Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Is Meth Bad For You?

Also Known As: methamphetamine, crystal meth, crank, Hitler dope, glass



Short answer

Yes, the form of speed known as methamphetamine (meth) is extremely bad for you. This type of drug gives the user a large amount of energy, but the side effects are devastating, including addiction and death.



Long answer

Meth overstimulates the central nervous system (CNS), and it comes with ominous risks to the health of the body. Meth provides a quick high, and its duration lasts anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on how it is administered. Meth makes users feel wide awake and full of energy. It is highly addictive, and the more someone uses, the higher their tolerance becomes, eventually requiring more volume to get the same high. It is often cooked in illegal home labs, and some versions are called ‘crystal meth, crank, Hitler dope, ice, or glass’.

Meth is a form of speed that is composed of one or more amphetamines along with a plethora of hazardous industrial chemicals which can include ethylene glycol, naphtha, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and much more. Furthermore, the over-the-counter medicine pseudoephedrine is used in this concoction. For this reason, pharmacies tightly control the sale of medicines that contain pseudoephedrine by requiring identification and signatures of those purchasing the medication.

This form of speed rapidly releases enormous amounts dopamine into the body, which in turn excites brain activity and makes the user feel good. It blocks dopamine re-uptake, similar to the way cocaine acts in the brain. It is powerful enough to cross the barrier of blood into the brain and it is metabolized in the liver.

As a result of the high, users experience an increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, elevated body temperature and blood pressure, as well as dilation of the pupils. Therefore, the person using speed becomes temporarily hyperactive, losing the ability to sleep and the desire to eat. Meth can cause damage to brain blood cells, causing potentially fatal reactions including strokes, hyperthermia, and heart complications.

People who regularly use meth become erratic, have hallucinations, often experience symptoms of schizophrenia, and become anorexic. This is largely due to the poor eating and sleeping habits coupled with the intake of dangerous chemicals. This is why speed abusers lose control of their lives and often end up living on the streets and engaging in illegal activity to financially support their drug habit. Many users engage in high levels of sexual activity and share needles for injections. These dangerous behaviors result in the rapid spreading of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and blood-borne pathogens. Methamphetamine can rapidly age the user making the individual appear thirty years older after just a few months of abuse. The body decalcifies and demineralizes causing destruction to the teeth, bones, and skin. Additionally, many meth users have large lesions throughout the body from excessive itching and picking at the open wounds. As these untreated lesions are exposed to unsanitary conditions, they often result in deadly bacterial infections.

Meth is a very dangerous street drug. Whether you use it once or abuse it for years, it will cause damage to your body and potentially destroy your life. Moreover, the manufacturing of meth is very hazardous. Due to the process by which this drug is manufactured, or ‘cooked’, homemade drug labs are commonly associated with devastating explosions and fires. Furthermore, the homemade lab operators typically do not have the proper fire extinguishing material to combat these fires, so in most cases, the fires are out of control until the firefighters arrive. This manufacturing process produces poisonous gases which can be lethal to anyone breathing it. Numerous children living in these ‘meth labs’ have been caught in the middle of this devastation; killed by asphyxiation, fire, severe neglect, or drug-related violence.

Possible short-term side effects

  • higher rate of breathing
  • hyperactivity
  • increase in blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • loss of appetite
  • pupil dilation
  • raised body temperature
  • sexual promiscuity
  • skin lesions
  • confusion
  • itching
  • poor hygiene

Possible long-term side effects

  • addiction
  • anorexia
  • hallucinations
  • hypothermia
  • insomnia
  • paranoia
  • stroke
  • damage to teeth, bones, and skin
  • stds
  • blood-borne pathogens
  • severe infections
  • rapid aging
  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • death

Possible withdrawal symptoms

  • fatigue
  • increased appetite
  • paranoia
  • psychosis
  • hallucinations
  • anxiety
  • severe depression
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • inability to concentrate
  • body aches
  • cravings for meth

Ingredients to be aware of

  • amphetamine
  • ethylene glycol
  • naphtha
  • pseudoephedrine
  • sodium hydroxide
  • sulfuric acid

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 07-17-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 07-17-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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