Meth Side Effects: Get the Facts

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There are several side effects to meth use. Meth is an addictive, illegal substance used as a stimulant. Using it results in a feeling of high energy and a decrease in appetite. These side effects, in addition to the euphoria also associated with the drug, makes it a drug that’s often abused. The damaging part of meth use is that it’s continuously damaging to your physical and mental wellness.

Meth side effects include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, dry skin or skin lesions, blurry vision, and in some cases, tremors. Also, since meth suppresses the appetite, anyone with an addiction may also suffer from anorexia from lack of nutrients. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s use of meth, the physical changes they experience will be noticeable.

However, not everyone experiences all of side effects of meth; it’s different for every person. The intensity also varies on a case-by-case basis. The unpredictability of the overall effects of meth puts your health at risk with every use because there’s no way to know how your body will react. Additionally, since meth is ingested in various forms, this causes its own set of side effects.

For example, when the drug is liquified for injection into the body, there is the possibility to contract a disease through the use of contaminated needles. These include hepatitis, HIV, and other blood-borne diseases. As an added danger, anyone in the presence of a meth lab is in danger of chemical poisoning, burns, or explosion.

To simplify, using meth puts you at risk for several, damaging direct and indirect side effects. The high that comes with drug use is temporary, but the results leave a long-lasting, negative impact on your health. If you suffer from the effects of meth addiction, there is help available to you whenever you’re ready to get started.

How Do People Become Addicted?

Meth releases a chemical influx of dopamine (the chemical that makes us feel happy or motivated) which is the cause of the euphoric high. It provides an energetic burst that can last for several hours. It makes people feel confident, outgoing, and full of life. Chasing this feeling or high is what causes people to become addicted.

The euphoria only lasts as long as it takes for the drug to metabolize. Coming down from the high starts a vicious cycle of addiction. People experience uncomfortable and painful withdrawal symptoms, and it makes them want to renew the high. They also may want to escape feelings of depression, insecurity, or fatigue – all of which meth use seems to temporarily alleviate.

The half-life of meth or the time it takes for it to be reduced by half in the body is 12 hours. It takes 24 hours to be completely processed through. Once this occurs, the body immediately craves more. Even a one-time use can be the start of drug abuse and eventually addiction. When someone takes too much meth in a short amount of time, the body can’t properly process it. As a result, there’s a greater chance of an overdose. The number of deaths caused by accidental overdose has increased year over year for the past decade and has reached numbers in the tens of thousands.

A few factors that affect the addiction timeline are: current physical health, how much meth you use, how often you use it, as well as if you experience any other co-diseases. It’s not uncommon for people who are addicted to meth to also be diagnosed with a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. There’s no standard time of how long it takes someone to become addicted to meth. Though using meth doesn’t immediately turn into addiction, every use puts you one step closer to drug dependency.

Long-Term Side Effects of Meth

In addition to the side effects already listed, long-time meth users often experience others. For example, chemicals used to make meth breaks down the enamel of the teeth and creates dental hygiene problems. Meth addiction also causes teeth clenching, which is hard on your teeth, mouth, and gums.

Then, there are the psychological side effects of meth. These include paranoia, insomnia, and hallucinations. Meth changes the makeup of your brain and alters how you think, feel, and act. It affects the way you interact with other people and puts relationships at risk. It may not be immediately noticeable to you, but those close to you will notice a difference. It may cost you your job, cause problems with the law, and/or be the catalyst for difficulties in your interactions with friends and family members.

Drug dependency happens over time, but once addiction sets in, it takes over control over your body. Your physical and mental state will change dramatically, and it will be hard to do anything but focus on your next fix. If you want to battle back, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With the help of a detox treatment facility, you can change your life for the better and begin a happier, healthier future. It is possible for you to achieve sobriety.

Speak with a treatment specialist today.
(888) 325-1995

Meth Withdrawal and Detoxification

Drug withdrawal is difficult. Anyone who’s experienced meth withdrawal symptoms knows how painful and uncomfortable the symptoms can be. This is one of the reasons why someone may continue the cycle of addiction. The cravings are too strong and often, the availability of the drug is too accessible.

Addiction is a result of continual meth use. At some point, your body becomes “adapted” to it and requires more in order to achieve the same high. In order to rehabilitate from addiction, your body must readapt to a new normal. This is when side effects ensue. Side effects of meth withdrawal include nausea, excessive shaking, anxiety, and depression to name a few. It’s not an experience anyone should have to go through alone.

By receiving the help you need from treatment professionals, it ensures you are in safe, monitored space. You will receive any necessary medical care. During the detox process, you may receive medication that will help with the cravings and pain. This helps as you go through the withdrawal period, especially in the first few days which are the most intense. Plus, you’ll receive emotional strength and support to guide you as you continue through your treatment.

Even if you’re ready to receive treatment, there may be people around you who still battle with addictions of their own. In order to avoid the temptation and influence of others, a treatment facility is the place to start your path to sobriety.

The detox process usually lasts between 7-10 days. The side effects are the most intense and happen most frequently at the beginning. They typically subside after the first few days. However, if you’ve been suffering from meth addiction for a long time, side effects may last for weeks or longer. When you enter treatment, you’ll receive a health assessment that will determine your rehabilitation plan. This plan and your progress from stage to stage will be measured based on your individual situation and responsiveness to care.

Rehabilitative Treatment and Relapse Prevention

Detox is the first step of a comprehensive treatment plan. Inpatient or inpatient treatment follows and lasts 30 days or more. There is also the option of outpatient care, which follows inpatient care in many cases. Inpatient care gives you a peaceful, restorative place to continue your rehabilitation and recovery. Treatment facilities are commonly set among serene, secluded atmospheres to provide privacy for clients. You will become a temporary resident for the duration of your treatment. The removal from the chaos of everyday life helps to put you in the right mindset to fully focus on your treatment without external distraction.

Inpatient care also provides structure to help you navigate through the day without being reliant on your addiction. It helps to prevent relapse after you’ve gone through the detox period. Relapse is not uncommon. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed in any way. It simply means you’ll begin the process again at the detox phase. Each stage of treatment builds upon the successful completion of the one previous. Since the experience will be new, it’s normal for it to feel unsettling at first. However, the support staff will help you through your treatment plan and ensure you receive the care you need.

Each plan is customized, but includes a combination of one-on-one counseling, group therapy sessions, addiction education, and extracurricular time for physical or creative activities. One of the key components of inpatient treatment is learning about your addiction and how to live without it. There is a root cause to every addiction. When you start to uncover yours, you’ll learn how to identify and cope with the triggers.

Your treatment also includes a planning period to adjust back to the real world post-rehab. This will provide you with the tools you’ll need to start again with your newly sober lifestyle. Friends or acquaintances you’ve had in the past may no longer be around. Your housing, work, or relationship situation may have all changed. Life skills planning includes job preparation, time and money management, and learning how to handle stress. When starting anything new (even if you’ve done it before), it’s good to be prepared.

Addiction treatment and care extends beyond your stay at an inpatient facility. Many times people choose to continue with outpatient care following an inpatient stay. Depending on the treatment plan works best for you, you can decide between the two or have a combination of both. By sharing the experience and seeking the help of others, there’s a better chance for you to forge ahead and avoid relapse.

Frequently Asked Questions about Meth Addiction and Treatment

There are likely several questions you may have about treatment and what to expect after it’s complete. We’re here to provide answers to your questions and concerns. We want to provide a path for you to receive the treatment you need. Here are a few of the FAQs surrounding the topic of meth addiction and treatment.

Can pregnant women pass their addiction to their babies?

Yes. Babies can be born with an addiction, if they’ve been exposed to meth while in the womb. This may result in premature delivery, cognitive side effects, and excessive crying once the baby is born. Babies exposed to meth may also suffer from meth withdrawal symptoms and developmental challenges.

What determines when my treatment is complete?

Each person goes through treatment at a different pace. Although you’ll follow a general timeline, your treatment completion is based on your own progress. You’ll have a medical assessment when you first begin the program, and there will be several other check-ins throughout the entirety of your rehabilitation to ensure you’re ready for the next stage of recovery.

Do I need to go through the detoxification process in a treatment facility?

We strongly recommend this because there is a higher rate of success by seeking the care of professionals rather than attempting detox solo. Going through withdrawal symptoms by yourself can result in relapse and possibly overdose. When in the care of others, you have consistent medical monitoring. One of the main purposes of a detox treatment facility is to ensure your safety and comfort during the entire process.

Are there additional resources available once treatment is complete?

Yes. Recovery from meth addiction is ongoing. Once you complete treatment, there are support groups and other resources to help you maintain your sobriety. Your post-rehab plan is part of taking care of your physical and mental wellness, which eventually becomes a habit and integrates into your everyday lifestyle.

The Time for Treatment Is Now

Meth is a powerful drug. Once it takes over the body with addiction, it can be difficult to regain your health and sobriety. However, rehabilitation and recovery is possible, and it will change your life for the better. Consider how addiction treatment can help you build a better future and become sober.

Remember that you have treatment options. Choose what works right for you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions you have about seeking treatment. The sooner you begin the detox process, the sooner you can take back control of your life.

Addiction sets in over time, which means it will also take time for your body to resume to a healthy state. Your rehabilitation progress is dependent on your health and willingness to commit to your sobriety. Each person has their own unique experience with addiction and recovery. Fortunately, you only need to worry about what works for you and what will help you reach and maintain your sobriety.

It’s always the right time to take that first step and seek the treatment you need. We are here to support you at every step along your journey. Ready to begin?

Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.
(888) 325-1995


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WebMD. Methamphetamine HCL. Accessed Feb. 9, 2016.

WebMD. Street Drugs: Know The Facts and Risks. Accessed Feb, 9, 2016.

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