Smoking Meth

Smoking meth is extremely dangerous and addictive. 

Smoking Meth

Table of Contents

Meth addiction is a common problem in America and throughout the world. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted in 2017, 1.6 million people used methamphetamine in the last year. Around 774,000 used it in the past month.1

Meth can be taken in a variety of ways. It can be snorted swallowed and smoked. Many people prefer smoking it because it immediately sends pleasant sensations to the brain, and it is not as addictive as other methods. Make no mistake, though; smoking meth is extremely dangerous.

This article will explore the dangers of meth addiction and what you can do if you get hooked. 

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine is a stimulant. It is made from chemicals that should never be put in the body. These include pseudoephedrine2 or ephedrine which is commonly found in cold medicine. It also may consist of battery acid, drain cleanerand acetone.  

What Does Meth Look Like?

Methamphetamine most commonly comes in a crystalline white powder form. It is odorless and has a bitter taste.  

Meth may also be brown, orange, yellow, gray, or even pink. It can also come in pill form. 

Meth vs. Crystal Meth

Crystal meth varies in appearance from regular meth. It comes in the form of clear chunky crystals, and it is usually smoked.

Other than its appearance, crystal meth also differs from other forms of methamphetamine in that it is stronger and more addictive. Its effects also last longer. Whereas most meth highs last six to twelve hours, crystal meth highs can last up to twenty-four hours.

Because crystal meth is stronger and more addictive, it is more likely to cause a meth overdose.   

Is Meth Addictive?

Meth is an addictive substance. Here are the ways the drug can draw you in. 

  • Addiction to the Rush: When a person takes meth, it leads to a release of dopamine in the brain. This dopamine activates the rewards center in the brain while producing a euphoric effect. Experiencing intense levels of dopamine makes people want to continue using the drug. Dopamine soars to extremely high levels when crystal meth is used, making it more addictive than regular meth.
  • Builds Tolerance: After using meth a few times, people will find they need to use more to achieve the same high. This factor is a sure sign that a drug is addictive. 
  • Causes Meth Withdrawal: Addictive drugs also produce withdrawal symptoms. This factor means that when the body does not have the drug in its system, it reacts by producing unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, fever, and more. Individuals who use meth know the only way to ‘cure’ these symptoms is to take more drugs. Therefore, a relapse often happens during the withdrawal stages. 

 

How is Meth Used?

Meth can be snorted, injected, or smoked. Here’s a review of the various uses.

Snorting Meth

Snorting meth involves snorting the powder up your nose. It provides the least intense results of all the ways you can use the drug. Many people prefer this method because it reduces the chances of meth overdose and addiction. Even though snorting meth is not as dangerous as other methods, it is still extremely harmful. It can cause damage to the nose and other parts of the body.  

Injecting Meth

When meth is injected, it produces a quick and intense rush that lasts for up to eight hours. It is extremely dangerous. In addition to increasing the risk of health conditions and meth addiction, it can also cause vein damage and lead to the spread of HIV.  

Smoking Meth

Meth is usually smoked in crystal form through a glass pipe. It produces a rise in serotonin and dopamine, making for a euphoric sensation that may last up to twelve hours. In addition to causing dangers to the body and increasing the likelihood of addiction, the chemicals in meth can also rot one’s teeth.    

Signs of Meth Use

If you suspect a loved one is doing meth, it will not take long before symptoms become apparent. Here are some signs of meth use to look out for.  

Meth Mouth

Meth mouth or meth teeth are caused by a variety of meth side effects. When people smoke meth, the chemicals damage their teeth. People that are high on meth also often grind their teeth, further wearing down on enamel. 

When you are on drugs, you tend to neglect dental hygiene, thereby failing to floss or brush as recommended. Meth also increases protective saliva in a mouth leading to xerostomia3 or dry mouth that increases decay. As such, many individuals who use meth have cavities and missing teeth.

Meth Sores

Meth sores are open wounds that can appear on any part of the body, but they are commonly found on the mouth, chest, arms, and hands. They have an inflamed and scabby look. They are caused by burns from meth paraphernalia, continuous skin picking that happens when high on meth, and a lack of personal hygiene.   

What Does Meth Smell Like?

Meth is an odorless substance, so it is difficult to detect the drug through the sense of smell.  

Meth Side Effects

Meth causes both long-term and short-term effects. Here are some meth side effects to look out for.  

Short Term

Shortterm meth side effects include: 

  • Increased attention span 
  • Increased activity 
  • Wakefulness 
  • Euphoria 
  • Increased respiration 
  • Hyperthermia 
  • Rapid heartbeat 

Long-Term

Here are some long-term meth side effects: 

  • Changes in brain function and structure 
  • Impaired thinking and motor skills 
  • Memory loss 
  • Distractibility 
  • Aggressive or violent behavior 
  • Extreme dental issues 
  • Weight loss 
  • Changes in mood 

Meth Psychosis

The changes meth causes in the brain can lead to psychosis. Psychosis occurs in 40% of those who use meth. Symptoms include violence, delusions, agitationand psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. It is treatable with medications and therapies.4

Meth Overdose

Meth overdose can occur due to a buildup of the drug in the body or by taking too much of the drug at one time. Symptoms include the following: 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Chest pain or confusion that may be the signs of a heart attack 
  • High body temperature 
  • High or low blood pressure 
  • Seizures 
  • Intense stomach pain 
  • Kidney failure that may be characterized by peeing less or darkcolored urine 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Hyper or aggressive behavior 
  • Paranoia 
  • Changes in personality 
  • Hyper alertness 
If an overdose is caused early on, doctors may reverse symptoms by treating patients with benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) beta and alpha-blockers (that regulate blood pressure and heart rate) as well as antipsychotic drugs that reduce hallucinations.5

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

It is common for people to experience meth withdrawal symptoms after they quit. These include the following: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Increased appetite 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Jitteriness 
  • Depression 
  • Suicidal thoughts  
  • Cravings for more meth 
  • Hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions 

How to Quit Smoking Meth

Smoking meth leads to meth addiction which can harm relationships, cause financial and legal issues, result in people losing their jobs, and more. Fortunately, there are ways to break the cycle.

While there are many treatments available for addiction, inpatient rehab may be the most effective. Inpatient rehab typically starts with detox. Clients will deal with withdrawal symptoms, but a medical professional will provide medication to ease symptoms while ensuring they are as comfortable as possible.

Medical professionals will be there to supervise the client throughout the process to reduce the likelihood of relapse. The next step is therapy. A person goes through an assessment to determine what therapies will be most effective. Treatment plans may vary, but essentially, therapists will aim to find the underlying cause of addiction so it can be addressed at its root. Then they suggest healthy coping mechanisms that replace the urge to use.

The final step of rehab is outpatient care. During this period, clients gradually adjust to sober living while participating in ongoing therapy to help them maintain sobriety.   

How Blueprints for Recovery Can Help

Blueprints for Recovery is an inpatient rehab that checks off all the boxes when it comes to providing rehab treatment, but they go above and beyond offering a specialized three-phase approach.  

After going through detox, clients will participate in the following stages of treatment: 

  • The Residential Phase: Phase one of the treatment is residential. This phase is when patients are analyzed to find the therapies that are right for them. Sessions are conducted to identify underlying problems and come up with healthy coping mechanisms that reduce the desire to use.  
  • Transitional Phase: The transitional phase involves transitioning to sober living. Clients are let out into the ‘real world’ but undergo 30 hours of therapy a week. This stage helps them deal with the challenges they are facing, giving them the support they need during this difficult time. 
  • Launch Phase: In this final phase of treatment, clients are fully released from treatment but know that caring professionals are ready to help if need be. 

Don’t let addiction stop you from enjoying life. Blueprints for Recovery is here to help no matter what type of addiction you are dealing with. Our caring professionals are waiting to help you get on a path to happy healthy living. 

Call Blueprints for Recovery to take the first step today.


Resources

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682619.html
  3. https://oralcancerfoundation.org/complications/xerostomia/.
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027896/
  5. https://www.rxlist.com/benzodiazepines/drug-class.htm

If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
(888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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