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What Do Meth Effects Feel Like?

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Updated April 04, 2014

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If meth intoxication is taken to the extreme, the experience can be dangerous as well as unpleasant. In particular, there is a risk of heart problems, seizures, and even death.

Because meth is produced in clandestine or home labs, there is no way to predict how toxic it is or how strong it is going to be, which can sometimes lead to meth users taking more than they intended -- and the meth high taking a turn for the worst. A stronger dose can also increase tolerance so that next time more of the drug is needed to get the same high, and if you stop, withdrawal is more intense, which is the physical side of the addiction.

Avoiding Problems

If you're aware of the risks of meth use, you may be wondering why anyone would use such a dangerous drug. If you feel peer pressure to try meth, you may want to know what your friends aren't telling you about meth effects. If you know someone who uses meth, understanding how it feels may help you to approach and communicate effectively with that person.

Many meth users are reluctant to stop doing something that feels good, even when they know it's bad for them. The best way to stay out of that trap of addiction is to avoid drug use altogether. If someone you know has become addicted to meth, there are some ways to help them.

Sources

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition (Text Revision). American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Johnson, D. Meth: The Home-Cooked Menace. Hazelden: Center City, MN. 2005.

Newton, T., De La Garza, R., Kalechstein, A., Tziortzis, D. and Jacobsen, C. "Theories of Addiction: Methamphetamine Users’ Explanations for Continuing Drug Use and Relapse." The American Journal on Addictions 18:294–300. 2009.

O'Brien, A. Brecht, M. and Casey, C. "Narratives of Methamphetamine Abuse: A Qualitative Exploration of Social, Psychological, and Emotional Experiences." Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 8(3): 343-366. 2008.

Semple, S., Zians, J. Strathdee, S. and Patterson, T. "Sexual Marathons and Methamphetamine Use Among HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex with Men." Arch Sex Behav 38:583–590. 2009.

Simons, J., Dvorak, R. and Batien, B. "Methamphetamine Use in a Rural College Population: Associations With Marijuana Use, Sensitivity to Punishment, and Sensitivity to Reward" Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 22(3):444–449. 2008.

Taylor, N. and Covey, H. Helping People Addicted to Methamphetamine: A Creative New Approach. Praegar, Westport CT. 2008.

Walley, A., Phillips, K., Gordon, A., "The Patients in Recovery (PIR) Perspective: Teaching Physicians About Methamphetamine." Substance Abuse, 29(4). 2008.

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