Can Meth Kill You?

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that comes with a lot of potential health risks when abused. In addition to the potential for overdose, meth is also extremely addictive and can lead a person into a cycle of withdrawal and relapse.

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The short answer to this question is that yes, a meth can kill you. This can make a meth addiction extremely dangerous.

It can lead to sudden death in the form of an overdose, or it can kill you over time by causing addiction and a string of serious health conditions resulting from an overworked heart and lungs.

It is also important to note that the long-term effects of meth extend to mental health and behavioral health, and suicide is not uncommon among those who are addicted to meth.

The drug causes psychosis and depression in those who use it, and for some, these effects can become too much.

Dangers Of Meth Use That Increase Risk Of Fatality

Meth use can be very dangerous and increases a person’s risk for fatality from overdose and other causes.

This is particularly true if the person using it has pre-existing conditions involving their heart and cardiovascular system.

Risk Of Heart Attack

As a stimulant, meth forces the heart to work harder than it would like, resulting in an increased heart rate and cardiovascular disease over time. Because of its chemical properties, meth is poisonous to the heart.

People who use meth over time have shown an increased prevalence for developing heart disease.

But, the risk of heart attack with meth use is present with every use, including the first time. In extreme cases, meth has been linked to sudden cardiac death.

Contracting Hepatitis

One of the main ways that meth is used is by injection, which always raises a person’s risk for certain infectious diseases, like hepatitis.

This risk is higher when people are sharing needles, syringes, or other meth paraphernalia.

Hepatitis is not the only disease that people injecting meth have to worry about. AIDS, infective endocarditis, and sepsis are also potential dangers to be aware of.

Developing A Meth Addiction

Meth is a very addictive substance, and abusing it for even a short period of time can lead a person down the road of long-term addiction.

A person caught in heavy cravings will find their jobs, finances, social lives, and other personal obligations become seriously neglected.

Once meth use has developed into an addiction, it can be extremely difficult for a person to stop using on their own. At this point, friends or family members will likely have to intervene.

How Meth Use Leads To Sudden Death

When meth abuse results in sudden death, it is usually due to a heart attack, stroke, or heatstroke from hyperthermia.

In some cases, meth use has rewired the heart so significantly that it can result in sudden cardiac death.

Because crystal meth is a manmade drug, it is virtually impossible to know the dose amount that would cause a person to overdose.

The risks that go along with meth use are present with every single use — there is no set lethal dose for meth.

Can A Meth Overdose Kill You?

A meth overdose can be fatal and there is no drug to reverse a meth overdose like there is for an opioid overdose.

It typically starts with side effects from the drug related to heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.

With long-term methamphetamine use, the drug can build up gradually in the body and make an overdose more likely, even if someone takes a small dose.

For this reason, the risk of overdose increases slightly with each use.

Because meth is a manmade drug, it is also possible to die from poisoning related to other substances and additives that the drug may contain.

Meth Use May Cause Non-Fatal Permanent Damage

Meth drug use over time, or even with short-term heavy use, can cause dangerous and uncomfortable health problems that are not necessarily fatal but which can make life very difficult.

Some risks of meth drug abuse include:

  • “meth mouth” (tooth decay)
  • brain damage
  • cardiovascular damage
  • high blood pressure
  • damage to the blood vessels
  • memory loss
  • psychosis
  • mental illness

Treatment Programs For Methamphetamine Addiction

A drug addiction to methamphetamine can be a serious substance use disorder and can take over a person’s entire life.

If someone you know has a meth addiction, it is important to get proper health care for them as soon as possible.

Treatment options for methamphetamine addiction include:

  • inpatient treatment
  • outpatient treatment
  • medically monitored detox
  • medication-assisted treatment
  • individual therapy
  • peer support
  • relapse prevention planning
  • family counseling

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

Are you ready to start treatment for meth addiction or another form of substance abuse?

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we specialize in early recovery and would love to help you or your loved one get started in addiction treatment as soon as you are ready.

Even if you just have questions, we are always here to help and offer advice. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our treatment center today.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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