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Crystal Meth Overdose

An individual can suffer harm and may die from using methamphetamine, which is very addictive.1,2 A methamphetamine version which is less strong might be prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, as well as obesity as the medicine Desoxyn.3,4,5

Meth is synthetic, meaning that it is made by people.2,6 When creating meth, one possible component utilized is pseudoephedrine (cold medicines can have pseudoephedrine as a component); pharmacies as well as other retail shops must maintain records of the buying of anything with pseudoephedrine in it, and how much of things with pseudoephedrine in them can be bought by a person in a day is limited by law.1,7,8

A type of meth known as crystal meth has an appearance similar to “rocks” which are blue-white and shiny or an appearance similar to little glass pieces.1,4,6 People might inject or smoke crystal meth.6

Explosions and fires may occur because of chemicals that are part of the creation of meth.1,7 Explosions, fires, and being exposed to chemicals might harm or kill individuals creating meth and/or law enforcement who are conducting raids on meth labs.1,5

The abusing of and distributing of meth play a notable role in America’s rates of some types of crime.

According to national estimates, in 2007 almost 68,000 visits to emergency departments where meth triggered it or contributed to it occurred; in 2011 almost 103,000 occurred.10,11 However, according to estimates, in 2004 over 132,000 occurred.11 Per estimates, most aforementioned 2011 visits additionally involved at least one additional drug (pharmaceutical, illegal, and/or alcohol).10

Overdose

An individual can die because of overdosing on meth; if an individual could potentially have overdosed, immediately call 911.5

Using a lot of meth might result in issues such as:1,4,5,7

  • Being agitated
  • Being paranoid
  • Having a quicker heartbeat
  • Heart not beating regularly
  • Heart attack happening
  • Having significant pain in stomach
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Having elevated blood pressure
  • Stroke happening
  • Having a hazardously increased temperature
  • Seizures happening
  • Going into a coma
  • Having issues with organs
  • Dying

Possible Crystal Meth Effects: Short-Term

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) conveys that there are several impacts meth might have on an individual in the short-term, possibly including bringing about:12

  • Heightened attention
  • Heartbeat that is not regular
  • Euphoric feeling
  • Raised temperature
  • More activity
  • Fast heart rate
  • Lessened fatigue
  • Appetite reduction
  • Increased breathing

Possible Crystal Meth Effects: Long-Term

An individual who uses crystal meth for a long while might experience things including:1,4,5,13

  • Trouble experiencing pleasure besides that which meth causes
  • Anxiousness
  • Addiction
  • Trouble with memory
  • Changing mood
  • Functioning as well as structure of brain being altered
  • Itching significantly, possibly with scratching causing skin problems
  • Being aggressive
  • Being confused
  • Being paranoid
  • Being more distractible
  • Serious dental issues, sometimes called “meth mouth”
  • Slowed motor speed
  • Significant decrease in weight
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Meth tolerance
  • Worsened verbal learning
  • Acting violently

The DEA indicates that, per researchers, following being exposed to comparatively small amounts of meth for a long while, up to half of brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine could suffer damage; additionally, there might be even greater damage among neurons with serotonin inside.4

Some impacts misusing meth for a while might have in the nervous system might be at a minimum somewhat reversible following time not using meth.1,13 For instance, dopamine transporters might recuperate after an individual stops using meth for a while.13

Withdrawal

If an individual stops using meth, this individual might experience withdrawal and might experience some or all of the following:1,13

  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Anxiousness
  • Depression
  • Craving meth
  • Being fatigued

Treatment

If an individual could potentially have overdosed, immediately call 911; it could save that person’s life.5

If you may have a meth addiction, consult with a healthcare provider.14

 

Sources:

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Methamphetamine: What is methamphetamine?.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Know the risks of meth.
  3. United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Methamphetamine.
  4. Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Department of Justice. (2017). Drugs of abuse: A DEA resource guide: 2017 edition.
  5. A.D.A.M., Inc. (2019). Methamphetamine overdose. In A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.
  6. National Drug Intelligence Center; U.S. Department of Justice. Crystal methamphetamine fast facts: Questions and answers.
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Methamphetamine (meth).
  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Methamphetamine: How is methamphetamine manufactured?.
  9. DEA Strategic Intelligence Section; Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Department of Justice. (2015). 2015 national drug threat assessment summary.
  10. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2014). The DAWN report: Emergency department visits involving methamphetamine: 2007 to 2011.
  11. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2013). Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National estimates of drug-related emergency department visits.
  12. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Methamphetamine: What are the immediate (short-term) effects of methamphetamine misuse?.
  13. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Methamphetamine: What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse?.
  14. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Step by step guides to finding treatment for drug use disorders.
About The Contributor
Sophie Stein, MSN
Clinical Editor, American Addiction Centers
Sophie Stein, MSN, is a Clinical Editor at American Addiction Centers. She received her master’s of science in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Sophie previously worked as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner... Read More