Can Methamphetamine Be Absorbed Through The Skin?

You can absorb methamphetamine through your skin if you have been in contact with meth-contaminated surfaces or clothing items. The feeling might not be very potent, but dermal absorption could still be dangerous and should be avoided.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Can Methamphetamine Be Absorbed Through The Skin?

Methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug that has caused a widespread epidemic in the United States.

You can ingest meth in many ways, including snorting, injecting, smoking, and swallowing.

Some people have worried that they could absorb meth through the skin if they touch contaminated surfaces in methamphetamine laboratories.

Here is more information on meth absorption through the skin and what to expect if you come into contact with methamphetamine residue at home or in meth labs.

How Meth Is Absorbed Through Skin Contact

The skin on your hands and fingers absorbs chemicals more quickly than any other body part. Here’s how meth is absorbed through the skin, also known as second hand exposure.

Accidental Dermal Absorption

Your fingers are a lot more absorbent than other parts of your body.

If you wipe your nose or eyes with a contaminated finger, for example, there’s a chance that you could accidentally absorb some of it through your skin.

Accidental dermal absorption is common in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Transdermal Patches

A transdermal patch is designed to deliver a certain amount of medication through your skin. Meth transdermal patches are the medicated version of methamphetamine (Desoxyn) used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

These patches are typically used for medications that would be harmful if they were taken orally, such as nicotine and nitroglycerin.

It is possible to get high from wearing a transdermal patch. The effects are likely to be different than what you’d experience from smoking or injecting meth.

Dangers Of Methamphetamine Skin Absorption

Meth dermal absorption can cause the following health risks:

Unknown Meth Potency

Meth is cut with chemicals, opioids, or other drugs. That means you could ingest a more potent dose of meth than you realize.

Accidental Overdose

Another risk associated with accidental absorption is that you could have a meth overdose.

Since it’s a stimulant and can cause your heart rate to increase significantly, if you absorb too much meth, you could have a heart attack or stroke.

Shortness Of Breath

Absorbing meth through the skin can cause trouble breathing and may even lead to an emergency room visit.

People who come into contact with meth should use protective gear when handling methamphetamine hydrochloride — even if it’s diluted with other substances and solvents, such as water, anhydrous ammonia, methanol, etc.

Remember that contact and chemical exposure to meth can cause methamphetamine contamination due to substances used to make the drug.

Can Meth Be Absorbed By Breathing Contaminated Air?

You can absorb meth by breathing contaminated air during methamphetamine production in clandestine methamphetamine labs.

Meth contamination can also occur in houses where people smoke, snort, or inject methamphetamine.

It can go from its point of contact (contaminated materials), through objects like couches, into the indoor air around the house.

That may create adverse health effects through ingestion, skin absorption, or inhalation, when meth travels through your mucous membranes when you breathe.

This is why places which were previously meth labs must go through a decontamination process to protect anyone who inhabits or visits the place in the future.

Treatment Programs For Meth Addiction

There are several treatment programs for methamphetamine addiction, including medication and behavioral therapy.

Medication can treat meth drug abuse, especially when treating drug addiction and co-occurring disorders, such as mental health problems.

When given together with behavioral therapy, psychotherapy medications can help with ADHD (common in people with a meth addiction) and ease withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment for meth use typically involves an intensive program, such as inpatient rehab or partial hospitalization, medical detox, and more.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or someone you love are facing methamphetamine abuse, call Bedrock Recovery Center for help finding treatment options that work for you.

Our compassionate counselors are here to answer all your questions about substance abuse and help you find an addiction recovery plan that works for your unique needs.

Contact Bedrock Recovery Center to learn more about meth skin absorption and get help with methamphetamine addiction.

  1. Missouri University of Science and Technology
  2. United States Environmental Protection Agency

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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