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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction can negatively affect someone’s life in many ways. Learn more about meth addiction symptoms and treatment options available here.

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Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.


Understanding Meth Addiction

Meth addiction can negatively affect someone’s life and well-being in many ways. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and effects of meth use can help you identify if you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction. Many treatment options are available that can help with recovery from meth addiction.

Meth Before and After

Many studies have shown changes in individuals who use meth before and after use. Meth’s effects on the body and mind can negatively impact people. Common meth physical effects after use include:1

  • Advanced aging
  • Dry mouth
  • Pale skin
  • Significant weight loss
  • Sores
  • Tooth decay or loss of teeth
  • Widespread acne

What Does Meth Do to the Brain?

Other results of meth use can have many adverse effects on the brain. People after meth use may experience psychological effects and changes that include:

Acute Neurotransmitter Changes

Changes in the neurotransmitters after long-term meth use can affect someone’s mood, attitudes, and behaviors. This can lead to mental health issues, trouble sleeping, irritability, and other problems.

Brain Cell Death

Long-term meth abuse can also cause brain cell death. The death of brain cells is one of the more serious long-term effects of crystal meth use because it may not be reversible. This can cause memory problems, trouble processing information, and other cognitive issues.

Rewiring the Brain’s Reward System

Another one of the severe symptoms of meth use is that it can rewire the brain’s reward system over time. The effects of smoking meth cause high releases of chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine. The neurotransmitter dopamine is associated with the reward centers of the brain. Over time, this can lead to psychological dependence due to the high dopamine release that meth use creates.2

Meth Addiction

Symptoms of Meth Use

Symptoms of meth usage can affect someone in many ways. Knowing the signs of meth abuse can help you determine if someone is struggling with a meth addiction and get them the needed help and support.

Faster Breathing and Heart Rate

One of the short-term effects of meth after use is faster breathing and heart rate. These effects of meth can be dangerous if the drug is taken in high doses, especially in the case of overdose.

Higher Blood Pressure and Temperature

Higher blood pressure and temperature are other short-term effects of meth. Taking meth in high doses can raise the blood pressure to dangerous levels that can cause several health complications.

Irregular heartbeat

An irregular heartbeat is another symptom of meth that can be dangerous. If someone is experiencing an irregular heartbeat after using meth, it may signify an overdose or health complications.


One of the common signs of meth use is anxiety. Due to the stimulant properties of meth, it can increase anxiety levels and lead to meth mood swings occurring.


Confusion is another one of the signs of meth use. Confusion due to meth can lead to many of the behavioral symptoms of meth use and may cause someone to make irrational or risky decisions.

Memory Loss

One of the methamphetamine warnings is memory loss. Memory loss can signify brain cell death and other psychological effects of meth abuse.

Violent Behavior

Meth mood swings can lead to outbursts and violent behavior occurring. This is a dangerous side effect of meth that can lead to many negative consequences.


A meth high or withdrawal from meth can lead to paranoia. Paranoia can cause irrational behavior and making risky decisions that lead to negative consequences.

Hallucinations or Delusions

If someone experiences hallucinations or delusions, this can be one of the severe methamphetamine warnings. Hallucinations can lead to thoughts or actions that can affect someone’s behavior and mental health.

Drugs Commonly Combined with Meth

Many drugs are commonly combined with meth, such as alcohol, morphine, and Xanax. Polysubstance abuse (using more than one drug) can be common in those who struggle with addiction. People may also combine substances with meth to get a stronger high from the drugs. Combining other drugs with meth increases the dangers of meth abuse and can make an overdose more likely.

How Long Is a Meth High?

Depending on how large of a dose is taken, a meth high can last between 8 to 24 hours. Compared to other stimulant drugs, such as cocaine, the meth high is usually longer lasting and has much more powerful stimulant effects.3

What is the Half-Life of Meth?

The half-life of meth is approximately 10 hours. This means it takes about 10 hours for half of a dose of meth to leave the bloodstream.4

What are the Effects of Meth Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from meth can be serious and may have many side effects. However, proper treatment and support from an addiction recovery center can help ease withdrawal symptoms or prevent them. Common effects of meth withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings for meth
  • Paranoia

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Meth?

The amount of time it takes to develop an addiction to meth will depend on the individual and the doses of the drug that are taken. Meth is a highly addictive substance, so dependence on meth can develop quickly, sometimes within the first few times. Generally, a meth addiction will be characterized by someone frequently abusing meth and feeling like they can’t stop using it despite the negative consequences that meth use is having in their life.

How to Get Meth out of Your System

To get meth out of your system, you will have to stop taking meth and go through the detoxification process. While detoxing from meth, you will experience withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Meth withdrawal symptoms typically last 2-3 weeks. Going to a treatment center during detox will help make this process as easy and effective.

Find Help for Meth Addiction at Great Oaks Recovery

If you or someone you care about is struggling with a meth addiction, Great Oaks Recovery Center can help. Great Oaks Recovery Center uses evidence-based treatment methods that lead to high success rates in meth addiction treatment. The friendly and supportive staff at Great Oaks Recovery Center makes the recovery process easy by creating a personalized treatment plan that supports your individual needs. Contact us today for more information about how Great Oaks Recovery Center can help you.

meth addiction

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.