Short-Term Effects of Methamphetamine

Short-Term Effects of Methamphetamine
Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Joshua Yager M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Joshua Yager M.D.

Dr. Joshua Yager is an Atlanta native, board-certified family practice physician who is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of his community.

Table of Contents

Methamphetamine, commonly known simply as meth, is a potent central nervous system stimulant. Here, we delve deeper into the immediate impacts of this drug on the body, mind, and brain.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that dissolves in water or alcohol. It was initially developed for medical purposes but has since gained notoriety due to its euphoric effects and high addiction potential.

Short-term Physical Effects of Meth on the Body

Upon ingestion, meth rapidly enters the bloodstream, leading to an intense and immediate ‘rush’ or ‘flash’. The short-term effects include:

  • Intense “rush” or “flash”: An almost instant feeling of euphoria.
  • Increased Energy: Users may feel hyperactive and restless.
  • Decreased Appetite: This often leads to significant weight loss over time.
  • Cardiovascular Impact: Increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.
  • Hyperthermia: Elevated body temperature that can sometimes lead to heat stroke.
  • Dilated Pupils: Eyes may appear wider than usual.

Short-term Mental Health Effects of Meth

Meth also affects the psyche, with effects that can be quite destabilizing:

  • Euphoria: An intense feeling of pleasure or high.
  • Paranoia: Unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others.
  • Aggressiveness: Uncharacteristic violent behavior.
  • Confusion: Difficulty in understanding or grasping simple concepts.
  • Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
  • Anxiety: Increased feelings of worry or unease.

Short-term Effects of Methamphetamine on the Brain

The brain, being the primary target of meth, undergoes significant changes even with short-term use:

  • Dopamine Surge: Meth causes a flood of dopamine in the brain, responsible for the feeling of pleasure. Over time, this can disrupt the brain’s natural dopamine production.
  • Neurotoxicity: Meth is neurotoxic, meaning it can damage nerve terminals in the brain.
  • Impaired Cognition: Difficulty in making decisions, problem-solving, or focusing.
  • Memory Loss: Short-term memory can be particularly affected.

What is Meth Mouth?

One of the most visually alarming side-effects of meth use is “meth mouth”. This term describes the extensive dental problems seen in meth users, including severe tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. The reasons behind this include reduced saliva production, increased cravings for sugary drinks, and teeth grinding, all associated with meth use.

Meth Treatment in Atlanta, GA

Methamphetamine might offer short-lived euphoria, its adverse effects on the body are undeniable. Stay informed, and seek help if needed. For those in the Atlanta area struggling with meth addiction, there is hope. Hope Harbor Wellness offers specialized treatments tailored to individual needs, providing a chance for recovery and a drug-free future.

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