Drug abuse will always have dangerous side effects on the body, as it is essentially poison within a human nervous system and sometimes its effects occur earlier than others. Teeth loss comes later on with long-term methamphetamine use, but now a dangerous amount of young adults are subject to an increased risk of brain hemorrhages. Hemorrhages can be so severe that they lead to life altering physical damages and accelerate what usually takes decades to happen are now taking just a few years.
Dr. Ali Krisht, a brain surgeon at CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock is seeing the devastating effects of the epidemic first hand. The Director of the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute is a distinguished neurosurgeon with 30 years of experience; he has operated on patients from all around the world.
Methamphetamine users and their communities should be aware that stroke can occur in young people within hours or days of use, and also as a long-term consequence. One of the key characteristics of a brain hemorrhage is a sudden development of a headache, in an extreme way, along with confusion, loss of function down one side of the body, numbness and problems with speech and vision.
“We recently have seen more and more young patients presenting with hemorrhages, bleeds in the brain, that normally you don’t see in a younger age group,” Dr. Krisht said.
“We usually have one or two patients every three to four months, but all of a sudden we have two to three patients in one week,” Dr. Krisht said.
The Doctor warned that as most older patients are subject to these conditions due to high blood pressure, in young adults it is a direct result of drug abuse in young adults and adolescents.
“The youngest I have seen is 22 years old. What happens to these patients is, this process that takes 20 to 30 years is happening within a year or two,” Dr. Krisht said.
When a patient does survive a massive brain bleed, the quality of life for that patient is diminished in life altering ways.
“You may never be able to speak or may never able to walk without assistance. The majority of people with these bleeds end up with needing assistance 24/7,” Dr. Krisht said.
Dr. Krisht shares his concerns with not only the patient but with their closest loved ones as well.
“I address all the people around them because, unfortunately, this usually happens in groups, not just one individual,” Dr. Krisht said.
Dr. Krisht says its commonly seen in patients using methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
Krisht says he is concerned with the increase in marijuana use due to it being legalized in so many states, marijuana use increases blood flow to the brain, and mixed with other drugs it can cause severe swelling in the cerebellum.
Source : The Recover Newsroom