Meth Sores

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do meth users have sores?” Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth or crystal meth, is a highly addictive drug that directly affects the nervous system. Medically, this stimulant is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as it affects the imbalance of brain chemicals causing brain overactivity. However, individuals abuse meth recreationally for its euphoric highs that can last up to 12 hours.

Despite the long-lasting high, repeated methamphetamine abuse can have damaging effects on the mind and the body. Some of the most notable effects occur in the mouth and on the skin in the form of blisters or sores. These are commonly known as meth sores or meth mites. In many cases, some of the physical damage caused from meth abuse is irreversible. Whether you or someone you know is using this substance, you likely have questions about the dangers of meth sores and how to get rid of meth sores, among the other side effects. You can find many of those answers on this page, in addition to information on treatment.

Just as is the case with any other drug addiction, the best and only guaranteed way to prevent meth sores, meth mites and other side effects is to simply never use it at all. Despite the euphoric high that this substance can create, the risks are not worth the temporary benefit. No drug is worth the health of your body.

 

Crystal Meth - meth sores
Meth abuse can drastically affect a user’s physical appearance, specifically the skin causing meth sores on the face. Frequent use of this drug can affect the body’s blood flow, restricting the amount traveling to all areas of the body. Without consistent blood flow, blood vessels are destroyed and the body loses its ability to repair itself. As a result, meth users have a tendency to develop leathery, off-colored skin.

Meth abuse can also result in extensive acne and bumps. Methamphetamine is a man-made stimulant drug that increases the heart rate and body temperature, affecting the normal balance of body perspiration. Frequent use causes users to sweat more, develop oily skin, and develop acne and rashes. Meth abuse can affect a person’s motivation to maintain personal hygiene and everyday routines, also affecting a user’s appearance and overall skin health.

Chronic meth users commonly experience formication — a prickly, tingling sensation resembling small insects crawling on or under the skin. It is accompanied by hallucinations of insects, prompting users to scratch and pick at their skin to rid themselves of the “bugs.” These hallucinations are referred to as crank bugs.

Extensive meth abuse causes users to obsessively fixate on their skin, digging at insects that aren’t there, creating sores and open wounds. Because of the incessant picking and reduced blood flow to the skin, meth sores take a long time to heal. Over time, severe meth addicts are covered with these sores, or meth mites, on their faces and arms from repetitive picking and scratching. Not only are they harming themselves by picking their skin, they are also at risk of using anything to relieve themselves of the prickly sensation. Some of these objects can include nails, knives and other sharp objects.

These open sores are also at risk for becoming infected, leading to other health issues in the future if users are not properly treated.

Meth abuse symptoms vary from one user to the next, and greatly depend on the severity of the addiction. However, there are some tell-tale signs and shared effects of extensive meth abuse. Other than skin health issues and open sores, meth addicts experience hair loss and sometimes extreme weight loss.

When users are more fixated with getting high, they neglect daily necessities including personal hygiene, household responsibilities and eating regularly, if at all. It is not uncommon for users to look gaunt and frail.

Meth addiction also causes significant damage to the teeth. Meth causes a user to have cotton mouth, drying out the salivary glands needed to break down acids from foods and bacteria. As a result, these acids begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Lack of personal hygiene adds to this effect, as users may neglect to brush their teeth. Within months, meth addicts’ teeth may begin to decay or fall out. Much of this damage is irreversible, but greatly depends on the severity of the addiction. Whereas some users may suffer from a few cavities or red gums, other users may need root canals, teeth extractions or oral surgery. This condition is commonly known as meth mouth.

If you or someone you know are struggling with methamphetamine addiction, treatment resources are available to you. Our professional team at The Recovery Village will guide you to the best treatment and recovery options that address your needs. Don’t wait another day to begin your journey toward recovery. 
Bryner, J. (2006, September 21). This is Your Mouth on Meth. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/1010-mouth-meth.html

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013, September). What is methamphetamine? Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-methamphetamine

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013, September). How is methamphetamine different from other stimulants, such as cocaine? Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/how-methamphetamine-different-other-stimulants-such-cocaine

PBS. (2011, May 17). How Meth Destroys The Body. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/

Meth Sores
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Meth Sores was last modified: November 9th, 2017 by The Recovery Village