Can You Eat Meth? Side Effects And Risks

Some people eat meth to achieve a more intense and long-lasting high. However, eating meth poses the same or even greater risks to your health and well-being than other methods of methamphetamine abuse.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Methamphetamine also known as crystal meth is a potent central nervous system stimulant that affects neurons in the brain and nerves throughout the body.

Many people are now eating meth instead of snorting, injecting, or smoking it. But any form of ingesting meth can come with side effects and risks, and eating meth can create a a delayed high.

Delayed highs can be dangerous to people who abuse drugs, as it may prompt them to take more of the drug, which can result in overdose.

Why People May Eat Meth Vs. Using Other Methods

There are various reasons people may turn to eating meth instead of using other methods.

Many people who use meth think that they do not have a high risk of overdose when they eat it, whereas injecting or smoking meth can be dangerous, or even fatal to some people.

There is no ‘safe’ method of meth use. All forms of use come with side effects and risk of health complications.

Others believe they will experience a more intense high if they eat meth, and that the effects will last longer.

For these reasons, people may turn to eating methamphetamine for its perceived benefits.

Swallowing Meth Leads To A Delayed Onset Meth High

When you ingest crystal methamphetamine orally, your body has to go through some steps before you can experience its effects. It passes into your stomach and your small intestines.

As it passes through your gastrointestinal tract, meth gets absorbed into your bloodstream — that’s when you start feeling high. But that doesn’t happen right away.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, it takes anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours to feel anything at all from oral ingestion of meth.

This effect is called a delayed onset, because the person has swallowed most of their dose, but not all of it has been absorbed into the bloodstream yet.

Some people prefer this effect, and, as a result, resort to “parachuting”. Parachuting meth is swallowing meth-wrapped ecstasy or methamphetamine and letting the drug slowly dissolve like a parachute in the digestive tract, releasing the drug.

Side Effects Of Eating Meth

Meth use can be harmful to the person using it and the people around them. Meth consumption, regardless of method of use, has roughly the same side effects.

The long-term effects of eating meth vary from person to person. But they generally include violent behavior, aggressive personality changes, weight loss, and mental health problems.

Short-term side effects of eating meth include:

  • excessive talking
  • dry mouth (meth mouth)
  • intense emotions of pleasure
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid heart rate/irregular heartbeat
  • mood swings

Health Risks Of Ingesting Meth Orally

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that is highly addictive and leads to dangerous side effects.

Here are some of its risks of meth addiction and abuse:

Heart Attack

When meth is ingested, it causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This can result in a heart attack or stroke with continued meth use, or in people with preexisting heart health issues.

Bowel Obstruction

Because methamphetamine use can cause splanchnic vasoconstriction, meth abuse may lead to intestinal ischemia (constriction of the bowel).

Meth has a sympathomimetic effect (increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and the force of cardiac contraction) that causes the blood vessels in the spleen to narrow, leading to bowel constriction.

In the short term, meth use can lead to diarrhea as well.

Hepatitis Infection

Eating meth can also cause liver inflammation. This can result in a hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), meth drug use can also cause liver damage. That is due to its ability to increase oxidative stress levels and decrease glutathione levels.

Dramatic Changes In Body Temperature

Meth can cause dose-dependent hyperthermia, with brain areas — especially the NAcc — experiencing a faster and greater rise in temperature than muscle.

A high dose can raise brain and body temperatures by 3.5–4.0°C over baseline, maintained for three to five hours.

Treatment Programs For Methamphetamine Addiction

The sooner you seek medical advice or treatment, either in an outpatient or inpatient program, the greater your chance of recovering and overcoming meth addiction.

Meth rehab programs may be in inpatient (overnight stay) or outpatient format. For the most effective care, these programs may include an array of treatment services.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with meth addiction by changing negative thinking patterns and triggering healthier behavioral choices.

Detox for meth abuse will address any withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, to help clear the body of substances and avoid relapse.

The Matrix Model is a 16-week behavioral treatment program that incorporates behavioral therapy with drug testing, activities not related to drugs, counseling, family education, and a 12-step component.

Whatever treatment you choose, it should address the mental, physical, and behavioral effects of meth addiction to help foster long-term recovery.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or your loved one have an addiction to methamphetamine, you can seek help immediately from Bedrock Recovery Center.

Contact Bedrock or more information about our tailored meth addiction treatment programs.

  1. British Pharmacological Society Journals
  2. National Institutes for Health: National Library of Medicine
  3. National Institutes for Health: National Library of Medicine
  4. The Journal of Neuroscience

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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