Yearly, at least 11 million Americans have tried Meth, of these about 512,000 are regular users (those who use the drug one or more times a month). The abuse of Methamphetamine is far less than other drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, inhalants and psychedelics. Nonetheless, the destructive effects of the drug are often harsher.
Most people who use the drug don’t develop an addiction instantly. Addiction often requires constant use. Meth can be snorted, taken orally, smoked, or even injected. Once in the body, the drug increases the amount of dopamine in the brain causing a high level of euphoria given the individual strong sense of pleasure and general sense of well being. The effects are short lasting which is why users often binge on the drug.
The short term effects of the drug include loss of appetite, increased blood pressure, temperature and heart rate, nausea, erratic and bizarre behavior, panic, excitability and psychosis.
The long term effects include permanent damage to blood vessels, brain, liver, lung and kidney damage, psychosis, and depression. The drug also causes severe tooth decay, infectious diseases, abscesses, skin rashes and lesions.
The images below illustrate the physical effects of meth on persistent drug users.