Physical Symptoms of Meth Addiction

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  • Meth mouth and the destruction of the teeth are common side effects in meth addicts.
  • Extreme weight loss and dangers associated with continued meth use pose serious threats to users.
  • Breaking down the body with a lack of sleep, staying up for days or even weeks at a time, meth addicts suffer serious physical complications.

Crystal meth is a dangerous substance that often leads to addiction. Also known as meth, speed, crank and a number of other street slang names, methamphetamine addiction is the result of snorting, smoking, eating or injecting crystal meth on a regular basis. The physical symptoms of meth addiction are some of the most visually representative of any type of addiction or drug there is on the streets today. Meth addicts often exhibit telltale signs of addiction that are virtually impossible to miss.

Meth Mouth

One of the most common physical symptoms of meth addiction is meth mouth. This is the rotting of the teeth that occurs when a meth addict has smoked meth or snorted the drug for a period of time causing the chemicals in the drug to reside in the mouth and lead to damaged teeth and gums. Meth mouth causes the teeth to completely rot away, may lead to periodontal disease and cannot be reversed.

Weight Loss

Meth is one of many drugs that is considered a stimulant. The drug causes rapid weight loss and may lead to increased energy levels which further promote the weight loss. When a meth addict is smoking, injecting or snorting methamphetamine, the high results in appetite suppression, an inability to sit still or sleep and a boost in energy. All of these symptoms lead to a more rapid weight loss for the addict.

Physical symptoms of meth addiction, such as rapid and extreme weight loss, can pose serious health risks to the addict. Malnutrition is also common in meth users as their tend to avoid food while high and may not eat proper diet or receive adequate nutrition when they are sober or between “highs.”


Meth addiction can lead to long periods of staying awake followed by subsequent long periods of sleep. Insomnia is common in meth addicts and though not always spotted head on by an outsider, the addict will often begin to exhibit signs of the addiction by staying awake for days or even weeks at a time (yes weeks!). These periods of awake time are followed by a crash and burn phase in which the physical symptoms of the addiction have worn on the user so strongly that, when sleep does come, he or she will sleep for 2 or 3 days or more at a time, waking only for a few minutes at most here and there.

Respiratory Failure

Meth addiction can lead to respiratory failure, heart attack or breathing problems. People who struggle with meth addiction for a prolonged period of time are at an increased risk of suffering from long-term physical complications as a result of their addiction. Many of the long-term effects of meth addiction cannot be reversed and cannot be healed.