You might be familiar with terms such as “meth mouth” and “meth mites,” referring to the physical appearance of meth users. And it’s no wonder these terms are thrown around in pop culture and daily language. It’s not just an urban legend; meth has a profound and disfiguring effect on meth addicts’ faces and bodies.
Faces Of Meth: Extreme Weight Loss
Crystal meth is an amphetamine, a type of drug that increases brain activity related to the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Among other things, this causes a loss of appetite. Over time, as meth use increases, the user becomes malnourished from disinterest in food and eating and displays significant weight loss. The faces of meth users are easily recognized by their sunken in cheeks and hollow-looking eyes.
Faces Of Meth: Decaying and Cracked Teeth
Rotting and decayed teeth are another common aspect to the faces of meth users. There are a few different reasons for this. First, as mentioned above, nutrition is a thing of the past for meth addicts and as a result, their hygiene, namely their teeth suffer. Meth users often neglect self-care tasks such as brushing their teeth. Also, meth has the tendency to cause users to clench and grind their teeth. This can cause cracked and chipped teeth, which not only looks bad, but leaves their teeth and gums susceptible to bacteria and infection. Combine that with lack of brushing and you have….meth mouth.
Faces Of Meth: Hair Loss
Again, from poor nutrition, meth addicts have noticeably brittle and thinning hair. Without the much-needed nutrients to sustain healthy hair, meth abusers are left with an already sickly visage, are commonly seen to have sunken faces framed by dull and thin hair.
Faces Of Meth: Obsessive Plucking and Picking
Abusing meth can lead to delusions, psychosis, and paranoia. A common delusion to meth addicts is what is called “meth mites” – imaginary bugs under their skin which cause them to use tweezers and other sharp objects to pluck, pick, and scratch at their skin, including their face and eyebrows, to the point that they pluck out all of their eyebrow hair and even chunks of their own skin. The faces of meth addicts are typically covered in gaping sores and unsightly scars from the constant picking.
Faces Of Meth: Sickly Skin
Meth is a toxin and, just like with other toxins, the body rids itself of it by way of the pores. This causes severe acne and an overall diseased-look. Meth also slows down the body’s ability to heal and repair itself so acne, sores, and skin infections take longer to heal. Combine this with the obsessive plucking and you have a ghastly complexion.
The Phenomenon of Meth Face
Crystal meth causes the blood vessels to constrict, cutting off the steady flow of oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body, including the skin. Therefore, heavy meth use can weaken and destroy these blood vessels, causing your tissue to become easily damaged and inhibiting your body’s ability to repair itself.
So, when you take meth, it is basically like you are slowly killing your own flesh; it isn’t getting the oxygen rich blood it needs, which in turn leaves you looking like a walking zombie.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for meth addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.