Methamphetamine and medical complications
Methamphetamine can cause many different cardiovascular problems. These include rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and irreversible, stroke creating damage to small blood vessels in the brain. Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) and convulsions happen with methamphetamine overdoses, and if not treated immediately, can result in fatality.
Chronic methamphetamine abuse may also result in inflammation of the heart lining, and among users who inject the drug, damaged blood vessels and skin abscesses. Methamphetamine users can have episodes of violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. Heavy meth users also demonstrate progressive social and occupational deterioration. Psychotic symptoms can occasionally persist for months or years after meth use has stopped.
Acute lead poisoning is another potential risk for methamphetamine users. A usual method of illegal methamphetamine manufacture uses lead acetate as a reagent. Manufacture errors therefore might result in methamphetamine contaminated with lead. There have been documented cases of acute lead poisoning with intravenous methamphetamine users.
Foetal exposure to methamphetamine also is an important problem in the United States. Currently, research demonstrates that methamphetamine abuse during pregnancy might result in prenatal complications, increased rates of premature delivery, and altered neonatal behavioral patterns, like abnormal reflexes and extreme irritability. Methamphetamine abuse during pregnancy might also be related to congenital deformities.