Effects of Meth


The destructive impact of methamphetamine in Arizona has been staggering.  Meth devastates not only those using the drug, but also their family, friends and neighbors.


Short Term Effects

Following the "rush," there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior.  Other possible immediate effects include:

  • increased wakefulness and insomnia
  • decreased appetite
  • irritability and aggression
  • anxiety
  • nervousness
  • convulsions 


Long Term Effects

Chronic use of meth can cause paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior (such as compulsively cleaning and grooming or disassembling and assembling objects), and delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin.


Long-term use, high dosages, or both can induce full-blown toxic psychosis.  This behavior is usually coupled with extreme paranoia.  Meth can also cause strokes, heart attack and death.


Why Some People Use Meth
Immediately after smoking or injection, the user experiences an intense sensation, called a "rush," that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable.  

  • Meth initially produces euphoria, enhanced wakefulness, increased physical activity, and decreased appetite.
  • Users experience a sense of well-being and high energy; a release of social inhibitions, feelings of cleverness, competence and power.


Negative Effects

For users, meth becomes the focus of their life.  They neglect their families, home, work, personal hygiene and safety.  Many users are driven into severe depression, followed by worsening paranoia, belligerence, aggression - a period known as "tweaking."


Meth Warning Signs

Physical

  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Dilated pupils
  • Burns on lips or fingers
  • Track marks on arms
  • Dental deterioration

Physical

  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Dilated pupils
  • Burns on lips or fingers
  • Track marks on arms
  • Dental deterioration

Paraphernalia

  • Rolled up paper money or short straws
  • Pieces of glass/mirrors
  • Razor blades
  • Burned spoons
  • Plastic tubing
  • Syringes/needles

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Behavioral

  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Change in friends
  • Increased activity
  • Long periods of sleeplessness
  • Long periods of sleep
  • Incessant talking
  • Irritability
  • Twitching and shaking
  • Decreased appetite
  • Erratic attention span