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Meth Side Effects

Meth Side Effects

The reported meth side effects may vary from one individual to another based on the intake dose and length of taking this illegal drug. Immediate adverse effects of methamphetamine include raised body temperature, increased sweating, and euphoria, amongst others. This article provides information regarding the same.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Methamphetamine is a therapeutic drug, categorized under the group psychoactive stimulants. In simple terms, this medicine acts on the central nervous system and triggers the production of two important neurotransmitters, namely, norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters. Known informally as meth or crystal meth, some people use it for recreational purposes. Unfortunately, not many of them actually know 'what is meth' and 'what are its side effects'. The untoward effects of methamphetamine may be mild to severe depending upon the ingested dosage and intake period.

Common Side Effects

Meth is taken in many ways: as an oral drug or suppository, and also, by means of insufflation, smoking, and intravenous injections. Once these stimulative drugs and medications enter the body system, they induce the brain cells to release neurochemicals, which in turn alter the mood and other bodily activities. Body systems affected by meth are appetite, digestion, heartbeat, respiration, vitality, and alertness.

The jubilation effect experienced after taking methamphetamine remains for a specific period, about 12 hours, which is quite long as compared to cocaine and similar illicit drugs. Nevertheless, the actual length of euphoria feeling varies according to the concentration and tolerance level of the person. As the drug concentration in the blood decreases, its mental and physical effects also decline gradually. Following are commonly reported serious side effects of methamphetamine:

Meth Effects in the Mouth
In common language, meth mouth or meth teeth is used to refer tooth condition, manifested in people who are addicted to methamphetamine. The symptoms include dry mouth, cracks in tooth enamel, and progressive tooth decay. Health experts are of the opinion that meth contains acidic chemicals that are corrosive to the tooth enamel.

Meth Effects on the Face
Meth drug addiction causes prominent changes in the skin and facial appearance. Down the line, may be after 3 months to 1 year of regular meth intake, the drug causes prominent scabbing and scarring in the face. Hence, the name meth face is often used to relegate the scary look of people, who are addicted to this illegal drug.

Meth Effects on the Skin
The methamphetamine effects are only not manifested in the facial areas, but it also affects the skin in the remaining parts of the body. The affected skin resembles that of insect bites, hence known as meth bugs or meth mites. Characterized by severe itching, the patient tends to scratch and pick the meth sores, resulting in deep scars.

Side Effects of Meth on Short-term Use

As with any type of psychoactive stimulant drug, methamphetamine is very addictive. Thus, the rate of drug abuse related to meth addiction is very high. Short-term effects of meth include the following:
  • Headache
  • Dry skin and acne outbreaks
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Loose motion
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Raised respiration rate
  • Increased attention
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Decreased weakness
  • Sleep disorder
  • Euphoric rush
  • Euphoria
  • Restlessness
  • Increased activity
  • Dilated pupils
  • Teeth grinding
  • Increased libido
  • Hand trembling
  • Twitching
Side Effects of Meth on Long-term Use

The long-term effects of meth are life-threatening, which if left unattended can lead to fatality. With prolonged intake, this addictive drug disturbs the normal functioning of the blood vessels, leading to stroke and heart attacks. Long-term crystal methamphetamine effects are listed below:
  • Damage to brain cells
  • Craving for drugs
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of memory
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis and paranoia
  • Meth mouth or meth teeth
  • Obsessive compulsive behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Eating disorder or anorexia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Damage to internal organs
In lactating mothers, traces of meth are released in the breast milk. Thus, people who are using such a stimulative drug should not overlook the adverse effects. For crystal methamphetamine addiction cases, rehabilitation treatment at the earliest possible date is essential to save the addicted individuals. Failure to attend drug rehabilitation programs can lead to meth withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety, depression, appetite changes, and increased sleepiness.

Disclaimer: This PsycholoGenie article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.