Crystal Meth Truth: The Highs, Lows, Physical Effects and Mind Tricks

Drugs & Alcohol

Crystal Meth Truth: The Highs, Lows, Physical Effects and Mind Tricks

Crystal meth might conjure up the thought of the popular series Breaking Bad. We witnessed firsthand how to make bathtub crank through Walter White’s chemical expertise. If you haven’t watched the series, you’re probably aware of the problems crystal meth has caused in the US. It’s illegal, highly addictive and deteriorates the body and mind quickly.

A manmade substance, it’s a c10h15n structure that people make in a lab. Crystal meth is clear crystal chunks or alternatively blue-white rocks. This is why it’s also referred to as “ice” or “glass.” It can be snorted, swallowed and injected. The most common way of using it however, is to smoke it with a small glass pipe. Meth effects last for up to 12 hours.

Crystal Meth

The drug was originally a nasal decongestant in the 1930s. A powerful psychostimulant, meth was originally given to soldiers in World War II to keep them awake. It has also been used as a way to reduce depression and lose weight. Meth is illegal however there are prescription weight loss tablets called desoxyn and ADHD medications that contain it.

Highs and Lows of Crystal Meth

The Highs of Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine intoxication is a common side effect for meth users. It’s the reason people are attracted to experimenting with ice. The side effects such as pleasure, confidence and energy that come with a crystal meth high is what creates addiction quickly. The drug is especially addictive for those who have experience traumatic experiences in life. With crystal meth, the user doesn’t feel the normal emotions that might usually plague them.

Meth users are after the sensation of the euphoria more than anything else. This feeling is one of the main reasons recreational drug users become addicts. They receive a rewarding feeling that keeps them looking for the next high. Meth works differently on everyone so some will find that they become less aware of their feelings which is often a form of relief.

The Lows of Crystal Meth

Taking crystal meth can be much like Russian roulette. While one person can feel highly euphoric, another user may get a sense of paranoia and wish the high would end. Crystal meth can feel terrible for the user when they first begin using.

When a person is high on meth, it influences them physically and psychologically. Some changes are caused by the effects that meth has on the central nervous system. Personal feelings are amplified on meth so if someone has some negative feelings, this can cause a bad trip. It’s common that you’d look for ways to make your ice high go away because it can feel like too much. The problem is, it’s a 12 hour high so the user has to manage a bad trip for long periods of time.

What goes up, must come down and that is one of the worst realities about meth. When the high is over, there will be a rock bottom crash. Part of the reason methamphetamines are so highly abused is to negate the awful feelings of the comedown. Abuse very quickly becomes crystal meth addiction that is hard to recover from. All the dopamine that flooded into the brain disappears, leaving the user much lower than when they started.

Physical Effects and Mind Tricks

Physical Effects and Mind Tricks

At first, the body rejects meth so initially, physical symptoms of meth intoxication can be pretty awful. Through enough use, the brain starts to associate the awful symptoms with the pleasure of the high. This creates a tolerance to even the most unpleasant meth effects. The brain has a hard time determining what is right and wrong.

An ice users behavior has a lot to do with how the drug affects the mind. The mind tells the body that it is capable of great feats. Of course, it isn’t but this is the mental effect of using meth for some. In regards to meth addiction, studies have found that after three months, users will likely go back to the drug. They believe they can quit on their own as opposed to getting professional addiction help. This is because the withdrawal symptoms are more mental than physical.

The relapse rate for crystal using is three months. While one might quit cold turkey, there will still be a mental addiction to the drug that’s hard to kick. The memories of the ice crash will have faded and meth addicts will begin to crave the drug. They tell themselves they can’t be happy without it. Unlike other drugs, meth withdrawal seems more of a mental problem than a physical one.

Tweaking on Meth

When someone is on meth, they will feel different physically. The body is highly stimulated and meth can causes a steady increase in heart rate, breathing can become faster. People might feel really hot or cold and tend to sweat, feel nauseous and even vomit. They also tweak out which feels pretty incredible to the meth user.

Someone on ice will likely fidget a lot as they have excess energy and the body is buzzing. The high lasts for up to 12 hours and during this time, you are unable to sleep because the body is too stimulated. Negative side effects from the stimulation can include anxiety, delusions, and hallucinations. Crystal meth users will often think that bugs are crawling all over them which causes them to pick at their skin. This causes open wounds that become scars, also known as meth sores, and is a telltale sign of heavy meth use.

Sense of Empowerment on Ice

One of the signs of meth addiction is someone that is using crystal meth is they have an illusion of grandeur. They believe they are more powerful or more productive than they actually are. This gives users a good feeling. Meth can cause delusion with reality becoming highly distorted. Meth can bring new confidence to people who are painfully shy. A person will gain courage they didn’t have before. They may also feel superior to others which is when they become obnoxious, paranoid or aggressive.

After a trip, users will often wake up to meth use related injuries.  While high on meth, they feel invisible which can be to their detriment. They may believe they can lift heavy items or run fast enough across the street to avoid the oncoming traffic. Strained muscles, bruising, broken bones, and knife wounds are some of the reported injuries that occur on a crystal meth trip.

A study was done with 461 patients who screened positive for methamphetamine along with 32,156 that admitted themselves into emergency rooms over the US. What they found was a strong connection of blunt trauma injuries and methamphetamine use. The main injuries involved car accidents but other consideration were gunshot wounds, stab wounds, and assaults.

The meth high causes a lack of awareness so behaviors can be quite astonishing. As a meth user goes through addiction recovery, these are often things that they will have to address about themselves to move forward. When sober, they become aware of how many times they risked their lives.

Negative Side Effects During an Ice High

Negative Side Effects During an Ice High

When someone is high on methamphetamines, the pleasurable feelings come with a price. There are many negative, dangerous side effects that come with using meth. Here are the adverse effects:

  • An increase in heart rate with abnormal rhythm.
  • Blood pressure increases.
  • Body temperature fluctuates quickly.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression and/or panic.
  • Aggressive outbursts.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • A hard time standing still and relaxing.
  • Extreme highs and lows.
  • Delusional thoughts.
  • The inability to think rationally can cause risky or violent behavior.
  • Problems with breaking the law due to character changes while high.

Connection to Meth Abuse and Psychological Problems

Research has found a connection between meth addiction and those who suffered trauma due from abusive childhoods. Meth addiction will often be a result of users seeking the drug to get away from the negative feelings that plague them. Meth allows them to get a break from the burden of anxiety, stress, and fear in someone who has suffered trauma. Many users also have social anxiety and enjoy the feeling of not feeling afraid to socialize with others like high on meth.

While meth use might seem like their savior, studies have found that meth perpetuates psychosis. Their lives become chaotic once meth addiction has developed. They stop taking care of themselves, stop caring about how they look to other. They stop bathing and brushing their teeth. This is part of the reason that open wounds and severe tooth decay are symptoms in heavy meth users.

Long Term Effects of Meth

When meth is used for a long time, both physical and psychological issues grow in intensity.

Meth effects starts very early and only get more complex the longer it’s abused.

Long term crystal meth effects include:

  • Psychotic symptoms become persistent which include delusions, paranoia, and hallucination.
  • An increase in mood disorders like depression, anxiety and the desire to isolate oneself.
  • Strange behavior due to confusion.
  • Delusions such as bugs crawling on the skin.
  • Body sores will occur all over the body with long term users due to constant skin picking.
  • Lung problems due to inhaling meth regularly.
  • Damage to the blood vessels that can’t be reversed which includes the heart and brain.
  • Potential for sudden death due to cardiac arrest or stroke.
  • Potential to fall into a coma.
  • The body is unable to heal due to the deterioration of tissues and blood vessels. This physically manifests as dull skin full of acne with very little elasticity. The teeth will also begin to decay and crack. This is known as “meth mouth,” a condition associated with meth use.

What Makes Meth so Addictive?

Most people recovering from meth addiction say the same thing. Many will continue to use the drug in order to get that initial feeling they experienced upon first use. When reflecting on their addiction, they say they could never achieve that same first high. Meth causes the brain to release more dopamine than it normally would which is where the euphoric feeling comes from. Dopamine is the chemical that allows us to feel pleasure and at a deeper level is part of the reward process of the mind. The increase of dopamine is what causes the addiction to many drugs, including meth.

The positive feeling from dopamine is so powerful and rewarding, something we are driven by, that it reinforces behavior to continue meth use over and over. Users will become tolerant to the substance and need to take more to experience the high they’re after. This puts them at risk of overdose and causes further dependency.

Dopamine receptor activity will in time become impaired which can cause problems with the brain, a sense of unhappiness and numbness. The crystal meth crash often comes with feelings of suicide due to desperation. The intense amount of dopamine that is release by using crystal meth will make a user feel incredible. When the crash comes and there’s no dopamine stimulation, the depression comes quickly. Many will just keep using to avoid the terrible feeling that the come down brings.

Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of crystal meth can include the following:

  • A deep sense of despair and depression.
  • Intense desire to use meth.
  • Anxiety.
  • Fatigue.
  • Eyes can become itchy.
  • Insomnia or oversleeping.
  • A sudden increase in appetite.

Crystal Meth Recovery

Crystal Meth Recovery

The symptoms can cause great discomfort for someone trying to detox. It can often lead users to relapse just to get one more fix. A medically supervised detox is recommended for crystal meth detox due to the complexity and potency of the addiction.

Once a crystal meth addict has detoxed from the drug, there is still a long road to full recovery. Detox is the initial act of getting the drug out of the system. Without therapy, the user will likely not have the mental strength to stay off meth. As so many users started to use in order to numb their feelings, this needs to be addressed in order for full recovery to occur. Inpatient and intensive outpatient drug treatment is available specifically to help with crystal meth addiction.

An in-depth study found that the physical and mental effects of meth are far more dangerous than being portrayed in the media. Physically, there is a risk of cardiovascular problems along with dependency, and blood-borne virus transmission. Meth effects include a manifestation of psychological issues. This includes something called methamphetamine psychosis. Depression, anxiety and violent behaviors can occur when someone is high on meth.

The Reality of Rock Bottom When Using Crystal Meth

The drug abuse warning network has released information stating that ice drug addiction is high. Crystal meth is the fourth most mentioned illicit drug based on emergency room visits. It sits under cocaine, marijuana, and heroin. The high of crystal meth can often alter a person’s mind the first time they use.

Serious health issues arise that are irreversible. Blood vessels become damaged in the brain which can result in strokes, cardiovascular issues. Liver, kidney and lung damage is also common. Crystal meth quickly takes over someone’s life, especially if they experience physiological issues beforehand. Meth is one of those rock bottom drugs that cause people to lose everything and age exponentially.

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Crystal Meth truth the highs lows physical effects and mind tricks

May 3rd, 2019|13 Comments


  1. Raymond cooper March 31, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    I am not an addict im just doin research this is the best ive found yet

    • Ashwood Recovery April 3, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      We are glad the article resonated with you!

  2. Melanie April 12, 2019 at 3:31 am

    I do not do drugs. My husband denies being in meth but I am not stupid. He doesn’t come home says he works all night, doesn’t eat , an a hole all the time, frowns, short with everyone , lost weight , doesn’t shave or cut hair. He does take a bath for 3 or 4 hours sometimes , never sleep, lies , never gives me money from his jobs. I have found pot and pipes and a glass pipe. Says they are not his and I am crazy. I want out of this relationship I but afraid of what he might do , either to me or himself. Just needed to vent. We are all tired of his actions but still feel sorry for him , even though he treats me like crap.

    • Zach Triplett May 24, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Nobody deserves to be mistreated if he want to be with you then he needs to quit with the hard drugs and be a better, nicer person for and the rest of your family. I hope it gets better, but be smart and don’t give up. It might get a lot worse before it gets better which could make him violent if he gets angry enough. Truth is I used to drink a lot I don’t anymore because eventually I started to be mean to people. Anyways good luck, by the way maybe you think different than me but i would definitely be ok with weed if he quits the meth, weed isnt that big of deal compared to meth…. sometimes leaving when you care about someone is the right thing if it gives him motivation to get better, if he truly cares.

    • Noami June 21, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      I dealt with the same thing you did for 8 years!!i was in a relationship with a guy that was an addict.he gave me so many hints but i never wanted to admit he was an addict.i financially supported this man for years because he claimed he couldnt find a job.stupid me dealth with this guy and put up with alot of his lies and manipulations.i ended up having a baby with this a hole thinking maybe having a baby might slow his partying down…well it got worst! He got very sick and ended up in the hospital.turns out he has hiv from all the sex he was having with MEN!!!i was so scared because i just had a baby and i was nursing her so i was afraid that we both caught the virus..PLEASE LEAVE!!move on!!!i wish i would have!

    • mike August 20, 2019 at 8:44 am

      if its at the point that your so fed up you dont want the relationship anymore. You need to tell him this, Be straight forward with him and let him know that you already know he is using and if he doesn’t seek help you will no longer put up with this and that the relationship is over. Let him know your serious about this too. He is gonna deny it i can tell you that right now. You can purchase an at home drug test at a smoke shop or simply order it online. once you have the test in hand is when you will want to break the news to him. as soon as he denies is when you say okay than prove it and have him pee in the cup on the spot. if he says no and refuses than you already know. but this is not to embarrass him this is to make him relize your not to be played for a fool no longer an its all out on the table now. This is when you give him his last chance to get into a rehab. if your willing too, understandably you may not be at this point. In all honesty tho addiction is a disease and it just takes over the user most of the time even when the user is so fed up themselves sometimes they still cant controll it. your husband needs your help right now, Try to explain that to him when you bring out that drug test. If he doesnt follow through after you have laid out your feelings to him an let him know this is it, his last chance to make things right with you. Sadly move on dont let him bring you down anymore. I wish the best of luck too you and may god be on your husbands side on his road too recovery.
      Keep us updated, Hope all goes well goodluck.

    • Jay September 10, 2019 at 1:08 am

      Melanie it has been months now. How are you. Have you moved on

  3. John doe May 27, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Melanie I wish you the best of luck and I’m sorry you have lost someone you care about to this kind of thing.. my wife and I both use and have for awhile and I just got a dui because of it as d have lousy everything because of this addiction so I know what your going through and I hope he finds help and starts to treat you better

  4. Trinity June 28, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    I have never touched method, I am researching the effects of drugs on the body. So far this is the best in describing what is happening during each stage of an addiction.

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the article!

  5. Ann July 28, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    My brother has a history of using meth as well as bipolar disorder. I believe he is back on meth but my family believes it’s his bipolar making him act the way he does. He is either depressed or agitated, does not sleep, sees drones, thinks people are either watching him or after him, thinks his ex gf that left him is stalking him in his phone, stays on his phone constantly looking for accounts that she doesn’t have and when he thinks he has found her he starts cussing these people on fb, instagram or any site he pulls up that he thinks is her. He changes his phone number 2 to 3 times a week because she is stalking him. He has called straight talk so many times and cussed them that I can’t believe they haven’t had him arrested yet. He will only work a few days to get a few dollars in his pocket. He lives in a camper with no water and only a generator for electricity that he begs our father to keep gas in. He talks fast and does not hear a word your saying. You could say mom died and he wouldn’t even hear you because he is so consumed with someone is watching him and he has to make you understand that. You can’t reason with him at all. He is 48 yrs old and the saddest part of all is there is nothing we can do but sit back and watch him kill him self. ? ? Our dad and his son as well his ex gf(that stalks him but in reality doesn’t) thinks it’s his bipolar. I can’t get them to realize it’s not his bipolar it’s meth. We can’t make him get help as bad as I wish we could. I have begged him to go in for depression because that would be a start. He will agree he needs help but then say I’m too depressed to go and they can’t help me I’m too far gone. Any suggestions from anyone?

  6. katelowkz August 3, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    im an addict that is still stuck somewhere below deep under this place called rock bottom . is it possible to go lower than rock bottom ? everything in my life at this point to me is useless. this drug makes me feel all types of ways and think every and any upside ways than a normal brain would…my mind races with all these promising simple daily task i challenege myself to do day after day , in the end im in the same dam spot doing the only thing that numbs reality up , smoke my lungs away ……while smoking thinking of my priorites before i know it the whole day has gone by and not one thing was done…. it got my brain all fuged up to pieces , of course i hear voices, isolate myself from the world, family and life period….. i too keep looking out or behind or around all over my surroundings because someone is whispering something about me, or looking and saying something about me ….im terried well more less i get instant anxiety and panic attacks when i attempt to walk into a small convinient store, or even to walk into a gas station and pay for gas. if im around more than 2 people including myslef i start to panic and hyperventilate our of no where. … it sucks for my girlfren because we never go no where, when i tell her lets go here lets go there, ill get off and walk in i swear……..soon aS WE pull up and park and i see alot of cars or crowd or assume its crowded i back down and we dont make it inside… i cant be around her family more than 10 mins becuase i feel her mom is saying all these negative things about me to other people around….. i cant make eye contact with people because i feel their contact is super powerful that somehow my energy level shoots below empty………………… so sickkk and tired of this empty feeling…i wanna say im almost to that point of saying im soooo over this drug,…. i need my life to be REAL …. im losing well i lost everything i had and right now the one thing ive got dear to me , my girlfriend we too are hanging by a miracle thin string invisible to our naked eye……before i snorted that first freakin line of crys…..i was OPPOSITE of everything this drug turned me into…. this is embarassing AND im trying to control all these uninvited thoughts and voices streaming thru out my head non stop …. i will sacrifice this all and trade it in for a sobber life… but im stuck and dont know what step to take, without having to pay rehab or for things to get out of control to where its out of my control and i no longer have options in my life….. ive been smoking meth straight for 3 years without stoppingnot for one day but ive been using for 10 years…im 33 years old and look like im prallyh sad…. i used to look attractive now im jus an object blowing clouds… no buenooo people no bueno…

  7. Melinda Garner August 8, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    When I was young, i was called lazy, stupid, shy, incompetent more or less..when I first tried the s***, I suddenly became opposite of these traits “Normal”!! I could belong now, where before I was an outcast!! Unfortunately many years later, I’ve become the epitome of those childhood traits and then some!! Prolonged use of this wretched substance will Backfire..and a living hell is inevitable! The feeling of living in this skin of mine everyday has become almost unbearable , im basically an adult child that looks like a frumpy, aged troll who acts 12 and throws poor me, temper tantrums!! Thx for this section on allowing me to vent on this devastating topic.

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