affects your health. Because it suppresses appetite, the user becomes malnourished with obvious, dangerous results. Other health problems caused by the drug include insomnia, poor memory, increased blood pressure, breathing problems, seizures, strokes and increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B and C. No high is worth these potentially deadly effects.
How Does Methamphetamine Affect Your Face and Mouth?
All this talk about what the drug is and how it affects users leads us to talk about how methamphetamines affect your face and mouth. Have you ever felt a bug crawling on you? Meth users typically experience that sensation because the drug causes hallucinations. Users scratch and claw their skin to remove the invisible bugs and end up with skin sores and ugly scarring. Just look at long-term users, and the faces of meth staring back at you demonstrate the damage caused by the drug.
Methamphetamines also affect the user’s mouth because it causes dry mouth or xerostomia and teeth grinding or bruxism. Plus, users don’t usually prioritize healthy oral hygiene like brushing, flossing and dental care. These factors all accelerate tooth decay.
What does tooth decay look like? Users typically notice black spots especially along the root of the teeth next to the cheeks, canines and incisors. Their teeth may also feel loose or break, and the jaw can become sore and unable to open. Meth mouth can be very painful, not to mention ugly.
Some of these symptoms can be reversed during the recovery process. Rehydrating may help, but users often experience permanent dry mouth as a long-term side effect. Many dentists recommend recovering users brush with a fluoride toothpaste because it strengthens teeth. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that’s low in sugar may also help. Regular dental care can be a beneficial part of a successful oral treatment plan too, but no treatment plan is guaranteed to reverse the effects of methamphetamine use.
The faces of meth demonstrate the external results of using this drug, yet users experience even more damage internally. If you or someone you love struggles with a methamphetamine addiction, seek help immediately. You don’t have to suffer from the drug’s effects. Instead, you can be handsome, beautiful, healthy, and drug-free.