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Long term effects of meth on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

Long term effects of meth on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Methamphetamine (meth) takes a toll on the body. But what does long term use of meth really do to the body?

Meth affects multiple systems of the body. These include:

  • The circulatory system
  • The respiratory system
  • The excretory system
  • The lymphatic system

For example, long term use of meth can cause tooth decay, liver failure, and irreversible blood vessel damage that may result in stroke. Not only that, but smoking meth can lead to chronic lung diseases, blood clots, or irregular heartbeat.

While each of us react differently to meth, meth affects the body in similar ways. Review the potential long term effects of meth on the body here. And please send us your questions at the end. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

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40 Responses to “Long term effects of meth on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)
kristal
4:33 am June 13th, 2014

how long on average does it take for the long term effects of binge meth use to become lethal?

5:08 am June 13th, 2014

Hello Kristal. Every person is different. Dosing limits, physical health, age, gender, etc. are all factors the play into possible overdose. But keep in mind that long term use of meth is considered regular use of meth for a period of about 6 months, or longer.

luke
9:07 pm August 9th, 2014

Hello
I have a someone close to me who smoked meth when she was 16. She is now 35 years old. Unfortunately she is struggling with prescription drugs now. I have a few questions if you can help me out. She smoked meth for at least 6 months, not sure how much, assuming close to daily use.
How long do the long term side effects take to manifest?
Are there particular prescription drugs that help which are not dangerous to use?
Are there any other treatments outside of drugs that can help with the brain?

9:29 am August 11th, 2014

Hello Luke. Some methamphetamine-induced changes are very long lasting, and some changes in brain structure and function may be permanent, especially when someone that young and still developing uses meth.

Although medications have proven effective in treating some substance use disorders, there are currently no medications that counteract the specific effects of methamphetamine or that prolong abstinence from and reduce the abuse of methamphetamine by an individual addicted to the drug.

tanis
9:13 pm August 16th, 2014

I have been smoking meth for almost a year..i was overweight at the time and i havent weighed myself but good chance ive lost 100 lbs.. ive also lost most people who ever cared about me and i hate myself..im sitting in a truck hidden in my home town and about to drive north until i run outts gas and then well thats it…a year ago i had childten a partner a lifr and friends..today im alone in a rentrd truck with money in the bank meth in my pocket but no home and no one who loves me.. just want someone to trulu pondet how i feel.. just fucking leave it alone…seriouslu i miss that feeling of accomplishment in life. I miss frienda and i miss me and the pride i incr had..i care aboit nothii

Melissa
8:10 pm September 13th, 2014

What are the effects of snorting meth is it less dangerous

9:34 am September 15th, 2014

Hi Melissa. Good question, thank you for posting it. And, the answer is NO, snorting meth is not less dangerous at all. Frequent snorting can cause damage to the nose and sinus cavities. It can make your nose stuffy and cause nosebleeds. When snorting meth it damages the lining and cartilage of the nose. In extreme cases, it can cause a hole in your nose.

Compared to injecting or smoking meth, snorting is not as effective…the rush is not as intense. That’s why many users make a fatal mistake and keep on snorting to reach the same effect, and eventually overdose.

peggy
12:52 am January 6th, 2015

I have a family member that did meth and now she goinging to have a baby. I like to know how that will effect the baby?

1:59 pm January 12th, 2015

Hi Peggy. You can have a look at this other infographic that explains the possible side-effects of meth on pregnancy, the fetus and early childhood development: http://addictionblog.org/infographics/long-term-effects-of-meth-on-pregnancy-infographic/

Daphramper
7:19 am January 19th, 2015

Just wanted to say thank you for all this blunt truth but I have been searching high and low for natural supplements or vitamins, and/or both to help me ease all the harsh reality I’m gogoing to have to deal with when I begin to detox. I’ve been searching for 2-3 days now and I only end up finding sites like this. So I wanted to know if anyone can either give me some good advice to what I can take to help this agony I’m about to feel again so I can graduate treatment and stay out of jail. If no one here knows exactly please point me in the right direction to get accurate, beneficial information and advice to help me through my withdrawals.
Mucho mahaloz and alohaz amigoz

Jay
6:20 pm February 10th, 2015

If I’d snorted meth for three day how many day does it take to get out my system

12:22 pm February 11th, 2015

Hello Jay. Meth can stay in the system and be detected in urinalysis drug tests 1-4 days after use. In chronic users the detection timeline can be increased. Meth usually stays in the blood for approximately 24-48 hours. While in saliva Meth can stay detectable for approximately 1-2 days after you stopped using.

Diana
4:42 am March 7th, 2015

This is really hard to confess because I’ve been a closet Meth user for 28 yrs. I started using because I’m a worker, perfectionist, and had to raise my daughter on my own. She WAS my WORLD. I gave 150% during those critical years of her life from 1993-2009 when she graduated high shool.I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 6 mths after she was born. I never used during pregnancy and I started using regularly in about 1997 to the present. Im very greatful and humbled that the good lord got me through all those years. She is now 23 starting a life that I dreamed about marrying a welder on the pipeline working as a head teller at a huge bank, and Awh I’m a 4mth old grandmas!!!
BUT I have had many health issues over the past 10 yrs. A heart attack 6 yrs ago, COPD, along with arthritis, extreme depression now etc.
This shit is killing me and I am scared’!! Please give me some advice. I really have just laid downafter the heart attack and want to die. I’m have gained alot of weight and feel I’m gonna be in a wheel chair in 5-10 yrs. Please help me.

4:09 pm March 12th, 2015

Hello Diana. You are a dedicated and noble mother, and you did what you knew best in order to get things done. But, I believe it’s time to turn your attention towards yourself and work on the addiction issue. You seem like a warm and open person from what I read, and I believe it would be important to talk to your daughter and family about your problem. I’m sure they will be by your side to support you. You will need professional medical help to get out of this situation, and it may not be easy given the years of use and other medical conditions. See your doctor and ask for initial advise, I’m sure s/he will make a referral to another clinic that will address your needs accordingly. I wish you much success in your recovery and life!

maria
3:27 pm March 26th, 2015

I suspect my tenant/ relative who lives in the apartment in my home, but is separated by an insulated wall and locked door is cooking meth, he use to do crack, but meth at times, and states that now he is drug free, and I know he went through a real hard time for over a year getting off the stuff, But I have asthma and I start to get choked up every once in a while, and smell a weird smell and my heart starts to race and I start to stare, and get shaky. Is there any way I can buy a reliable test to prove if I am right in thinking that this person is doing a drug that will effect me? If so I will give him his notice to leave the premises. I have never done drugs and do not want that near me or at my home. What test would be most reliable to tell if there are drugs being cooked, because I am afraid if I go to my doctor and ask for a test that comes out positive then he may have to tell authorities and I may get in trouble and didn’t even do a thing wrong, but I need to know so I can evict if I have to due to health reasons plus I do not want that near my home. and if he has no consideration for me, then he will be evicted.

11:26 am March 27th, 2015

Hi Maria. Meth smoke can get easily dispersed through closed spaces, and you may have passively ingested some. You can call your town’s (or county’s) local police station and tell them that you suspect there is a meth lab being operated in your neighbourhood. You can also check the front of your phone book for a local drug enforcement agency. You have to do something because if there really is a meth lab, you are all in danger because of the high possibility of explosion.

ibon
7:59 pm May 24th, 2015

My daughter took several times ice and on one occasion large amounts for about a day and a half. She since has not taken any more but she consistantly has rapid heart rate and lots of chest pain, trouble sleeping, and foreboding thoughts.Are these long term symptoms she will continually have ?

3:56 pm June 12th, 2015

Hi Ibon. Acute withdrawal symptoms usually subside after a few weeks most. There are also post-acute withdrawal symptoms which are mainly psychological and include cravings and urges to use drug again. Some organ damage may be permanent (depending on the individual and the drug), but they are all mostly reversible and will return to normal.

robert
5:59 am October 1st, 2015

ok so i never use meth but i used only .1 maybe less i smoked it off of foil… i found out im getting tested the next day giving me about 34 hours before i have to test. I have literally drank a 16.9 fl oz water bottle every 30 minutes since i got the news of the test. As long as i keep this going i will be drinking somewhere between 3.5 to 5 gallons of water. is there any chance that the test will come up negative? i REALLY need an educated answer tonight if possible?!??!
Thank you, Robert

4:23 pm October 9th, 2015

Hi Robert. It really depends on the dose you took, urine pH levels, body mass, rate of metabolism, the type of test you’ll be given or other circumstance. Generally, meth can stay in the system and be detected in urinalysis drug tests 1-4 days after use. In blood methamphetamine can be detected for approximately 24-48 hours after use. While, saliva tests can detect meth for approximately 1-2 days. Hope this helps!

Rd
9:50 am December 7th, 2015

Why does meth leave ur hands an feet crsmp?

Pierre
6:02 pm December 12th, 2015

I have done meth about 4 different days in the past 9 months. I last smoked meth on Septemer 10 and then October 10. I just did a hair drug test on December 8th (a little less than 60 days since my last usage)…. I am wondering if even the small amounts I smoked would still show up on a hair test? Does the length of my hair have an effect on whether meth will be detected—-in otherwords, can meth be detected as well in a hair sample that is 4 inches long from the scalp as well as a sample that is 1 inch long from the scalp? Your input urgently needed… as I am to take a drug test soon and am wondering whether to cut my hair!!!

Gabrielaq
4:10 pm February 25th, 2016

It sounds like rationalization, but I started smoking meth to blend in in a situation where I clearly did not fit in and was ostracized because people thought I was police. I am bipolar and had been taking lithium, a couple of antidepressants and seroquel. I am also in my 50s. I became afraid of possible drug interactions so I didn’t refill my meds for the bipolar. However, my bipolar seemed to be better. I had better impulse control, my depression was minimized greatly, my memory (which was severely effected by lithium) was better than ever, and I started doing things I’d only dreamed of. I also have a severe pain disorder for which I had been on opioid meds for a really long time. When I ran out of those, I elected to stop taking them as well.

My circumstances changed and I was no longer in the situation that precipitated the meth use. I moved to a rural mountain residence and stopped using meth. I made appointments with my doctors, but due a series of unfortunate events, including the loss of my vehicle, I was unable to see my physicians. A few weeks went by and my bipolar symptoms resurfaced. Not so much the manic episodes (although still present since I was “homebound” they were only evident to me) but the depression became severe. Losing my autonomy, having to rely on others to take to the store, etc. caused my depression to worsen. And, my pain disorder went out of control. Having no means of transportation and no one I could ask to take a day off to take me to the doctor, I started smoking meth again. That was almost 6 months ago. I’ve been smoking daily since. At first, the bipolar and pain were somewhat alleviated,. I kept telling myself that my isolation and loss of autonomy would change, but they haven’t and now the depression is getting bad and the pain issue is worse than ever. Pain and depression are intertwined, meaning you have pain, you get depressed, which in turn causes more pain, etc.

Besides those two things, I begun developing other problems that are concerning me: numbness in one toe, at the base of the toe, on the top of my foot and on the base. At first it was one foot, now it’s both. And it hurts. too; headaches, a pain in my neck that keeps me awake and a couple of other things. I am about ready to go crazy and hire a car service to pick me up and transport me to a hospital or doctor, which would cost a lot considering my location. I’m afraid that because of the daily meth use, if I present to either a doctor or the emergency room, once meth is detected, I will not receive appropriate treatment. I’m also concerned that the depression will just get worse if I stop smoking meth and I will end up in the psych ward because I’m suicidal.

I’m alone in the mountains so it’s not a good situation and not having the ability to leave due to having no vehicle makes the entire situation seem hopeless. But I’m about ready to lose it and just hire a car. Because of my chronic meth use, I am wondering how long I need to be meth free before going for medical treatment? I am a small person, with an incredibly fast metabolism but because of pain issues, I have been somewhat immobile. Also, I’ve read the long term effects meth can have, but none seem to match my symptoms except for the depression, but i was already depressed before using. The depression has been worse when I wasn’t smoking meth, but I’m afraid it’s going to go out of control because of the pain I’m in and when I stop smoking.

Do you have any suggestions?

Jolene
11:55 pm March 23rd, 2016

Um, so i have a question. Im 32 and ive been smokingmeth since i was 12. I’ve had about a total of about 5 years in between that clean, but other than that, every day ive smoked and ive pretty much kept it a secret. My stupid question is all day every day for the the past year ive had a constant pressure on the left side, but my boyfriend would alwayd say im just being a hypochondriac. (He also doesnt know i do drugs) it is starting to finally get heavier, but ive also been really stressed with school and looking for a new job and bills i need to catch up on. When i went to the dr to complain about it, he gave me beta blockers, but my chest hurts still. Im afraid to go back but i was thinking maybe i need to because it could be something really bad, huh? I really dont want to face the truth, im really scared. Sorry for asking a question i kind of already know the answer to i think….

P. Kelly
4:52 am April 25th, 2016

I wonder what the health risks are for a person with COPD and moderate emphysema to keep smoking meth on a regular basis. They have trouble breathing but while on a meth high seem to breathe better and active. When it wears off they start having chest pains, etc. Breathing more impaired. Can an episode such as this take their life?

Nikkie
3:01 pm June 14th, 2016

I was a user for almost a year & now have been sober from shooting, snorting, smoking meth almost a year ago. I used heroin to come down on days I was too high. I am also a binge drinker. I feel I have conquered the drinking part seeing as I hardly drink anymore. Meth though, has a hold of my gut that won’t let go.I don’t always feel like myself. I’m always on edge or feeling confrontational with my husband but not my friends or family. All i do is think. I feel like i have restless body at night & can’t sleep. I’m constantly having hot/cold sweats. I find myself crying more now than ever.I can’t stand who I’ve become. I quit cold turkey without the help of rehab or Dr. I tried rehab but my towns made it impossible for meth addicts to get help without getting treated like your in a prison. My husband seems to forget the struggle I have going on in my head. He likes to think nothing happened. If I talk to my bff or grandma ( the other two that were there for me) I feel like I’m being judged especially knowing my friend isn’t being so”good” herself. Are there other stages for after a year to prepare for? Can I do this alone? How long does this depression or whatever it is last?

Alana
8:10 pm June 23rd, 2016

hello, i was using for 9 months, snorting it. after a while my muscles started to move on their own in my head, like i had nerve damage or something. I would just love to hear your or someones opinion on this because it’s obviously driving me crazy. i miss being comfortable. every time i lay down i feel them move and restlessness is home base for me. all i can think is how i shouldnt have gotten into it and i should have been smarter.. haha why cant we just devotte our lives to loving ourselves and everyone around us, why must we get so distracted..

Stacy
10:36 pm June 24th, 2016

Will someone fail a hair test if they used meth 1 time in the last 90 days?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:54 pm June 28th, 2016

Hi Nikkie. You may enroll into support groups to speak with people who have addiction problems. You also have online options available, check the web pages and enter your geographic area of living to see what fits your needs:

– SMART Recovery® Meetings http://www.smartrecovery.org/meetings_db/view/
– Secular Organizations for Sobriety Meetings http://www.sossobriety.org/meetings.html
– Face-to-Face LifeRing Meetings http://lifering.org/find-a-meeting/
– Online LifeRing Meetings http://lifering.org/online-meetings/
– SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

Matthewp
4:10 am July 6th, 2016

Hey names Matthew I’ve by tryed it twice last Tuesday I took one shot of meth think it was pnly like half shot felt nothing then this past saturated I tryed again think the first shot was like a big one then two or three more not much longer afyer it’s een 4 days and feeling aftee effects feels like my vain are burning and fingers kinda tingle maybe I just need sleep might feel better

Pinky
1:50 pm July 6th, 2016

My son take crystal last month and he needed to take drug test next week,is that drugs will can be detect in urine test?

Jon
10:04 am July 7th, 2016

@Pinky: No, it would only be detected roughly 4 days after his last use. 1 month is more than long enough for him to pass

Sheila
10:30 am August 7th, 2016

I 1st started smoking meth about 14 years old and i am now 29. Out of those 15 years ive been sober maybe 2 years total which was both times i was pregnant. I know im an addict and i know its hard to quit but ive been really thinking about it a lot lately but im also kinda worried that once i do stop my body will start to give up lil by lil. So my question is is it possible that, that can happen? Because my father was an alcholic and once he quit drinking his kidneys failed him and he began to get very sick. And i know alcohol and meth are two different things but just wondering if that can or will also happen once i stop smoking? Thank you for your time.

maria elena
2:42 pm August 20th, 2016

I thank you for the opportunity to ask these questions about meth.
Is it possible for a person who comes in contact to the smoke of meth could they come out dirty on a drug test?or if their clothes are in the same room with someone smoking?What if they touch meth could they come out dirty for meth? What if a man cums inside of his lady ( who is not doing meth), could she cum out dirty if he is using? or if a clean man and enters into a person using, could he come out dirty. Last question, In a three day period how could a person test clean one day and come out dirty the next day and then clean the last day?
I appreciate you helping me out and I will looking for your answers on my email. hope to hear from you soon. I could earn some cash for the right answers.

God Bless?

Maria Elena

5:54 pm August 22nd, 2016

Hi Sheila. When you quit meth and sober up, you begin a new life of recovery and positive habits. Your father’s kidneys got damaged from the drinking. They just happened to fail when he quit. But, you are still very young. As you stay sober your brain and body will go back to their natural tendency to heal what can be healed.

You can expect the withdrawal symptoms during detox to be harsh, but will subside over time. During detox, I suggest you check into a clinic and be monitored by a medical staff. They can make quitting far less uncomfortable. From then on, it will be a long-term effort, therapy, counseling, support groups and family support. But, you health will only get better.

d
2:33 am September 4th, 2016

I havent smoked meth in over ten years. I did it for about a year and quit when I was 17. I recently got a night job and have stayed awake for over 24 hours a couple times now, and lately my mouth feels like I have done meth, and I didn’t get as tired as I should have when adjusting to my new work schedule. I heard it can stay in your spinal cord indefinitely, and I’m wondering if I am detoxing the drug and it’s being dumped into my system from over ten years ago??

Edward
8:19 pm September 14th, 2016

I recently tried meth for the first time this past memorial weekend. I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT and ever since I been snorting 2 grams 3 times a week. However I still eat and drink alot of water mixed with Gatorade too keep me hydrated but Lately I been craving it more and more. When I don’t have money it’s when Indian use it but NEVER stolf

Trixie
8:03 am September 15th, 2016

I live in a very small town. I want to b truthful with my Dr regarding my past drug use but I don’t say anything in fear of who might read my chart. Not to mention I don’t want my insurance Co to kno anything like that in fear they would “drop” me. I want to have some tests done to see how much of my brain has been eatin by my years of use and see what other problems I might have from using. Believe it or not I did one line a day….every morning to get my ass outta bed be cuz
I never had any energy. That was it. It’s been the only thing that has worked for me but I’m fifty now and have known the risks. I’ve been clean three months now but all I do is sleep. I can sleep 20hrs a day. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome back in the 80s but my Dr didn’t believe that was a real illness.
Any suggestions? I want to live my life

The Great Wassimie
10:55 am September 15th, 2016

I’m very sorry for what I’m about to say. I feel like you guys are a bunch of arrogant and extremely selfish assholes. I wish there was someone that had a heart to care enough by trying to help out that was literally calling out for help. Who knows if was joking around or not. The main issue is we don’t know if he was telling the truth. Maybe he was dead serious. Just think, maybe one or two words could of helped him boost up his self esteem by trying to get his life back on track. If he is dead, just because everyone were selfish and heartless. Then by all means, you’re all guilty and fully responsible for that man’s death

Kyoto
3:59 am September 18th, 2016

I have never done meth before until recently… I really kinda went buck wild with it and pretty much binged on it for about 8 days with extremely small amounts of sleep or bodily nourishment. Today I decided I’m done and I am never going to do it again. This has been one hell of a ride and the question that I have for you is… How does the drug typically work it’s way out of a persons system? I snorted some, but mostly smoked it the whole time. I was told by an associate that meth crystallizes again once it’s inside your lungs and pushes its way out of your pores in tiny little shards. This just sounds utterly gruesome and I would like to know if that’s really what I’m in for… thank you

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