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Meth: The Dangerous Stimulant

Updated: Mar 1, 2021


Methamphetamine, more commonly known as “meth” is a highly potent, highly addictive stimulant that mainly affects your central nervous system. It is also known as blue, ice, or crystal, among many other terms. While it may come in several various forms, it usually takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that is soluble in water or alcohol.

Contrary to what most people know, methamphetamine is not a narcotic. Narcotics or “opioids” refer to a variety of substances that dull the senses and relieve pain. Methamphetamine is a stimulant which does the opposite of a narcotic, as it temporarily speeds up alertness and energy.

Methamphetamine can be taken in many different ways such as through smoking, snorting, injection, or through oral ingestion.


According to data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 14.7 million people have tried methamphetamine at least once. In that same year, 1.6 million people were reported to have used the substance. Methamphetamine remains to be the most misused stimulant drug on the globe.

In 2017, about 964,000 people aged 12 or older had a methamphetamine use disorder. These people reported clinically significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, as well as failing to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home as a result of their drug use. This number has risen significantly higher than the 684,000 people who were reported to have a methamphetamine use disorder in 2016.

While according to the 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of adolescent drug use and attitudes, 0.5% of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders used methamphetamine within that year. Fortunately, the use of methamphetamine by adolescents since 1999 has significantly decreased. According to the Treatment Episode Data Set, treatment admissions nationwide for methamphetamine abuse went down to 49 per 100,000 individuals from 68 per 100,000 individuals.


The following are signs that may point to having methamphetamine in your body:

  • Rapid/irregular heartbeat;

  • Increased activity and talkativeness;

  • Memory loss;

  • Feeling a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria;

  • Severe dental problems; and

  • Malnutrition


There are a lot of factors that affect how long methamphetamine can stay in your body. The effects of the drug on your body can last anywhere between 8 to 24 hours, greatly influenced by how much of it was taken, the method in which it was administered such (either oral or through injection), and the overall condition of your body, specifically how well your kidneys and liver function.


Like most drugs, it is very possible to overdose on methamphetamine.

The signs you can look for to spot an acute meth overdose are as follows:

  • Altered mental status;

  • Enlarged pupils;

  • Chest pains;

  • Difficulty breathing;

  • High blood pressure;

  • Heart attack;

  • High body temperature;

  • Stomach pain; and

  • Kidney failure

In the event of a meth overdose, you can experience an altered mental status which may include psychotic episodes, irritability, or being suicidal. In rare cases, a person may experience seizures or end up in a coma.

Another way to overdose on meth is what you call a chronic overdose. This refers to the long-term accumulated health effects of methamphetamine use. Chronic meth abuse can lead to:

  • Severe sleep disturbances

  • Extreme mood changes (e.g. anxiety and violent outbursts)


During a drug overdose, the situation can escalate pretty rapidly. It is imperative that immediate action is done to ensure that the person experiencing an overdose does not suffer from long-lasting debilitating health concerns. In the event of an overdose, the best course of action would be to call 911 immediately. If emergency medical assistance is not available, you must rush the person to the nearest hospital as soon as you can.

Because methamphetamine overdoses often lead to strokes, cardiac arrests, or various organ problems, first responders and emergency room doctors try to treat the overdose by treating those conditions, with the goal of:

  1. Restoring blood flow to the affected part of the brain (stroke);

  2. Restoring blood flow to the heart (heart attack); or

  3. Treating the organ problems


There are a number of ways to help someone overcome their drug abuse.

For example, there is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations likely to trigger drug misuse. This method revolves around helping people rationalize how their thoughts impact their feelings and behaviors. This method also aids patients in identifying what causes their drug abuse, and to be able to develop a relapse prevention plan.

Additionally, there can be motivational incentives, which uses vouchers or small cash rewards to encourage patients to remain sober and drug-free.

A procedure called the detox may be appropriate in certain cases of meth addiction. Detox centers are staffed by medical practitioners who monitor withdrawal symptoms of a patient and offer facilities and drugs to relieve pain and ensure a healthy withdrawal. While meth detoxification is often not harmful, it can result in adverse effects if a person has pre-existing health problems.

At a detox center, inpatient or residential treatment offers the opportunity for recovering individuals to receive intensive therapeutic services while living in a drug-free environment while outpatient treatment offers structured substance abuse therapy one or more times per week, but does require on-site living arrangements.

Here at Recovery Blvd, we can provide the best cure for methamphetamine overdoses: rehabilitation and guidance. Our recovery facility is geared towards helping you cope with substance abuse and eventually usher you into leaving it behind completely.

Among our high quality interventions are:

  1. Advanced Relapse Prevention;

  2. Substance Abuse Counseling; and

  3. Recovery Crossfit.

With us, you can build the right foundation and receive the best treatment. At Recovery Blvd, you can have the bright future you deserve, not just for yourself, but for your loved ones as well.

Embark now on your road to recovery by calling us at (866) 231-3007. Visit our drug rehab in Portland at 1316 SE 12th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214, to book an appointment.

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