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Symptoms of Methamphetamine Use

Meth users experience numerous meth symptoms. Meth alters the user's mood in different ways, depending on how it is taken. Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection of meth, the user experiences an intense "rush" or "flash" that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Smoking or injecting produces meth symptoms the fastest, within five to ten seconds. Snorting or ingesting orally produces euphoria - a high but not an intense rush. Snorting produces meth symptoms within three to five minutes, and ingesting orally produces meth symptoms within 15 to 20 minutes.

In all forms, meth stimulates the central nervous system, with meth symptoms lasting anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. Methamphetamine use can not only modify behavior in an acute state, but after taking it for a long time, the drug literally changes the brain in fundamental and long-lasting ways. Meth kills users by causing heart failure (myocardial infarction), brain damage, and stroke and it induces extreme, acute psychiatric and psychological meth symptoms that may lead to suicide or murder.

Listed below is a generalized list of meth symptoms. Keep in mind, just because a person is experiencing meth symptoms listed below does not automatically mean they are using meth.

Central Nervous System

  • euphoria
  • increased alertness
  • paranoia
  • decreased appetite
  • increased physical activity
  • athetosis (writhing jerky, or flailing movements)
  • irritability
  • extreme nervousness
  • insomnia
  • confusion
  • tremors
  • anxiety
  • aggression
  • incessant talking
  • hyperthermia
  • convulsions
    *hyperthermia (extreme rise in body temperature as high as 108 degrees) and convulsions sometimes can result in death.

Other Physical

  • pupil dilation
  • respiratory disorders
  • dizziness
  • tooth grinding
  • impaired speech
  • dry or itchy skin
  • loss of appetite
  • acne
  • sores
  • numbness
  • sweating


  • chest pain
  • hypertension
  • accelerated heartbeat
  • elevated blood pressure
  • irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain


  • a mental state similar to schizophrenia
  • anger
  • panic
  • paranoia
  • auditory
  • visual hallucinations
  • repetitive behavior patterns
  • formication (delusions of parasites or insects on the skin)
  • homicidal or suicidal thoughts

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