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Shooting Meth: Dangers Of Methamphetamine Injection

Using methamphetamine comes with inherent risks. Shooting meth comes with an increased risk of blood-borne disease and infection. Adequate treatment can help you stop meth use and manage drug addiction.

Methamphetamine can be injected intravenously by mixing powdered meth or crushed crystal meth with water. The substance is filtered and drawn into a syringe for injection.

Roughly one in five people who use meth administer the drug intravenously.

Reasons People Inject Meth

The most common reason people choose to inject meth over other methods of use is the immediate and intense high.

Smoking meth or inserting the drug rectally can also produce more intense highs. With that said, these methods come with side effects that someone might find more unpleasant than injection.

What Happens When You Shoot Meth?

Shooting meth causes an intense rush that can’t be matched by snorting or ingesting meth.

When the drug first hits your system, you can expect a number of physical and psychological changes.

Physical effects of shooting meth include:

  • elevated heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • increased body temperature
  • faster respiration rate
  • loss of appetite

Psychological effects you can expect:

  • a rush of euphoria
  • increased alertness
  • increased activity

These are the effects to expect if the meth experience does not lead to unexpected and dangerous side effects. Methamphetamine is a very strong drug, and overdoses are common.

A meth overdose can cause a number of health problems including psychosis, heart attack, and even death.

Dangers Of Shooting Meth

The short-term side effects of meth abuse may appear mild at first glance, but meth is a highly addictive drug. Just one dose can establish dependence.

Using meth over a period of months or years can be a very different experience.

HIV/AIDS Or Hepatitis C Infection

Sharing any drug paraphernalia that could come into contact with someone’s blood is incredibly dangerous.

Every time you share needles, there is a high risk of contracting HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis C, or another blood-borne disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 10% of new HIV/AIDS cases in recent years are attributed to intravenous drug use. In 2018, that percentage amounted to nearly 4,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS.

Skin Infections

Skin infections can occur with intravenous drug use. The repeated use of needles, especially shared needles, increases the risk.

People who use meth can avoid skin infections and meth sores by always using clean, packaged needles and placing paraphernalia on a sterile surface.


Regular intravenous drug use can cause lasting damage to your blood vessels. It may become difficult if not impossible to find a good vein after prolonged use.

When this happens, it is common for people who shoot meth to start injecting it directly into the muscle. This injection method significantly increases the risk of abscess.

An abscess is a collection of pus under the skin caused by a bacterial infection. Abscesses will not resolve on their own and require professional healthcare.


Psychosis is a risk with all forms of meth use because the drug directly affects your mental health.

It is estimated that about 40% of people who use meth will develop serious psychosis. Psychosis can easily result in self-harm or harm to others, so emergency services should be contacted.

Memory Loss

Methamphetamine use targets the central nervous system and causes physical changes to the brain.

The areas that govern memory are some of the most profoundly affected, causing memory loss.

Fortunately, studies show that meth-induced memory loss does markedly improve after 12 to 14 months of abstinence from substance abuse.

Brain Damage

The changes to your brain are not limited to your memory. The damage affects your learning, motor skills, decision-making, and self-regulation.

Combined with the intense cravings of drug addiction, these deficits can result in poor decisions. The good news is that this damage can also be healed to an extent by quitting drug use.

Heart Attack

Methamphetamine is a stimulant. Regardless of how you take it, your heart rate and blood pressure will increase.
These changes alone increase the risk of life-threatening cardiac events, including heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest.

Your risks may be higher if you have an existing cardiovascular condition, are pregnant, or are engaging in additional substance use.

Is Shooting Meth More Dangerous Than Other Methods?

Shooting meth is more dangerous in some ways. You are more likely to contract a blood-borne disease like HIV/AIDS. You are also more likely to develop serious infections that could spread.

The dangers of shooting meth can be offset by always using fresh needles, maintaining a sterile environment, and bandaging wounds properly.

Otherwise, shooting meth is just as dangerous as any other form of meth use.

Treatment Options For Meth Use

Drug addiction is a lasting condition. Treatment programs exist to ensure that you have access to the medical advice and therapy that you need to treat it.

As no two cases are the same, a quality treatment provider will always offer a wide range of options.

An effective meth addiction treatment program should include medically supervised detox and several therapy options, at minimum.

Find Meth Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we know that every person with addiction deserves compassionate care.

Our treatment facility offers detox programs, behavioral therapy, and support groups as well as inpatient or outpatient care to ensure you have what you need every step of the way.

If you or a loved one are ready to stop shooting meth, we’re ready to help. Give our Massachusetts treatment center a call today to learn what we can do to help you beat addiction.

Written by
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team

©2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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