Methamphetamine overdose: How much meth does it take to OD?
Is it possible to use meth and not overdose? It’s critical you know the risks, symptoms and signs of meth overdose, especially if you or someone you know is using too much meth. First, learn how meth works in the body. Then, understand how meth overdose occurs.
Here, we review meth OD and the severe side effects due to meth use. We outline the signs and complications of meth abuse, followed by prognosis and methods of treatment. Then, you can ask questions about methamphetamine abuse, how long meth stays in your system, and overdose at the end. We try to answer all legitimate meth questions personally and promptly.
How does unintentional meth overdose happen?
Methamphetamine, like all drugs, has an accepted, medicinal applications. However, meth is generally thought of as the illegal street drug version which is taken as a white crystal-like powder that can be snorted, swallowed, smoked ,or dissolved and injected directly into the body. Unintentional meth overdose generally happens in two different ways:
1. Acute methamphetamine overdose occurs while taking high doses of meth and can result in harsh side effects, which can be extremely painful and possibly result in death.
2. Chronic methamphetamine overdose occurs when a user continues to abuse meth over a period of time resulting in many harmful physical side-effects, both temporary and permanent.
Meth overdose – How much is too much?
The amount of meth a person must take to overdose will vary depending on several factors. The weight of the user, their general health, natural immunities, and built-up resistance or tolerance to meth all factor in. What’s more, the purity of the meth itself will determine how much meth is too much.
Currently the purity of meth is considered to be quite high, between 60-90%. This means that the potency of the effect on the central nervous system (CNS) is greater than previous mixtures. Common abuse doses are between 100-1000 mg a day. Chronic binge use can be as high as 5000 mg a day.
Meth overdose complications
People who take meth generally experience a sense of euphoria. This is accompanied by increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as the widening of the pupils. The complications, however, that can occur when taking large amounts of meth, can be extremely serious and result in permanent damage or death. Methamphetamine overdose can result in:
- cardiovascular problems
- convulsions which can result in death if not treated immediately
- high blood pressure
- hyperthermia (a rise in body temperature)
- irregular heartbeat
- permanent, stroke-producing damage to small blood vessels in the brain
- rapid heartbeat
Chronic methamphetamine abuse results in inflammation of the heart lining. Those who inject meth damage their blood vessels and cause skin abscesses. In addition, they increase their chances of protracting HIV and hepatitis B and C. This is particularly prevalent among those who re-use needles. Continued use of meth also results in progressive social and occupational deterioration.
The following represent a list of side-effects and complications methamphetamine use can result in:
- chest pain
- complete stopping of the heart
- difficulty breathing
- heart attack
- kidney damage and possibly kidney failure
- missing and rotted teeth (called “meth mouth”)
- repeated infections
- severe stomach pain
- severe weight loss
- skin sores (boils)
Psychological complications resulting from long-term meth use include:
- severe inability to sleep (insomnia)
- major mood swings
- delusional behavior
- extreme paranoia
Meth overdose prognosis
When it comes to treating a meth overdose, chances for recovery depend on several factors. First, the amount of meth ingested can affect recovery results. Second, how quickly medical treatment is administered plays a significant role in whether the user will recover.
Methamphetamine overdose death rate
It is difficult determine the number of deaths due to methamphetamine. To begin with, it would be necessary to decide if the death is directly due to an overdose of the drug itself, or due to complications. Indirectly or directly, deaths due to suicide or traffic accidents may also be considered consequences of meth abuse. However, you can learn more about statistics related to meth abuse from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related deaths investigated by medical examiners and coroners.
Meth overdose amount questions
If you have questions regarding methamphetamine overdose, or insights into this subject, please feel free to leave your comments below. We try to respond to all queries personally and promptly.
Reference Sources: NHTSA: Methamphetamine
Photo credit: DEA