Why Meth Is so Bad for You: 7 Major Risks

The United States of America remains in an opioid crisis. The availability and potency of fentanyl have worsened the situation. However, it doesn’t mean that other drugs stopped impacting the population too.

In 2020, an estimated 2.5 million Americans consumed methamphetamine. Meth has immediate and severe negative effects on a person. It takes one dose to change the individual’s brain chemistry. 

According to the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 500 Americans try meth for the first time daily. Compared to the number that tries fentanyl for the first time, it’s a small number. 

Nonetheless, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health found that meth overdose deaths saw a sharp increase in 2020 from previous years.  In 2020, almost 92,000 Americans overdosed compared to 70,000 in 2019. 

Those who do not overdose, experience lasting, negative effects.

We explain why meth is so bad for you by outlining seven major risks.

1. Permanent Brain and Heart Damage

All synthesized substances, including prescription medications, impact a person’s brain and heart. The chemicals in the substances disrupt an individual’s natural chemical balance.

These substances deliver hits of extra dopamine and euphoria that the brain enjoys. Then, the brain seeks the same high again. However, it’s not possible to replicate the original sensation.

As individuals consume more substance while chasing the original high, it damages their brain and heart. 

2. Vital Organ Damage

In addition to causing permanent damage to the brain and heart, meth also damages other vital organs. More notably, the drug damages the individual’s kidneys, liver, and lungs.

Methamphetamine use causes neurotoxicity. In addition, the toxicity spreads to the other vital organs. The introduction of the substance into the kidneys and lives prevents them from doing their job. In turn, they become polluted and deteriorated.

3. High Blood Pressure

Meth ranks as one of the most potent uppers. Therefore, it causes the heart to beat faster. It also raises a person’s blood pressure. 

High blood pressure leads to:

  • Heart attack and stroke risk
  • Aneurysms
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Dementia

High blood pressure coupled with high cholesterol becomes a ticking time bomb. Keep in mind that an estimated seven percent of children in the United States already have high cholesterol

In adults, an estimated 94 million have a cholesterol level over 200 mg/dL. Plus, 28 million have a level over 240 mg/dL.

4. Paranoia

Some people expect that methamphetamine will take them to a heavenly place of euphoria. In reality, many enter an induced stage of psychosis. 

Since the individual is not in the right state of mind, they can harm themselves, experience a heart attack, or fall victim to a stroke.

Although meth has severe and immediate effects on an individual, help is readily available. Hollywood Hills Recovery provides inpatient programs and experiences for individuals exhibiting the effects of meth.

Moreover, professionals can help reverse some of the damage.

5. Skin Sores

During a meth-induced psychotic state, the user can experience itching or spasms. Instead of accepting that substance causes itching or spams, the user mistakes them for imaginary bugs, or something else.

If they do not stop scratching, the person tears through their skin. In severe cases, they leave behind open sores ripe for infection. Without treatment, they open wounds become sores. 

6. Severe Dental Issues

Some people have heard about “meth face”. The phrase describes the deterioration in the user’s physical appearance. They age quickly, develop skin sores on their face, and incur dermatological skin problems.

In addition, meth face includes the deterioration of the person’s teeth and oral health. Teeth issues include:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth loss

The substance eats away the tooth enamel. This allows bacteria to thrive on the teeth and gums.

7. Violent Behavior

When a psychotic moment gets out of hand, the individual can become violent. They can harm themselves and others. It’s too easy for the user to mistake an individual for someone who is attempting to harm them.

In addition, some may decide to get behind the wheel and cause a serious traffic accident.


Individuals who admit that they have a meth problem can obtain help to overcome it. The most effective treatment for meth misuse remains behavioral therapy. In successful cases, an individual can reverse many of the effects caused by methamphetamine use.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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