What Does It Look Like to Be Off Meth After One Year?
November is National Meth Awareness Day, an opportunity to educate the public about the lasting effects of methamphetamine abuse. The goal of this initiative is to increase awareness and eradicate its use. Other than cocaine, meth is the leading cause of overdose deaths involving substances in America.
A strong and highly addictive stimulant, meth is extremely potent and affects the brain and nervous system. It has far reaching effects, but with the right support system and dedication, people with a meth addiction can improve their life, body, and minds when they’ve been off meth after one year.
How Long Does It Take Meth to Get Out of Your System?
Meth is taken by injection, smoking in a glass pipe, oral ingestion, or snorting through the nose. It’s barely metabolized by the human body, so it remains present longer and its effects can last from eight to 24 hours. While it typically takes about 72 hours for methamphetamine to get out of your system, it can still be detected in the following ways for days after use:
- Urine: up to 10 days
- Blood: up to 3 days
- Saliva: up to 4 days
- Hair: up to 90 days
Some people try to expedite this process by drinking more fluids, taking laxatives to increase excretion, or sweating it out with excessive exercise. While these methods might reduce detection, they aren’t a healthy way of facing addiction and treating the illness effectively.
Effects of Meth on the Body
Long-term meth use can cause extensive damage to the mind and body. Here are common effects of methamphetamine abuse.
Meth spikes dopamine levels in the brain, which creates feelings of happiness and pleasure but impacts memory and problem solving skills. This imbalance can alter brain function and cause someone to crave the drug to maintain that sense of elation. Conversely, when the inevitable crash happens afterwards, people are left feeling depressed and irritated. Continued use can lead to permanent damage of dopamine cells, causing emotional and psychological issues.
Long-term meth use can damage several aspects of the human body. From organs to systems, meth contributes to problems with:
- Heart health: meth increases blood pressure, raises heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and damages heart muscles.
- Immune system: meth weakens your body’s defense against pathogens and germs and can worsen current disease conditions.
- Kidneys: your body struggles to break down the toxins found in meth, leading to kidney damage.
- Skin: meth can cause a significant itching sensation, which results in sores as people irritate their skin.
Methamphetamine abuse has far-reaching effects on organs, blood, and tissue, which can lead to further complications and dangerous (if not fatal) outcomes.
Meth is extremely acidic, so the longer people use it, the more likely they are to experience gum disease and tooth decay. Known as “meth mouth,” teeth can turn black, become stained, rot, break, or fall out. Meth addicts can also experience jaw pain, headaches, a clenched jaw, and have a difficult time eating food. In extreme cases, people will have to seek cosmetic surgery to correct the problem.
Your Body: Being off Meth After One Year
You can already begin to see positive effects on your body when you’re off meth after one year. You’ll begin to correct the damage done by substance abuse, such as restoring your brain’s dopamine cells to help regulate feelings of happiness and pleasure. This helps to reduce depression and anxiety, resulting in a more positive outlook. Your skin will also heal, resulting in higher self-confidence and dignity.
Your organs become stronger and regain more of their function. This helps to reduce heart disease and eases the strain on your kidneys. Dental professionals can help with any tooth and mouth issues. By treating jaw problems, you can regain eating a healthy diet to provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to build strength and improve immunity. Take recovery one day at a time and know that in just one year, you’ll already be able to see emotional, psychological, and physical improvement.
Overcome Your Addiction to Meth
Ethos Recovery helps people recovering from substance abuse build skills for self-empowerment and personal development. Our all-male therapeutic community-based recovery facility provides support and resources for long-term sobriety so people can live a healthy and successful life.
Contact us today to schedule a tour of our facility.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.