Although rotting teeth, blackened cavities and bleeding gums aren’t the only physical effects of meth use, “meth mouth” gets a lot of attention because the mouth readily reveals the damaging effects of meth on the human body.
Made from a combination of pseudoephedrine/ephedrine and chemicals ranging from engine starter and fertilizer to rubbing alcohol, meth does not directly cause tooth decay and gum disease. Instead, meth produces a chronically dry mouth exacerbated by the user’s lack of good oral hygiene and eating nothing but high-carb, high-sugar foods. Also accelerating the development of meth mouth is the teeth clenching and tooth grinding behaviors seen in meth addicts “tweaking,” or suffering withdrawals.
Some research suggests that meth powder containing anhydrous ammonia, red phosphorous or battery lithium might contribute to rapid erosion of dental enamel in addicts who smoke or snort meth. Additionally, meth limits blood supply to the mouth because it constricts blood vessels throughout the body.
As you’re reading this, somewhere in the world there’s an AA, NA or Al-Anon meeting taking place. In church basements, hospital meeting rooms, prisons, internet cafes and anywhere a few people can gather, recovery meetings based on the 12-step principles outlined almost 100 years ago are helping people deal with the effects of drugs, alcohol or other addictions.
An estimated 23.5 million people are addicted to drugs, alcohol or both in the United States. If the people in that group have at least two people who love them, that’s an additional 47 million people impacted by their behavior. Taken together, that’s a large number of people who can benefit from AA, NA, or Al-Anon.
If you’ve wondered what goes on “in the rooms,” this guide to what to know about AA, NA and Al-Anon meetings should answer the question. Of course, the best way to learn what happens at a recovery meeting is to attend one.
Whether snorted, smoked consumed or injected, drugs exert long-term, destructive effects on your brain, body and life. Favored by hardcore heroin, meth and coke addicts, injection provides the fastest, strongest effects by circumventing liver metabolism and making the bioavailability of the drug higher than drug consumption does. Unfortunately, this more intense, rapid-fire high leads to dependency quicker — and chronic addition.
Injecting drugs intravenously means psychoactive ingredients reach the brain within five seconds of the user pushing the drug into their vein. Injections also give users a powerfully euphoric sensation known as a “rush” they can’t get by smoking, snorting or eating their drug of choice. In addition, users don’t need as much heroin or meth to get high if they inject it. However, even though they spend less money on getting an “injection high,” this kind of high doesn’t last as long as a drug ingestion high.
Addiction recovery requires dealing with emotions often covered up for years by substance abuse. Emotions are a reaction to a situation, a conversation or an event, and in the case of repressed emotions, they are usually painful. A recovery program helps you walk through these emotions and put them to rest, so you can move forward in building your happy life.
Your first instinct when you are in pain is usually to find the cause and point the finger of blame. When the subject of that blame, however, is more powerful than you or beyond the reach of justice, you internalize the hurt. That blame lives in side of you and keeps you stuck in that horrible moment. You cannot continue on with your addiction recovery steps unless you release that pain.
What Does Forgiveness Mean?
There is a lot of misconception about what forgiveness really is.