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What Is the Life Expectancy of a Methamphetamine Addict?

Last updated on: Tuesday, 21 May 2024
  • What You'll Learn

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a potent stimulant that significantly impacts an individual’s health and can reduce life expectancy. Chronic use leads to serious health problems like heart disease, severe dental issues, and a heightened risk of infections. It also causes psychological effects such as anxiety and psychosis, which further complicate an addict’s life. This article delves into the factors that decrease a meth addict’s life expectancy, exploring both the physiological impacts and the broader psychological and social challenges.

This is no surprise when one looks at what methamphetamine is made of and what it does to the body in a short amount of time. There are a lot of medical complications that result from using the drug. There are different factors to look at to come up with a proper answer of what could be the life expectancy of someone using meth.

How often do they use it?

This is one of the first things someone should look at when evaluating how the use of meth will affect someone’s body and mind. There is a big difference between using meth every week and someone using it randomly during the year. We need to understand that someone using meth does not sleep, and does not eat, so their body gets hit pretty hard, so if they use it every week. It does not give their body a chance to recuperate, even more, if they use it a few days at a time.

The amount and the length of use

This is an important factor. I have been working in a rehab facility for five years, and when people were coming to the center after having used meth for an extended time. They were skinny, sometimes having a mild or heavier psychosis; most of them, after proper detox, sleep, and good nutrition, were back to a better mental state without the use of medication. It was understandable that if you were not sleeping and eating for days, even without drugs, your mental state would not be in shape.

So imagine if someone binges on meth regularly, what it will do to his body. To function, the body needs two major things: Good nutrients like vitamins, minerals, proteins, and so on. Sleep is the second thing a body needs to function. It is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly, impairing your abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories.

The condition of your body

All bodies are different. All bodies react differently to food, medication, and the external environment, and I can continue forever. For example, I have seen some people smoking marijuana and almost going into psychosis as other people will feel relaxed or angry. This is the same thing with meth. Some people will take it, and it will have a substantial adverse effect on them physically and mentally. Here are a few reasons:

Tolerance: Regular drug use can lead to tolerance, meaning the body adapts and requires higher doses to achieve the same effects. Tolerance to the effects of methamphetamine builds up quickly in regular users, meaning they need more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effect. 

Body Mass: A person’s body size and fat and muscle composition influence their response to a drug. More prominent individuals have more extensive vascular systems, meaning the drug has to circulate through a greater blood volume. This increased blood volume dilutes the drug, reducing its potency and effects.

Age: As people age, they need lower doses of meth or any drugs due to increased fat and decreased muscle, which prolongs drug presence in the body. The aging liver and slower circulatory system further impair drug processing and elimination. Additionally, drugs can exacerbate health conditions in older adults, increasing health risks and recovery times.

Sex: Biological sex influences body composition and hormone levels, affecting drug responses differently in men and women. Men, typically larger and with less fat, often show higher rates of substance use and dependence. Women’s drug sensitivity can vary with menstrual cycle phases, impacting reactions to stimulants and influencing drug metabolism and effects.

Genetics: Genetic makeup significantly affects drug absorption and metabolism due to variations in liver enzymes coded by genes. These enzymes can rapidly process drugs, causing adverse reactions, or fail to activate them. Active drugs immediately impact the body and must be broken down by liver enzymes to become inactive. The drug can accumulate and cause severe side effects if these enzymes malfunction.

In conclusion, it is tough to predict the life expectation that a meth user will have. There are so many factors that contribute to the deterioration of someone’s body and mental health. It can be a few years up to decades, but if you look at it from a different viewpoint, when you have someone looking for his dose so they don’t feel sick or someone having a racing heart, chest pain, dryness of the mouth, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and physical tension. I can continue without forgetting about broken families, divorce, or trouble with the law.

Life involves experiencing your own emotions, whatever they may be, as they are integral to your existence and personal development. However, when drugs are used to induce emotions artificially, these feelings are not genuinely yours and can become challenging to manage. This reliance on substances can devastate your life and the lives of those around you. At that stage, can we truly refer to this existence as “having a life”?




More Information

Nickolaus Hayes has been working with Drug Rehab Services for the past ten years. Over the past 15 years, he has remained connected to helping people who have been struggling with addiction. He first started working as an intake counselor at a drug rehabilitation center in 2005. During the five years as an intake counselor, he was able to help hundreds of people find treatment. Nickolaus was also fortunate to be able to work with professional interventionists, traveling across the country performing interventions.