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Crystal Meth Abuse Associated With Cognitive Decline

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Frame Border Alignright Wp Image 5640The negative effects of illicit substances like crystal meth have long been documented, but a new study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacologyhas supplied evidence that points to crystal meth as the cause of reduced cognitive abilities in a number of users. There have been other studies that have looked into the cognitive effects of crystal meth abuse, but this study was different because it worked to identify whether or not cognitive issues were a pre-existing concern for patients.

The Study

The study was multi-faceted, drawing data from:

  • Animal studies
  • Cross-sectional human studies
  • Twin studies
  • Studies that looked at the changes in cognitive function after the cessation of crystal meth use
  • Studies that looked at the changes in brain structure after the cessation of crystal meth abuse
  • Studies that explored the connection between the severity of crystal meth abuse and the severity of cognitive decline

A preponderance of data culled from these studies suggested that there was evidence to support a causal relationship between crystal meth abuse and cognitive decline. As expected, the longer crystal meth abuse continued, the worse the effects on the ability of the patient to function cognitively.

Brain Damage Is Not the Only Negative Consequence of Crystal Meth Addiction

Chronic abuse of crystal meth impacts every arena in the patient’s life. The problems faced include:

  • Financial issues. Crystal meth is expensive and though it is a stimulant medication, many users find that they get so involved in little side projects (e.g., art, cleaning, “primping,” etc.) that they are unable to maintain employment because they hold irregular hours or are too distracted to focus on work and interact positively with coworkers, clients and others.
  • Arguments in relationships. Whether or not the other person also abuses crystal meth, it can be difficult to avoid fighting. Positive emotional attachments start with a strong emotional foundation, which is impossible when an active addiction is an issue.
  • Health problems. Crystal meth abuse causes extreme weight loss, skin problems, hair loss, dental problems and more. Some of these health issues can be abated with treatment but others cause lifelong problems.
  • Mental health issues. When crystal meth addiction becomes overwhelming, it is common for patient to struggle with auditory hallucinations and to become paranoid that they are being watched or in some way being threatened. Additionally, when crystal meth wears off, depression usually follows and it can be debilitating.

Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment: Is It Right for Your Loved One?

Contact us at Michael’s House today and discuss how you can help your loved one avoid the pitfalls of chronic crystal meth abuse. Our counselors are waiting to assist you.