Drugs, alcohol and addictive behaviors offer individuals an escape from reality. While some individuals use drugs as a quick fix to their daily stressors, others use out of vanity. Street drugs, such as crystal meth and cocaine, enable users to experience a temporary surge of confidence, similar to the liquid courage of alcohol. However, once the initial “high” is over, crystal meth users are forced to face the harsh realities of a severely damaged physical body.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 4.3 percent of the population has tried methamphetamine. Currently 521,000 Americans are users, with 1.3 million admitting to use within the past month. While most meth users experience an initial surge in confidence, the drug begins to wreak havoc on the physical and emotional health of all users. Although habitual crystal meth use will cause an array of unpleasant symptoms, one of the most aesthetically troublesome is its effect on the skin.
Who is using crystal meth?
1.3 Million Americans admit to using Crystal Meth within the past month.
521,000 Americans are users.
4.3 Percent of the population has tried methamphetamine.
Crystal Meth and Skin Damage
The most obvious sign of a meth user is a drastic shift in physical appearance. Once crystal meth enters the body, it causes blood vessels to constrict. From a physiological perspective, any constriction of blood vessels is incredibly harmful for the body. Constriction decreases blood flow to all parts of the body – from the skin to the cardiovascular system. As individuals become habitual users, blood vessels may become weaker, causing a myriad of health complications. During the initial damage, constricted blood vessels make the physical body more susceptible to further damage. This constriction, coupled with weakened blood vessels, make it difficult for the body to repair any damage done.
As a result, crystal meth users will notice changes in their physical appearance, particularly in their skin. The constriction of blood flow will naturally cause their skin to lose its elasticity and healthy glow. Instead, users will notice more wrinkles, skin that sags, and an overall appearance of having aged rapidly.
What Your Skin Looks Like on Meth
Doctors often report that habitual meth users appear 10 to 15 years older than their actual age. While less discernible, crystal meth users will likely notice other changes to their skin, including:
- An increase in sores, often called “meth mites”
- Skin that is gray in color
- Hardened skin and leathery texture
- Oily-hot skin
Drug Use and Hygiene
The more users become ingrained in their meth habits, the less likely they are to care for their physical hygiene. As a result, it is not uncommon for users to neglect bathing, brushing their teeth and eating nourishing foods. Already in a compromised state, their immune system and blood vessels can handle very little extra stress. Thus, individuals may notice an increase in skin sores, wrinkles and acne; however, as the addiction intensifies, many users fail to notice the physical signs. By the time many users see the destruction of meth to their physical body, it is often too late to heal.
Overcoming any addiction requires a complete physical and mental transformation. Because crystal meth causes immense damage to the physical body, full healing may not be possible. Treatment for crystal meth entails a physical detox. Once the body is free from meth and the issues behind the addiction have been addressed, a return to healthy hygiene habits will be possible.
The sooner you can find help, the better your body can heal. Contact us at The Oaks at La Paloma for information on our crystal meth addiction treatment program.