How Meth Affects You

From the physical to the emotional to the behavioral, meth affects every part of you and often those around you. Scroll to learn more.

How Meth Affects You

From the physical to the emotional to the mental, meth affects every part of you and often those around you. Scroll to learn more.

How Does It Work?

Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken in pill form.

Stimulants like meth work by telling your brain to release a lot of dopamine, which is a chemical that can make you feel good in the short-term. But over time, meth can deplete the brain of important areas of the brain that make you feel good, resulting in depression and poor mood over time. There are also immediate heart and other health problems that meth can cause through its stimulating effects on the body that can be life threatening.

Of all recreational drugs, meth pushes dopamine levels and how one feels to the highest highs and the lowest lows. This makes it one of the most addictive drugs.

What Does Meth Do To The Brain?

Meth Kills The Mood

Meth Destroys Pleasure

Dopamine is a chemical that lets you feel happiness, and with each use meth drains your brain’s dopamine supply. After each high comes depression, hopelessness, and apathy.

Meth Forces Increased Use

Meth floods your brain with dopamine — and that teaches the brain to need more and more meth to feel the same effects.

Meth Leads To Extreme Mood Swings

After each use, you’re dropped into a depressed state and may behave erratically. The longer you use, the longer those bad moods last.

Meth Makes Working Harder

Loss of Motor Control

Continued use of meth can lead to uncontrollable body twitching and erratic movement.

Slowed Reflexes

Using meth can lead to permanent decreases in your reflexes and coordination—and that can be dangerous, especially when driving or on the job.

Harder to Recover

Meth can make it harder for a person to make good decisions. This may be a reason why it is so hard to recover from meth use disorder.

Short-term Risks

Even in small doses, meth can make it hard to eat, sleep, or relax. Meth can also cause potentially deadly heart problems including:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hypertension or elevated blood pressure
  • Heart attacks

Hyperthermia (increased body temperature), seizures, and strokes may occur with meth overdose, and if not treated immediately, can result in death.

Long-term Risks

In addition to the short-term risks, using meth for a long time can result in negative side effects and even substance use disorder (SUD), commonly referred to as “addiction.” Long-term use can lead to symptoms, like:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Mood disturbances
  • Violent behavior
  • Psychotic symptoms that can last even after a person stops taking meth:
    • Paranoia
    • Visual and auditory hallucinations
    • Delusions (e.g., feeling insects under the skin)

The more you take meth, the higher the doses you need to feel the same effect. People who use meth frequently may have trouble feeling pleasure or happiness without the drug, which can cause further misuse. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Intense cravings for meth

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