What Are the Short Term Effects of Smoking Meth?
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug, whether injected, snorted or smoked, that affects the brain and central nervous system. Methamphetamine increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement.
How is Meth Used?
Methamphetamines have multiple ways of getting in the body. Users of meth can inject, smoke, insufflate (snort), or even eat or drink the drug to get the stimulating effects they’re after. Smoking, snorting, and injecting methamphetamine creates an immediate sensation of pleasure, known among users as the “rush”. This rush happens because of the high levels of dopamine released in the brain after using the drug. Eating or drinking methamphetamine produces these same high levels of dopamine in the brain, but not as rapidly as the other methods.
People who smoke methamphetamine use a glass pipe known in some areas as an “oil burner”. These pipes usually have long and slender “handles” (where the user places the lips on one end and the fingers on the outside) and larger “bowls” with a hole in the top. This “bowl” is where the actual methamphetamine sits while it is being smoked. The user heats the meth from below, and turns the pipe back and forth to produce smoke which is then inhaled.
As for eating and drinking meth — it is possible to simple consume powder meth to get a high, and many meth users put their used methamphetamine baggies in liquid to produce a kind of tea that can be consumed to use every last bit of meth in the bag.
What are the long-term effects of meth?
Much is known about the effect of using methamphetamine long term — the “meth mouth” image of a methamphetamine user’s rotted teeth is probably the best-known side effect. Other long-term hazards from using meth include:
- Violent behavior
- Psychotic behavior
- Mood imbalance
- Delusions and paranoia
- Homicidal thoughts
- Brain damage similar to that found in Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy. This damage lingers for years even after a person stops using methamphetamine.
What are the short-term effects of meth?
Even taken in small amounts, methamphetamine can cause serious health effects. Most people think of the hazards of methamphetamine in the long-term, but the short-term effects are equally as scary.
- Increased wakefulness – one of the thing meth users are looking for in the drug is the ability to stay awake for long periods of time
- Increased physical activity -this is sometimes seen as one of the “benefits” of methamphetamine use, allowing a meth user to get a lot of work done in a short period of time
- Loss of appetite
- Increased respiration
- Hyperthermia — overheating
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
- Cardiovascular collapse – this can often lead to death after just a few uses of meth
There are other short-term effects of meth proven in the lab — these short-term effects can take place after a single use of the drug.
- Chronic insomnia
- Muscle tremors
- Methamphetamine can also cause permanent damage to the blood vessels in the brain, sometimes resulting in a stroke after a single use.
Meth Addiction and Withdrawal
There are still further long-term and short-term health effects of meth. Addiction and withdrawal take a serious toll on the human body, and either can take place after just a few doses of methamphetamine.
Curiously, a methamphetamine overdose is not as obvious as other drug overdoses. The impacts of a meth overdose are not noticeable — meth users often take lethal doses of the drug and not realize they’ve done so for several hours, making a meth overdose a dangerous possibility.
A typical meth overdose will eventually result in the rapid onset of severe physiological problems, causing a heart attack or a stroke over the course of a few days. Because of the unexpected nature of these health problems, meth overdose usually leads to the extremely rapid onset of symptoms (“all at once”) so that death occurs unexpectedly.
The only signs of a possible meth overdose are extreme sweating, rapid breath, accelerated heart rate, and dilated pupils. Unfortunately, these are essentially the same symptoms of regular use of meth, so the symptoms are basically indistinguishable. Eventually a meth overdose will lead to elevated temperature, kidney failure, and heart attack, and all of these occur very suddenly.
We know that methamphetamine is extremely addictive. Meth users often become physically dependent upon the drug within their first few doses. Meth produces such a pleasurable feeling at first use (followed by a deep depression) that it seems the most normal thing in the world to use more and more meth to avoid the eventual depression.This is how meth addiction is born.
Users of meth have to use more and more of the drug to get the same rush of feelings they had the first few times they smoked or injected meth. That’s how addiction leads to even greater short-term and long-term health effects.
When a person abruptly stops using meth, they can experience a really nasty set of withdrawal symptoms.
- Extreme cravings for meth
- Shaking or muscle spasms
- Heart palpitations
- Lack of appetite