How does meth work?

Meth works as a stimulant by changing the way the body processes chemicals in the central nervous system. More on the effects that meth has on the body, brain, and nervous system here.

minute read

Meth is a highly addictive substance that affects both the body and the brain. In fact, meth addictive properties make it one of the most targeted drugs in the U.S. today. We explain how meth works below and what some of its effects can be in both the short-term and the long-term. Then, we welcome any questions or comments you may have about meth in the comments section below.

How does meth work in the body?

Meth is a stimulant that affects the brain, spinal cord, and central nervous system. Meth changes the way the body processes certain chemicals that act as communicators between nerve cells and brain cells, which are called “neurotransmitters.” The neurotransmitter most affected by meth use is dopamine. Dopamine, in particular, gets released in large quantities when you use meth. Dopamine is associated with feelings of pleasure and reward, and creates a sense of euphoria in the user known as a “rush.” During this rush, heart rate, blood pressure, and libido increase an intense feeling of well-being.

How long amphetamines in the system depend on what it is you’re taking.   But, effects of meth usually wear out within a day, or so.  During a meth binge, a post-rush phase known as “tweaking” can occur. When you tweak on meth, euphoria is replaced with possible paranoia, irritability, hallucination, and delusion. Since meth quickly depletes the body’s dopamine supply, users can experience a period of depression or “crash.” During a crash, meth users experience depression and fatigue.

How does meth affect the brain and nervous system?

Meth can have many long-lasting effects on the brain. In fact, chronic use of meth can permanently alter how the brain processes memories and emotions, leading to mood disturbances, paranoia, violent behavior, and symptoms consistent with psychosis. Long-term abuse can also damage motor skills.

How fast or quickly does meth work?

Meth works very quickly when smoked or injected, with effects felt almost immediately. After oral ingestion, meth effects occur more slowly but last longer.

How long does meth work?

How long meth works varies depending on method of administration. The effects of meth can last between four and eight hours, and residual effects may last as long as twelve hours. After effects of binge meth use can last for several days and can lead to meth cravings.

What makes meth work better?

Meth creates a pretty long lasting and intense high on its own. As tolerance develops, users may seek ways to intensify their high. Because meth already puts great strain on the heart and circulatory system, mixing meth with other drugs is dangerous and can lead to overdose.

Does meth work for everyone?

Like any substance, not all who use meth recreationally become addicted to it. However, illicit meth as well as it’s medical version – Desoxyn bear a high addictive potential. The crash after a meth binge causes the user to seek more meth to offset those negative effects. As tolerance to meth increases, users take more and take it more often.

Furthermore, long term abuse of meth can take a great toll on the body, leading to skin lesions, tooth decay, and sometimes stroke or heart attack. Because meth also increases sex drive and decreases inhibition, it can also lead to sexually transmitted diseases.

However there is hope! Learn more about meth addiction, finding the best meth (Desoxyn) addiction treatment program for you, what does the rehab process look like, and aftercare options. Help is available TODAY.

How does meth work questions

If you have any questions about how meth works, or would like to share any feedback, please do so in the comments section below. We will try to get back to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NHTSA: Methamphetamine
CDC Fact Sheets: Meth
NIDA: Drug Facts: Methamphetamine
NIDA: Drugs of Abuse: Methamphetamine
State of Utah Department of Health: Meth Abuse
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?