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Know the Risks of Meth

Methamphetamine (meth) is a powerful, highly addictive drug that causes devastating health effects, and sometimes death. Meth is a dangerous, synthetic, stimulant drug often used with other substances that can be smoked, injected, snorted, or taken orally.

It is easy to get addicted to meth, but hard to recover from. Using meth can make you feel like you’ve lost your freedom. But, through treatment and support, it is possible to live life free from meth. Recovery is possible.

The Rise of Meth Use in the United States

The number of fatal overdoses involving meth and stimulants (PDF | 471 KB) has jumped significantly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to SAMHSA, about 2 million people aged 12 or older use meth in any given year, while about 500 people each day try meth for the first time.

Someone using meth may experience a temporary sense of heightened euphoria, alertness, and energy. But using meth changes how the brain works and speeds up the body’s systems to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels—increasing blood pressure, and heart and respiratory rates. Chronic meth users may also experience anxiety, paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, mood disturbances, and more.

Short-term Effects of Meth

Even taking small amounts of meth, or just trying it once, can cause harmful health effects, including:

  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature

  • Faster breathing

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

  • Loss of appetite, disturbed sleep patterns, or nausea

  • Bizarre, erratic, aggressive, irritable, or violent behavior

Long-term Health Risks of Meth

Chronic meth use leads to many damaging, long-term health effects, even when users stop taking meth, including:

  • Permanent damage to the heart and brain

  • High blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes, and death

  • Liver, kidney, and lung damage

  • Anxiety, confusion, or insomnia

  • Paranoia, hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions, or violent behavior (psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after quitting meth)

  • Intense itching, causing skin sores from scratching

  • Severe dental problems (“meth mouth”)

Need Help?

With the right treatment plan, recovery is possible. If you, or someone you know, needs help with a substance use disorder, including meth use, call Another Solution, Inc. (ASI)

Confidential Line at 214-624-9867 to get help.

Source: SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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