Whether methamphetamine causes cancer or not or whether drug abuse has any consequences on our health has been a topic of concern for ages. Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is one of the most notorious substances known to humankind. Most of us have heard about it from the famous “Breaking Bad” series, where Heisenberg, an old chemistry teacher, upon finding out that he has cancer, breaks bad by starting a drug empire – cooking meth and dealing with cartels. Is this where the idea of associating meth with cancer came to your mind?
To answer your question, methamphetamine has been associated with a plethora of health risks. But does that mean that meth causes cancer? In this blog, let us find solid facts backed by scientific evidence and answer the age-old question: Does meth cause cancer or not?
What Is Methamphetamine?
Mainly used as a powerful central nervous system stimulant, methamphetamine is a recreational drug that affects the brain’s neurotransmitter systems. Simply put, it will increase your energy, focus, and euphoria. Although these effects sound exciting or thrilling, they come at a cost—the cost of your health, both physical and mental.
In his book Morbid Thoughts and the Domino Effect, author Perry Muse has detailed the unforeseen consequences of seeking such thrills. From a cancer diagnosis and multiple surgeries to mental battles and internal struggles, his story is full of challenging experiences and triumphs.
Speaking of challenges, chronically using methamphetamine can lead to a range of problems. These issues include cardiovascular disorders, dental decay (also called meth mouth), and cognitive impairments.
Does Meth Cause Cancer? Studies and Research
To find the link between methamphetamine usage and cancer, significant studies and research are currently being conducted. We know that many factors suggest a possible link between the two, that some types of cancer are possibly associated with meth. But keep in mind that no evidence is conclusive as of yet.
Some studies show that weak immune systems can be caused due the chronic usage of meth. This is dangerous as a suppressed immune system can impair your body’s ability to fight off cancer cells. You don’t want that, do you? So, does that mean keeping your immune system safe will play a major role in fighting cancer?
Methamphetamine is known to cause cellular damage. How, you ask? Methamphetamine use causes oxidative stress and inflammation in our bodies, being exposed to such conditions for a long time can damage our cell and their DNA. This can potentially lead to the development of cancerous cells in our bodies.
Moreover, meth users often engage in risky behaviors. Sharing needles and conducting unsafe sexual practices are the behavioral factors that can increase the risk of contracting infections. Some of these infections include viruses with certain types of cancer. Human papillomavirus and hepatitis B and C are some examples.
Although some suggestive evidence points to methamphetamine usage for cancer, we need to understand that the research is limited due to some complicated factors.
Because people with drug addiction also use other substances alongside meth, isolating the effects of meth on cancer risk is difficult.
Long-Term Studies Are Limited
Due to logistical and ethical reasons, conducting long-term studies on the effects of methamphetamine becomes difficult. Therefore, we cannot establish direct causation as research mostly relies on observational data.
Variation on Individual Basis
There are many individual factors, such as genetic disposition, that hinder the research capacity in determining if meth leads to cancer or not. So, keep that in mind while drawing conclusions.
Meth in Medical Treatment
Although methamphetamine is generally known for its illicit recreational use, it has sometimes been explored in medical research for therapeutic purposes.
So, does the question of “Does meth cause cancer?” remain unanswered?
A chronic sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden bouts of sleep called narcolepsy has considered methamphetamine for its treatment. The stimulant properties of methamphetamine have proven to help individuals stay awake during the day. In some cases, controlled drug usage has been prescribed to individuals under strict medical supervision.
ADHD and Weight Loss
There is historical evidence that methamphetamine was prescribed for individuals struggling with obesity – suppressing their appetite for the weight loss journey.
There have also been speculations about meth and its stimulating powers to treat people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
However, the side effects and addiction-related concerns make us move towards safer alternatives.
The Future in Medicine
While methamphetamine has a complex history surrounding medical applications, remember, the harm it may potentially cause outweighs any potential benefits. Before taking risky measures regarding your health, it is important for you to consult a health professional who will provide you with safer treatment options.
Proceeding With Caution
Yes, there is growing evidence that suggests a potential link between methamphetamine and cancer. But, it is crucial for us to interpret the findings with caution. To steer clear of this dangerous substance, delving into the well-documented risk of meth use on our overall health is enough.
Avoiding drug use altogether is ultimately the best way to mitigate the potential risk of cancer as well as other health issues. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, remember all the resources needed to overcome it and lead a healthier life are always available.
Seeking professional help or joining support groups has been proven to help thousands of addicts to overcome their addictions.
If you are interested in learning more about cancer or substance abuse consequences, reading Morbid Thoughts and the Domino Effect by Perry Muse is sure to help you out. In this book, the author has shared some of his most enlightening memories filled with struggles and overcoming challenges with courage and resilience, which will inspire you.
Read Morbid Thoughts and the Domino Effect to learn how the author navigated each challenge life threw at him.