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Meth overdose: How much amount of meth to OD?

The main signs of meth overdose can be difficult to recognize. This is because unlike other forms of drug intoxication, methamphetamine provides you with no immediate signs of problems. More here on meth overdose, prognosis, and death rates. Then, we invite your questions about meth use and treating methamphetamine addiction at the end.

How does unintentional meth overdose happen?

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a central nervous system stimulant. Meth affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. But meth is extremely habit-forming (how does methamphetamine work), and can trigger both long-term and/or chronic use. Methamphetamine intoxication occurs when excessive amounts of the drug are administered to the body, often used in combination with other drugs or alcohol, the purity of meth is usually really high, and can result in lethal doses. So how much meth is too much?

Meth overdose – How much is too much?

A lethal dose of methamphetamine varies depending on characteristics of the drug and the user. In fact, each person has a different sensitivity to a specific amount of methamphetamine due to personal tolerance to meth. In this way, toxic levels are different for each individual. Meth overdose may also be complicated by other drugs the user may have taken. Diseases that the person may have developed also play a role due to the current health condition of the body.

Meth overdose complications

Signs of meth overdose are associated with stages of overdose progression. However, meth users can take a lethal dose and not realize it right away. But in general, meth overdose is characterized by physiological deterioration, eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke. Further, meth should not be used by people with heart, thyroid disorders and diabetes, because these chronic conditions may lead to sudden death.

At the beginning of meth overdose, as the heart beats faster, more energy is needed for the body to keep up with higher temperature and body fluid generation. Physiological effects on the sympathetic nervous system can increase heart rate and blood pressure, and may affect many organ systems, causing chronic heart problems, stroke, and acute kidney failure. Because the body does not have an effective way to release the heat, the heat accumulates and produces a rise in body temperature.

Other common signs of meth overdose include:

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  • cardiovascular collapse
  • chest pains
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • dehydration
  • delirium
  • dilated pupils
  • hyperactivity
  • hyperthermia
  • rapid breathing
  • severe hypertension
  • stroke
  • sweating profusely
  • tachycardia (irregular or fast heart beat)

Meth overdose prognosis

If you are witness to a meth overdose, do not take any actions with further drugs on your own. Only professional medical staff are competent to treat meth overdose. However, drinking liquids can help prevent excessive dehydration and restore body fluids.To treat the rapid rise in temperature, ice blankets can cool the body externally, while special drugs control internal cooling.

Meth overdose death rate

Because of rapid onset, death proceeds suddenly and unexpectedly after a meth OD. Many fatalities usually manifest symptoms of coma, shock, inability to pass and secrete urine, and muscle twitching. Emergency department visits due to meth overdose have been up to 130,000 per year, out of which almost 15% were fatalities.

Meth overdose amount questions

Do you still have questions related to meth overdose? Please feel free to post them in the comments section below. We at Addiction Blog do our best to provide you with a personal and prompt response to any legitimate question.

Reference sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Methamphetamine
SASMSHA/ DAWN: Area Profiles of Drug-Related Mortality
Erowid on meth doses

Photo credit: Wiki Media Commons

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27 Responses to “Meth overdose: How much amount of meth to OD?
Christy mcmullen
8:23 am April 15th, 2014

Well simply stop killing people with it .find another solution. Kind regards christy mcmullen

Matt DiSabatino
11:01 pm April 25th, 2014

Injection and intranasal routes enter the venous circulation. Smoking enters the arterial circulation. Why is intranasal more “potent” than injection ?

Jon
1:34 am August 5th, 2014

Can you overdose from smoking?

8:53 am August 5th, 2014

Hi Jon. Good question! The risk for lethal intoxication from smoking methamphertamine may vary depending on the individual. But, ODing from smoking meth isn’t easy to do. The reaction in most cases is delayed, it doesn’t come on as the drug is being smoked. But later, an unexpected cardiac episode, heart attack or stroke can strike with little warning.

If you thing you or someone near you has overdosed from smoking meth, go to the ER emediatley or Call 911. Or Call the Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert.

roxy
4:13 am August 18th, 2014

My husband got pulled over and wallowed a little over a gram of meth. How severe are the effects going to be if he is a daily user anyway. How should we proceed?

Kelley
7:31 pm September 15th, 2014

my sister has just been arrested for the second time for possession of meth…my parents no longer know what to do. Last year, for the first arrest… They hired the big lawyer to get everything reduced. My sister was forced to take court appointed drug classes. But she had a bad attitude in their regard.

She was just picked up again this last Wednesday for possession, as well as felony theft.

We are at a loss as to how to help her… We believe she is homeless, again. My folks tried to put her up in an apartment last year, after she arrested the 1st time…. But she got evicted several weeks later due to heavy traffic.

Will we ever get her back?

I am living my life without a sister…and my daughter without an Aunt.

3:52 pm September 16th, 2014

Hi Kelley. I’m very sorry that your sister is in such a situation. I’d suggest talking to a family addiction therapist, they make things a lot clearer. You see, the line between taking care of or helping an addict and enabling or codependence is thin. And meth is one powerful drug…but, you can’t make someone get in rehab, unless they themselves are willing to quit.

theresa
4:52 am October 30th, 2014

My son overdosed on meth. I was told he was shaking then all of a sudden looked liked he was sleeping then start snoring and then there was a snorting noise and he wasn’t breathing so what does it mean he died in his sleep . I wonder if he didn’t even know what was happening and just fell into unconsciousness.I think about this always

vicki
4:35 pm November 11th, 2014

Its now past midnight i injected a small amount of meth about 1pm now yesterday.felt rush got energetic and felt fine till 9pm.then i felt hot yet temp was norm.heart felt pounding but norm i think.slight headache numbness down left side blood rushes to head pain in left arm and occasionally on chest.shivers come and go.had something to eat and been drinking water and had sport drink.few yawns but not tired.my question is after so many hours later could i be having an overdose?or something else happening i should seek medical attention for?also pins and needles here and there.

12:10 pm November 24th, 2014

Hi Vicki. Your body is reacting to the meth. I’d say it’s either some side-effects from the drug or meth withdrawal. But, in order to be sure and safe, you need to see a doctor. Wish you all the best.

Annette
1:53 am December 13th, 2014

My stepdaughter`s mother just died from drinking liquid meth-supposedly unknowing–(she has had drug issues in the past) I wonder how much she had to drink and I would like to tell my stepdaughter that her mother did not suffer.

3:47 pm December 16th, 2014

Hello Annette. I’m very sorry for what happened. The doses required to cause an overdose and death are different for many inividuals. Didn’t they give you results from the autopsy? I believe it’s best to talk to a doctor, prehaps an addiction specialist, to get a professional answer to your question.

MrsY
2:55 am March 7th, 2015

in an attempted suicide a 46 year old female, a second time user ingests a chunk of meth equalling approximately 30 – 35 “lines”. within 48 hours of snorting 10 “lines”. what is the possibility that this woman, otherwise generally healthy, will survive as if nothing happened, resuming normal activity within 8 hours.

4:02 pm March 12th, 2015

Hi MrsY. I apologize but I am not qualified to answer such a question. Maybe you should direct it at the medical professionals who are treating her and monitoring her state. I hope and pray she recovers form this! God bless!

kymber
12:06 pm March 19th, 2015

A good friend of mine passed away when alive it showed he had 107ng/MG of meth in his system when he died and had a toxology done shows he had >5000ng/mg in his system how is that possible

kerry
4:55 am April 13th, 2015

My husband just passed away 3 weeks ago while he was incarcerated due to meth overdose. Does anyone know if there is any sort of warning before a person OD’s? He was in a cell all by himself, and the prison isnt telling me anything except that he was found on the floor, and was “already gone” before help could get to him. Is the prison held liable?

Angie
4:27 am May 2nd, 2015

Hi, I caught my 44yrs old husband doing meth, he has uncontrollable diabetes his sugar is never under 350 ever, he takes 150 mg of methadone daily and now crystal meth on top of this.Im at my end with him I have 3 small children and I’m loosing everything he comes in at 1,2,3 in the morning smelling like a sweet sickening smell.I was wondering what are the odds of him living .He has lost about 50 lbs in a few months.

Robin
9:57 am July 29th, 2015

Would meth cause loss of feelings in your hands and feet with no strength a very heavy uncoordinated feeling or better yet could it cause prehini. Sensory neuropathy. Thank you

Debra
12:01 am August 24th, 2015

my son overdosed….autopsy report reads .12mg of meth/ .22mg of lorazepan (giving to him by his ex girlfriend) to slow him down /and .31mg amphetamine…my question is why is it a methamphetamine intoxication cause of death with meth being the lowest amount of drugs in his system? I need answers…..its been 3 months tonight and I’m literally losing my mind.my son was only 27 yrs old

10:36 am August 24th, 2015

Hi Debra. I’m really sorry for your loss. I’d suggest you talk to a doctor from the laboratory or a pharmacist who will be able to go over the toxicology reports and give you more professional answers.

IncompleteHalf
4:46 am October 6th, 2015

I OD-d and got a overwhelming feeling which I think was really high heart pressure. this lasted about 1 hour. thinking I would die as my body felt like it was overloaded, which lowered but still noticable and unknown if it would kill me or not, this lasted about 3 or 5 hours. After that I feel 80% normal again and relaxed, but it screws with your brain too so read up before you try anything your not certain on.

3 years ago I swallowed 350 mg and had no effect for some reason. After taking around 700 mg over 2 weeks. I tried taking 270 mg and had the OD experience you just read. It says online 15% OD die in hospital care and I was not in this fraction so idk how relevant my experience is. I knew I OD but didn’t die so I don’t see how others OD and die, I survived over double a normal amount so it varys from person to person.

~Don’t combine drugs (death % rise while mixing drugs)
~Don’t be alone, Even if you die you can be brought back if you had someone to help
~Don’t try having more than you can handle
……if you use frequently don’t try to increase the amount
……if you do it time to time, Don’t try taking anymore than the last time you used as you could have lost your tolerance, also different batches means different potency, start low and add if needed
~ If your feeling of OD becomes better than worsens, it may be your mind not body, I’d probably go to the ER if you feel any sort of symptoms worsen a second time.
~ You can find yourself in a psychotic state anytime after the first use, Stop and get help before becoming an addict. if you use sometimes and want to see if your addicted, look up online, you’ll find something like: wait 3 or 4 weeks from use to see if you are dependent.
Don’t just assume you are fine after 5-6 or 7 days. you could easily turn dependent.

Michael
7:30 pm April 2nd, 2016

Hi excellent blog. I was an addict and it got really bad last summer. I got kicked out of my parents place but I still had my job and some money saved. I ended up moving into a motel for a short amt of time and doing tons of meth. At one point I swallowed like .8 liquid meth and instantly went into psychosis. I got really hot, my body was still as a rod, and it was hell for like 12hours. I’m glad im not there and im glad to be alive. I think the most brutal part is the aftermath of this. Not only do you have to suffer the worst comedown after a hellish high, but you are even more addicted after hitting your receptors so hard. Not to mention the months it takes for your brain to restabilize.

Kathy
6:26 am May 21st, 2016

My son recently died from using meth
I don’t understand, how using it for a few hours, can cause overdose
He wasn’t using it 3 or 4days prior to his death
He did get hot , then sweaty and had a seizure
Soon after he died. I don’t understand, what happened

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:49 pm May 26th, 2016

Hi Kathy. I’m really sorry for your loss… I wish you peace in this hard time…

Kim
5:40 am September 5th, 2016

My son died in 2110 of a meth overdose. He walked into the er and in 3 hours he was dead. He died in my arms. Evidently he had smoked some aND got parinoid and ate the rest. The er nurses never checked his temp . His temp was 108 when he died. Please don’t do drugs. This was his first time.

Kim
6:13 am September 5th, 2016

Kathy your son burned up from the inside because the docs messed up . My heart bleeds for you.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:19 pm September 5th, 2016

Hi Kim. I’m really sorry for your loss… Hope others will get your message…

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