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What is the long term damage from Meth?

Long Term Meth Problems?
I was wondering if anyone knows what the Long Term damage is from meth? A friend I used to use with sobered up about the same time I did, three years ago. She is in her early 40's and has been hit with medical problem after medical problem in a very short time. The doctors just found out she has throat and stomach cancer. Does anyone know if that could be an effect from the tweek'n? Both of us were bangers although she did try the "only smoke it" method to try to control the madness before she gave it up for good.

Does motivation EVER come back? I've been off the stuff for three years now and still have no motivation-even to do things I like doing.
Re: Long Term Meth Problems?
Hello freed and welcome.

I was an active meth addict for 13 years. I'm 49 and have been clean for over 9-1/2 years.

I have many, many health problems directly and indirectly related to my meth use. And they hit me all at once as well, in the past 3 or so years. One of the problems put me in the hospital and almost killed me, when my pancreas decided to start feeding on itself. As a result, my internal organs began to shut down. I was hospitalized and put on morphine (the pain was excruciating).

I asked my doctor if she thought the damage to my pancreas could have something to do with the 13 years I ingested meth, and she said very likely, especially because I drank alot when I was using.

I also lost all of my teeth at the ripe old age of 42, thanks to my buddy meth.

Motivation comes back, in time. It's hard for me to gauge this, though, because I didn't get clean until I turned 40, then I landed in prison for a year, then I've spent the last 8 or so years trying to deal with the destruction my addiction caused, and pick up the shattered pieces of my life.

Now, I'm pushing 50, and I'm tired! I've been working full time, nonstop since I was 15 years old, and I'm beat.

Welcome to the board. We are addicts, recovering addicts, loved ones and family members of addicts. We are here to support and love and encourange and teach each other. It's a wonderful place to be, filled with wonderful people.
Sfj Re: Long Term Meth Problems?
For one thing, it is different for each individual. The effects, whether short term or long term depend on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to:

1. The amount of meth being used. (some people might use as little as .05 gram and many others might use ten times that amount per hit)
2. The frequency of use. (how many times a day or week)
3. The duration of use. (how many years or months)
4. The age of the user. (obviously, young people heal more easily than older people)
5. The general health of the user.
6. The amount and nature of the user's support and recovery structure.
7. The willingness of the user to work hard and incorporate the proven tools of recovery.

Those are a few of the most critical factors.

Throat and stomach cancer are not commonly considered to be side effects of meth use. That does not mean that it's impossible. Using meth will weaken a person in nearly all aspects of health.

There is really a great amount of information these days on the internet. A skilled search will yield the answers you seek.

How Meth Addicts Think and Feel

Motivation will return when you decide it will. It will take a little effort, but you can actually train your brain and body to become motivated, inspired and ambitious again.
One of the best paths to this end is vigorous aerobic exercise. Helping others will boost your self-esteem. There are countless opportunities for those who are willing to go after them.
Re: Long Term Meth Problems?
In all honesty we are currently caught smack dab in the middle of the meth epidemic. There's not been enough research/data done to dismiss or concur! So here are the facts based on the data we do have....Basic info
What we do know as of 1-2006
Long Term damage
.        fatal kidney and lung disorders
.        possible brain damage
.        depression
.        hallucinations
.        disorganized lifestyle
.        permanent psychological problems
.        violent and aggressive behavior
.        weight loss
.        insomnia
.        behavior resembling paranoid schizophrenia
.        decreased social life
.        malnutrition
.        poor coping abilities
.        disturbance of personality development
.        lowered resistance to illnesses
.        liver damage
.        stroke
.        death
Recommended reading Handbook of Neurotoxicology: Volume 2
You can also do a bit of research go to "search" Neurotoxicology for addition information based on the chemical makeup that was used in the meth you had been ingesting. Please keep in mind that the difficult thing to Meth is that no two recipes will ever be the same. Therefore collecting proper data for meth is almost impossible. Different chemicals, will render different results.
Good luck and God Bless
Re: Long Term Meth Problems?
Dear Freed,
I am very sorry that you are suffering in your recovery process. My best advice to you is to please see a medical professional. My boyfriend and I used heavily for over 5 years and two years after we both quit he still felt exactly like you describe you feel (no energy, no enjoyment in life etc.). He had not seen a doctor in over 8 years and thought that the reason he still felt miserable was because he had permananetly and irreveribly damaged his body and mind (I, on the other hand had bounced back and felt great!). After a near-death experience that sent him to the emergency room, it was discovered that he had a serious medical condition completely unrelated to his meth use which explained why he felt so bad (his thyroid had basically completely stopped functioning which leads to debilitating depression, weight gain, lethargy etc.).
Anyway, my point is that there is no substitute for seeing a medical professional and getting a complete physical. After that, you may want to seek the help of a psychiatrist who may be able to prescribe medication (i.e. antidepressants) if it turns out there's no physical cause for how your're feeling.
I would also STRONGLY ADVISE you NOT to read all the medical data of the horrors that meth may permanently do to you. This information may be good for people who are still using to encourage them to quit but it's really not that helpful for people who have already made the choice to lead a clean and sober life. While there certainly can be Long Term physical effects after Long Term meth use, it's also true that the body is very reslilient and can bounce back from some pretty horrific abuse. If you think your suffering is due to your meth use, please see a doctor and find out the real story so that you can get on the fulllroad to enjoying your recovery - YOU DESERVE IT!
Re: Long Term Meth Problems?
there is no substitute for seeing a medical professional and getting a complete physical. After that, you may want to seek the help of a psychiatrist who may be able to prescribe medication (i.e. antidepressants) if it turns out there's no physical cause for how your're feeling.

Sound advice Venus, very sound.
Freedfemme, I would take Veunus' advice.
That is the only sure way to get the answers you seek.

All things said are possibilities- not definites.
It may be you have some damage- it is possible.
The only way to know is through a doctor.

Let us know how it goes for you OK? and 3 years clean is AWESOME!!!!!!
Well done You  Please stick around- we can always use another one that defies the odds the media likes to present.
You are proof as are many here that we do recover and there is life after meth.

Good to see you - thanks for posting and letting us know you are here.

Re: Long Term Meth Problems?
I've been working with a shrink and a physocologist for three years now and they have me on a few anti-depressents that are suppose to help with the motivation. I took them faithfully for my first year of recovery, then I went on a drug holiday and quite taking them until I got so suicidal my BF called my shrink at home and they were going to have me committed if I didn't agree to do something about it. I've been back on my meds for about three months, but still have a hard time getting motivated to do anything...even things I love to do like draw and ride horses. I had a complete physical when I went into treatment and had a cat scan done on my brain because they wanted to look for possible signs of a stroke...I had lost the hearing in one ear when I was still using and I get horrific migraines. I also get checked out for hep c once a year because my BF has it (he was in a car accident in the early 80's and ended up having several blood transfusions during surgery)
Um, I was my own best guinea pig from the time I was 13 to 30. I really got heavy into the tweek about five years before I quit...when I was turned on to bang'n. I'd go through a gram or so a day, depending on quality, and go on month long runs. I O.D.ed once on it and dam near killed myself. That is an experience I'll never forget. I wanted to catch a train, so I doubled what I normally did, and a few seconds after I hit it, my heart stopped and the veins in my arms, hands and feet seemed to go flat. The room turned into one of the old-fashioned T.V.s and disappeared into a dot. I came to on the floor and my heart was pounding really fast, then would stop and kick in pounding really fast. I called 911 and spent the night hooked up to heart monitors. Getting busted finally slowed me down but I didn't stop until my P.O. finally said something to me that made total sense...she told me that I had two choices, I could be sober in prison or be sober at home. She sent me through treatment (again) and a halfway house. I still thought that i could use when i got back home, that I would just have to be sneakier. While I was going through treatment, I got ALLOT of eye-openers. My mom and BF were very active in the family sessions and I got to sit in the one where they ahve family tell us what it was like for them. I had no idea that my mom used to sneak to the window in my apartment and watch for me to move (if I was crashed out) so she knew I was alive. Both Mom and BF told me they were very relieved when I was arrested because they didn't have to worry about finding me dead anymore. While I was in the halfway house, I stayed in contact with my freinds from treatment and found out that one of the guys had done a hot blast and was in the hospital in a coma. A couple of us got together and went to see him in ICU and his arm looked like hamburger. The drs were trying to save it by cutting out muscle, but he ended up with gangrene and had to have it amputated. That was the turning point for me...I called up my BF at home and told him that I ahd some needles hiding in my apartment and his, you know, just in case... and to get them out of there before I get back home. It has been a long road back to the land of the living, that is for sure! Sometimes I miss the excitement and thrill, but I'm not willing to give up on everything I worked so hard on getting that I couldn't have when I was using...like a great relationship with my BF and family. If someone asks me what I did today, I don't have to come up with a good lie to answer that question, and my family gets to meet my friends now. Best of all, the last time I was pulled over by the cops, they called me "Maam" and didn't ask to search the car. Well, I could go on for hours, but I gotta take my cat to the vet...he is 15 and going through kidney failure. The vet wants to make sure he isn't suffering yet. Poor baby.
Re: Long Term Meth Problems?
Dear Freed,
It really sounds like you're doing everything right and you're already experiencing the numerous joys in life that sobriety brings (honesty, strong relationships, respect etc.).
Please keep us posted on your progress and check in whenever you need any support/advice.

See also:

Effects of Crystal Meth from Usage

Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice

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