Side Effects of Crystal Meth

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Understanding the Side Effects of Crystal Meth

If you suspect someone you love of being addicted to crystal meth, you should become familiar with the side effects of crystal meth. Call today at (800) 429-7690 for help finding treatment centers.

Side Effects of Crystal Meth:

Crystal meth is a powerful drug that is highly addictive. The drug produces a powerful and long-lasting euphoric effect that is somewhat similar to that of cocaine. If one uses this drug long enough – it may lead to impaired motor skills and verbal issues. Meth can be ingested rectally, smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed. Crystal meth affects users physically and psychologically.


Physical side effects of crystal meth include the following:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal rhythm of the heart)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Heavy sweating
  • Pale/flushed skin
  • Insomnia
  • Twitching
  • Dry/itchy skin
  • Tremors
  • Irregular breathing
  • Abnormally rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) or slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Acne
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache
  • Pale skin
  • Numbness
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Blurred vision

Depending on the case, some individuals may experience stroke, heart attack, convulsions, or death.


Side effects of crystal meth also include psychological effects. Psychological symptoms of meth use include:

  • Methamphetamine psychosis (a condition caused by regular use in high doses)
  • Sociability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Obsessive and/or repetitive behaviors
  • Increased concentration
  • Alertness
  • Psychosomatic disorders
  • Compulsive skin picking
  • Psychomotor disorders
  • Sensation of invincibility
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased libido, energy, self-confidence, and self-esteem

Another side-effect or consequence of crystal meth use is meth mouth. Meth mouth is when individuals who use crystal meth lose their teeth prematurely due to severe decay. During the time the users are high (usually about twelve hours or so) they do not practice any type of personal or oral hygiene. Over time, this lack of hygiene catches up to the teeth. Additionally, people who get high on meth crave drinks loaded with sugar – which, as many of us know, is bad for your teeth. Dry mouth, a symptoms of meth use, also causes problems for the teeth because they are not protected by saliva.

Withdrawal from Meth

The length of time the individual has been using and how much the individual has been using will dictate the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from meth typically takes a few days, however, this does not mean the addiction is cured and the individual will no longer feel the effects of withdrawal. Symptoms include:

  • Cravings for meth
  • Agitation
  • Hunger
  • Insomnia
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Fatigue

Some individuals elect to enter crystal meth detox to aide in the withdrawal process. If the symptoms are too severe, the individual could be a candidate for medically assisted detox. During medical detox, a physician administers medication to help lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms so that the patient doesn’t return to the drug instead of staying sober. If you have attempted to get clean before and were not successful, crystal meth detox may be a good decision.


Drug treatment programs are a supreme choice when pondering what to do after a detox program. Unfortunately, detox is not the same as rehab. Rehab technically begins after detox is complete. During detox, your body rids itself of the drug. When moving to the rehab phase of treatment, the individual will participate in several sessions pf therapy to determine the best course of treatment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used when attempting to rehabilitate a drug abuser. The Matrix Model is a sixteen-week treatment approach that combines the following:

  • Twelve-step meetings and support
  • Behavioral therapy
  • One-on-one counseling
  • Family education and counseling
  • Random drug testing

In addition to the aforementioned, encouragement for sober activities is key. Another tool used to treat addicts is contingency management interventions – which offers the addict a “treat” of some sort for remaining sober. This has proven to be effective in cocaine and meth addicted individuals. Help is available to you – do not wait until it is too late.