Skip to main
Support
Lines
Support lines icon
 

How does meth affect your life?

 

Health Effects and Risks

 

Meth is an amphetamine-type stimulant. These stimulants affect the activity of certain chemicals in the brain and can lead to changes in the physical and mental health of people who use methamphetamine.

Want to know more?

The effects of methamphetamine will vary depending on:

  • the person – mood, physical size, health, gender, previous experience with meth, expectations of the drug, personality, whether the person has had food and whether other drugs have been taken.
  • the drug – the amount used, its purity, and whether it is smoked, swallowed, snorted or injected.
  • the place – whether the person is using with friends, on his/her own, in a social setting or at home, at work or before driving.

Short-term effects

  • Enlarged pupils
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Inability to sleep
  • Increased rate of breathing, pulse rate and blood pressure

Short-term effects of high-doses

  • Sweating, headaches, pale skin
  • Restlessness, dizziness, shaking, repetitive movement
  • Jaw clamping and teeth grinding
  • Irregular breathing and very rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Toxicity

Long-term effects

  • Malnutrition and weight loss
  • Reduced resistance to infection
  • Dental health issues
  • Tolerance and dependence
  • Brain scarring and memory loss
  • Seizure, stroke, cardiomyopathy and heart attack

Meth can cause a range of mental health issues. The effects of meth  will vary depending on:

  • the person – mood, physical size, health, gender, previous experience with meth, expectations of the drug, personality, whether the person has had food and whether other drugs have been taken.
  • the drug – the amount used, its purity, and whether it is smoked, swallowed, snorted or injected.
  • the place – whether the person is using with friends, on his/her own, in a social setting or at home, at work or before driving.

Short-term effects

  • Increased confidence and talkativeness
  • Anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks
  • Irritability and threatening manner

Short-term effects of high-doses

  • Feelings of being powerful or superior
  • Psychosis including paranoia & hallucinations
  • Hostility and aggression

Long-term effects

  • Violent behaviour, emotional disturbances
  • Periods of psychosis with delusional thoughts and behaviour.

Related topics

 

Jane's Story, 30 year old

"I was constantly losing and gaining large amounts of weight. At my lowest weight my skin, hair and nails were shocking. Blemishes, limp hair and sores on my extremities were the norm. Meth destroys your mental health. My emotions are like a roller-coaster. I have hallucinated, I have been paranoid to the hills, I have been depressed, I have been scarily anxious, I have heard things that weren't there, I have been so sure people were out to get me. The worst was the psychosis, conversations with invisible people, conversations complete with different voices, accents and genders."

Read More

Up to 1 in 3 moderate users of methamphetamine will experience a symptom of psychosis. This increases to 3 in 5 people in inpatient treatment settings. Heavy use and regular use are the key risk factors for meth-associated psychosis.