Effects of Crystal Meth

shutterstock 193838348

Methamphetamines are highly addictive stimulants that have many short term and long-term impacts on the human body and mind. It’s completely man-made and was actually created to treat intractable ADHD and severe cases of obesity. But because of its addictive effect, it now has very limited therapeutic use. Crystal meth is a well-known methamphetamine that comes in the form of a rock-like crystal that is white, blue or semi-transparent. Crystal meth is illegal and has no therapeutic use. When used, it is heated and then smoked in a glass pipe, crushed and snorted and even injected. But smoking crystal meth is the most popular way of using it because it’s the fastest way to get it into the bloodstream.

 The abuse of crystal meth is rampant in the United States. In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more than 1.7 million people aged 12 and older reported using crystal meth in 2015, and twice as many men as women abuse meth. But it is also a global problem with over 25 million users globally.

 Users are looking for the immediate, long-lasting, euphoric high that crystal meth is famous for. This is because crystal meth forces the brain to fire off a large amount of dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical that causes feelings of pleasure and happiness. But the consistent use of crystal meth has both negative short term and long-term effects.

The short term impacts include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal and homicidal thoughts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Significant weight loss
  • Severe mood swings.
  • Unpredictable behavior
  • Tremors or convulsions
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heart rhythm

 The long-term effects are, naturally, even more severe. These include:

  • Delusions, paranoia and hallucinations
  • Depression, anxiety and social isolation
  • Confusion and odd behavior
  • Feeling of bugs crawling on the skin
  • Body sores from users picking at their skin
  • Breathing problems associated with smoke inhalation
  • Irreversible damage to blood vessels throughout the body, including the heart and brain
  • Strokes
  • Coma

 Tweaking is another particularly horrible side effect of crystal meth that usually occurs after a long period of using it. “Tweaking” occurs then using crystal meth doesn’t induce a high anymore. Tweaking is a combination of cravings, despair and hallucinations, followed by a period of up to two weeks where the addict experiences extreme hunger, thirst and clinical depression.

It is usually when the tweaking stage occurs that people most often begin to seek crystal meth treatment. Addiction recovery from methamphetamines can take on many forms, depending on the severity of the dependency and the individual’s state of health. The first phase will always be detoxification under the supervision of a medical staff because withdrawals from crystal meth can be extremely unpleasant and there is a high rate of relapse during detox because of the following reactions:

  • Depression
  • Intense cravings for meth
  • Anxiety
  • Exhaustion
  • Itchy eyes
  • Oversleeping and/or insomnia
  • Increased appetite

 After a detoxification period, inpatient treatment is almost always the next step for those seeking addiction treatment from crystal meth. These inpatient programs can be the most effective because they allow the addict to completely focus on their recovery for 30 to 90 days without temptation or distraction. In very severe cases, the time spent in rehab can be even longer.

 Are you addicted to crystal meth? Take a self-assessment screening quiz  to help determine your possible level of addiction.

 We have a variety of programs that we use for meth addiction treatment: long term drug rehab, addiction counseling and both intensive outpatient and inpatient treatment. Please call us anytime, day or night, at (855) 658-0035 to speak with a specialist.


  • https://nsduhweb.rti.org/respweb/homepage.cfm
  • https://drugabuse.com/screening/methamphetamine-assessment-test/