In our current world of stick-thin fashion models and clothes that come in size 00, the pressure to be thin is on the minds of many young people. The truth, however, is that everyone's body is different, and not everyone is meant to be a size 00. A person's size does not matter if that person is healthy and happy. It also takes time and effort to lose weight in a healthy way. But because society pressures them to be thin, some young people turn to methamphet-amine use as an "easy" way to lose weight.
When a person uses methamphetamine, he or she does not feel hungry. A user on a meth binge may not eat or sleep for days at a time. Yet, this lack of nutrition is dangerous and takes a toll on the body. If someone starves his or her body's organs for too long, the organs shut down. Because the teenage body is still growing and developing, the risks associated with not eating properly are particularly dangerous to a teenager.
When a person stops using meth, his or her appetite comes back stronger than it was before. As a result, such a person often will overeat to restore lost nutrients and energy. This behavior sets up a cycle of starvation and overeating that is stressful and damaging. Such a cycle makes it difficult for the body to function normally. In the end, a person who uses meth for weight loss may end up weighing more than he or she did before turning to meth.
The effects of starvation not only affect the internal parts of the body, but also can cause disturbing visible changes. These include hair loss, skin rashes, and slower
(continues on page 76)
76 amphetamines and other stimulants
Methamphetamine use is known to cause extreme weight loss, which is why it has become a drug of choice for people seeking weight loss alternatives. This before-and-after mug shot shows a meth user who unintentionally lost a good deal of weight while using the drug, as noted by his sunken cheeks.
healing of wounds. Meth use also can lead to tooth decay, acne, and other skin problems. A person who uses meth to improve his or her appearance often ends up looking much worse than before the start of the "meth diet."
(continued from page 74)
to do drugs to fit in with their friends. Some teens take drugs because of boredom. Others do it to escape from bad family situations. Still others try drugs to see what it feels like, or because it makes them seem grown up.
You may think everyone around you is using stimulants, but this is far from the truth. Many people choose not to do drugs at all. At first, drugs may make you feel better and look important. But long-term drug use leads to fewer friends, bad changes in appearance, poor grades, and less money. Drug use also may lead to a criminal record, or even to death. You are not alone if you say no to drugs.
Was this article helpful?