Methamphetamine Abuse Fact Sheet

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, or ‘meth,’ is a powerful synthetic stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It is considered to be one of the most highly addictive drugs available and is one of the fastest-growing addictions being treated at rehab centers today.

What does Methamphetamine look like?

Meth can appear as a crystalline powder or in rock-like chunks (known as ‘ice’) that vary in color between white, yellow, brown or pink.

How is Methamphetamine used?

Meth can be snorted, taken orally, injected or smoked. Depending on how it’s used, meth can be called ice, speed or crank.

Effects of Methamphetamine

Physical effects include:

* Decreased appetite
* Rapid weight loss
* Skin sores that don’t heal
* Dental deterioration, known as ‘meth mouth’
* Twitching and shaking
* Convulsions
* Long periods of sleeplessness followed by long periods of sleep

Psychological effects include:

* Paranoia
* Irritability
* Aggression or violent behavior
* Anxiety
* Extreme moodiness
* Severe depression
* Hallucinations
* Homicidal or suicidal thoughts
* Repetitive, obsessive-compulsive behavior
* Delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin

Long-term effects include:

* Toxic psychosis
* Extreme paranoia
* Permanent psychological problems
* Behavior resembling paranoid schizophrenia
* Possible brain damage

Consequences of Methamphetamine

Meth is so powerful and addictive that users easily slip into abuse. Meth abuse creates severe mental and physical consequences that include paranoia, violent behavior, skin sores and permanent psychological problems. The most noticeable physical consequence of meth abuse is the rapid deterioration of the user’s physical appearance. Meth users appear severely aged and develop a condition known as ‘meth mouth,’ named for the collapsed appearance caused by rotting teeth and gums. Meth use can also lead to fatal kidney and lung disorders, stroke and death.

Methamphetamine Facts and Statistics

* An estimated 10.4 million people age 12 or older have tried methamphetamine at some time in their lives. (NSDUH)

* 2.8 percent of high school seniors, 2.4 percent of tenth graders, and 2.3 percent of eighth graders have abused methamphetamine at least once. (MTFS, 2008)

* Emergency room visits related to methamphetamine abuse increased 50 percent between 1995 and 2002, and accounted for 4 percent of all drug-related visits in 2004. (DAWN)

* Between 1992 and 2004, the number of methamphetamine treatment admissions increased from 21,000 admissions to 150,000 admissions.

Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

There are many methods of meth addiction treatment, but the most effects way to treat meth addiction is detoxification followed by a residential treatment program. First, detox will rid the patient of any residual toxins left behind by the drug abuse and is supervised by trained medical personnel to help minimize withdrawal symptoms. After detox, meth addiction treatment will address the physical and psychological effects of the person’s meth addiction. Meth addiction treatment includes counseling, behavioral therapy and 12-Step programs. Some meth addiction treatment centers will also introduce holistic therapies such as yoga and equine therapies.

Call a meth addiction treatment center and start the healing process today.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.