Two Kansas brothers recently experienced a terrible tragedy after winning $75,000 in the lottery. The brothers celebrated their win with meth, which led them to accidentally blow up their home. One brother was arrested and the second brother was treated for second-degree burns to the chest, arms and hands.

This unfortunate story demonstrates how drug use can sometimes change a person’s brain function and impair judgment as well as decision-making abilities. Overall reduced mental capacity can lead drug abusers to put themselves and others in harmful situations.

How Meth Affects the Brain

Methamphetamines, or meth, is a stimulant, which is a type of drug that increases activity in the brain. More brain activity may sound like a good thing, but it’s actually highly dangerous when it’s caused by certain substances. In fact, this additional brain activity from meth has been shown to increase hyperactivity, reduce motor skills and negatively affect decision-making abilities in drug users over the short term.

The combination of poor motor skills and compromised abilities to make good decisions can lead to dangerous sexual behavior, car crashes and self-mutilation. The mental effects of meth over the long term are even more disturbing. These may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Violent Behavior

All of these emotions and conditions can cause addicts to make poor decisions and engage in unsafe behaviors. Whether drug abusers are taking meth for the first time or after years of drug use, they are putting themselves and the people around them at risk for being injured or even killed.

The Link Between Meth and Fires

For many years there has been a strong correlation between fires and drug use. Abusers’ altered states of mind and the techniques they use to smoke drugs often result in accidental fires, like the one that destroyed the brothers’ home.

Processing and Making Meth

However, many fires are also caused by the process of making meth. While these accidents were previously common in large labs, authorities are now finding that more drugs users are making their own small batches of meth by using a new technique.

Unfortunately, this method is dangerous and can create highly flammable materials that may lead to explosions. When people are exposed to these explosions, it can result in:

  • Property destruction
  • Injury to bystanders
  • Blindness
  • Damage to the lungs and windpipe
  • Disfigurement
  • Severe burns
  • Death

Other Startling Facts…

In states where meth use is prevalent, studies have shown that up to a third of the patients in certain burn units were injured in meth-related fires. Because the patients typically receive burns to their face, necks, torsos and hands, they often require extensive therapies that many of them can’t afford.

While the story of the brothers who blew up their home may sound extreme, it’s not uncommon for meth users be injured by chemical fires or other severe accidents caused by altered states of mind. The best way meth users can avoid these tragic accidents is by finding the right addiction treatment options as soon as possible.

You can learn more about methamphetamine with the Drug Danger Scale here at iAddiction.