Drug Effects:How meth affects your body and life

Special Reports

Methamphetamine, often known as meth, is one of the most common drugs abused in the area.  And it’s one that users can make with simple household ingredients like these.  And that’s the first time meth puts people in danger, since making the drug can cause an explosion.  And legally, having it is bad enough and can send you to jail for months, but making it to sell or share takes it a step further.

“But when you’re talking about distribution thereof or possession with intent, that’s where we get into the felonious charge, where you’re talking 1 to 15, 1 to whatever it might be depending on the schedule of the narcotic,” said Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy.

But it’s not just legal trouble that users face.  Unlike some drugs, there are outward signs that people are using meth.  Doctors at area hospitals have seen the same signs while they treat patients, and those signs are hard to miss.

“There are certain characteristics that we notice.  It causes extreme weight loss, and not in a healthy way, it causes skin changes, often severe acne, pick marks, things like that, hair will fall out and become stringy, and it causes sever dental changes,” said Maria Long, emergency medical physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon.

Meth is a stimulant, so in addition to the physical signs, it also gives people a sense of euphoria, and often gives them a kind of super-strength.  But it also can make users act irrationally, making them a risk to themselves and others, and like many other drugs, it’s very hard to quit, even after a single use.

“They think they can do anything they want, and they often have no control over their bodies as well.  So they come in and they’re sometimes shaking throwing things, screaming, yelling, moving all over the rooms and they truly have poor control over themselves,” said Long.

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