Dangers of Smoking Meth - Banyan Treatment Center Chicago

Dangers of Smoking Meth

dangers of meth

Meth or methamphetamine is a drug the stimulates the central nervous system.

Although it can be prescribed on occasion for medical purposes, it has long been abused for its euphoric properties and pleasurable high.

The Long-Term & Short-Term Effects of Smoking Memj7Methamphetamine can be taken orally, snorted, or injected, but it is most often smoked. While it may have some fleeting pleasurable effects, meth is far from harmless. All drugs have their downsides, especially those that are abused, and meth is no exception. Just ask the patients in our meth treatment in Chicago who have experienced the smoking meth dangers first-hand and had to pick up the pieces of their lives left from the drug’s abuse.

Short-Term Effects of Meth

If a person is smoking crystal meth or regular methamphetamine, they will find that the substance enters the bloodstream almost immediately, so they will feel the euphoric effects nearly instantaneously. Every person is unique so the meth high can vary. Factors like dosage, chemical makeup, expectations, and medical history can all impact what the meth smoking effects are and how strong they will be.

While everyone is slightly different the effects of a meth high can include:

  • Feeling of euphoria
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased energy levels
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety1
  • Psychosis

Alone, the immediate effects of smoking methamphetamine may not seem that bad, but if someone takes too much methamphetamine in one sitting, it could lead to overdose. A meth overdose may be accompanied by irregular heart rate, stomach pain, and problems breathing. It could also be fatal.

However gratifying, these euphoric effects are just a mask for the dangerous side effects of smoking meth that are happening behind the scenes, especially with long-term abuse.

Long-Term Effects of Meth

While the short-term effects of methamphetamine do not tend to come with a lot of immediate risks, the real dangers of smoking meth come with prolonged abuse. Because meth is addictive, many people become dependent on this drug and will be unable to stop regardless of the many negative consequences that happen because of it.

Some of the dangerous long-term effects of smoking meth include:

  • Meth mouth
  • Respiratory problems
  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis
  • Violent or erractic behavior
  • Impaired cognition and emotional problems from brain changes
  • Organ damage
  • Addiction

Meth Mouth

This commonly used term is one of the most obvious dangers of smoking meth. It is used to refer to dental problems like gum decay, tooth loss, and rotting teeth associated with frequently smoking meth. One study found that frequent meth users were twice as likely to have cavities as “light” meth users and 58% of meth users had untreated tooth decay.2

Respiratory Problems

Like anything that is smoked, smoking meth can lead to respiratory problems as toxins flood the system on a regular basis. These can range from asthma to lung cancer. A study on mice found that those who inhaled meth showed a variety of detectable lung damage.3


Because meth is a stimulant, it accelerates the central nervous system and increases energy levels that can result in people being unable to sleep. When users go on meth binges and take several doses in a row, they may go days without sleeping. Over time, this behavior can interfere with the body’s circadian rhythm and cause long-lasting sleep disturbances.


Around 26-46% of meth users will experience episodes of psychosis, and these episodes are more common for people who are dependent on the drug.4 This psychosis can vary, but one of the more common hallucinations are meth mites that usually lead to unsightly meth sores.

Brain Changes

Over time, one of the many dangers of meth is the impact that it can have on the brain. Research suggests that meth abuse can lead to brain changes that are related to reduced motor speed, impaired verbal learning, and emotional problems.5

Organ Damage

Like with other drugs of abuse, methamphetamine can drastically damage the internal organs with repeated abuse. The dangerous effects of smoking meth can include cardiovascular problems, lung damage, and kidney failures.6


Meth is a highly addictive drug, but research suggests that smoking meth is more likely to lead to a substance abuse problem than the other forms of intake that are less immediate.7 If you or someone you know is addicted to meth, our rehab center in Chicago could help.

This list is just the beginning of the dangers associated with meth. No matter how it is administered, meth comes with a plethora of health problems. Whether meth is your downfall or you need alcohol abuse treatment, it is important to not wait.

Long-term use can lead to serious health and behavioral problems. Get started on your sobriety journey today by reaching out to 888-280-4763.


  1. NIH - What are the immediate (short-term) effects of methamphetamine misuse?
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens - Meth Mouth: Some Ugly Numbers
  3. NCBI - Acute Inhalation Exposure to Vaporized Methamphetamine Causes Lung Injury in Mice
  4. NCBI - Methamphetamine-Associated Psychosis
  5. NIH- What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse?
  6. NCBI- Distribution and Pharmacokinetics of Methamphetamine in the Human Body: Clinical Implications
  7. Office of National Drug Control Policy - Methamphetamines and New Psychoactive Substances
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

Get the help you need today at Banyan.

Don't surrender your life to addiction, take control and get your life back today. Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers have helped thousands of people empower themselves to take back control of their lives. It's time for your roots to grow in new soil!