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What are the harmful side effects of using meth?

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Quick Answer

The harmful side effects of using methamphetamine include cardiovascular problems, neurological issues, overdose effects and tooth loss, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Psychological problems, such as paranoia, hallucinations, extreme anxiety and violent behavior, are also potential issues.

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Full Answer

Methamphetamine effects in the short term can lead to serious heart problems, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports. The drug can cause a rapid or irregular heart beat as well as high blood pressure. Overdoses can lead to an elevated temperature, convulsions and death.

The drug's long-term effects can lead to brain abnormalities and emotional issues. Researchers have discovered that brain damage in chronic users leads to problems with thinking, verbal memory and motor skills. Additionally, long-term users may experience mood swings and psychotic symptoms, such as the feeling of insects crawling under their skin.

Dental problems, thought to be caused by the dry mouth and teeth grinding associated with methamphetamine use, is common in chronic users, as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Users may also develop skin sores from scratching to rid themselves of imaginary bugs under their skin.

Researchers believe that users have a higher chance of developing Parkinson's disease even after they quit using methamphetamine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. They also have a higher risk of stroke.

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