Can You Overdose on Meth?

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive illicit substance that directly affects the central nervous system. With a rise in the spread of increasingly potent meth, it’s important to know the answer to, ‘Can You Overdose on Meth?’

Currently considered a Schedule II stimulant drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), it is only legally available through prescription medications. This includes Desoxyn, which is typically used to treat obesity and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

It is most commonly found in the form of crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth, an illegally manufactured version of this drug that combines its base form with other over-the-counter drugs and dangerous chemicals and looks crystalline in appearance.

Keep reading to find out more about the nature of crystal meth abuse and find out whether it is possible to overdose on meth now!

24 Hour Meth Rehab Hotline – Get Help Now!

Understanding Meth Addiction

It is rarely ever just plain curiosity that results in a person’s development of a methamphetamine use disorder. In fact, there are several reasons why someone may develop this issue.

Some of the possible contributing risk factors to an individual’s substance abuse may include:



  • Environmental Factors. Individuals living in unstable environments may also be more likely to develop an addiction, as they may turn to substance use as a coping mechanism. These negative environments may include children living in abusive households, or communities with a heavy drug culture.


  • Hereditary Factors: For those who have a family history of addiction, these individuals may also have an increased likelihood of engaging in substance abuse. In fact, a person’s genetics can contribute up to half of their risk for developing an addiction. While not inherently destined to continue the habits of their family members, it is certainly helpful to be aware of this generational pattern.


  • Social Pressure. Peer pressure can cause individuals to partake in many questionable activities, and this is no less true in the case of substance abuse. Particularly for younger individuals, the natural desire for social acceptance can significantly contribute to their interaction with illicit substances.


  • Stress Factors. Exposure to chronic and excessive stress can be extremely difficult for a person to cope with. Whether this stress be work, family, or relationship-related, or due to unresolved traumatic or past difficult experiences, it is quite common to use drugs or alcohol to help manage this pressure.


A Brief History of Meth in the U.S.

While primarily distributed throughout the U.S. by Mexican drug trafficking organizations, methamphetamine is also produced on a smaller scale domestically.

Despite the passing of The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, abuse rates for this substance have continued to grow at an alarming speed in the U.S..

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), between 2015 and 2019, average methamphetamine use increased by 43%, while frequent methamphetamine use – using for at least 100 days in the past year- increased by 66%.

How Does Meth Affect the Body?

Meth possesses central nervous system stimulant properties, which can produce an intense, euphoric high when used. This is due to the extremely high levels of dopamine it releases into the brain, particularly to the parts responsible for a person’s ability to feel pleasure.

The intensity of this high can vary based on the method of drug use a person uses. When smoking or injecting meth, this can produce an incredibly intense, but brief, rush.

Orally ingesting or snorting meth, however, will result in a longer-lasting, but less extreme high. Regardless of how a person chooses to engage in meth use, this activity will always pose a high risk for potential addiction due to the dopamine it produces.

Side Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

There are several negative side effects that may result from meth use, both from short-term usage, as well as those resulting from long-term, repeated interactions with this drug. Some of these may be mildly uncomfortable, while others may require immediate medical attention.

Regardless of the severity of these side effects, if individuals are experiencing any of these as a result of this illicit drug, it may be a good idea to consider seeking out professional meth addiction treatment services.

Short-Term Effects

There are several short-term effects that can occur from meth use, which can quickly become problematic if not properly addressed. Taking even small amounts of meth can result in symptoms such as:


  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased breathing and heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia
  • Difficulty sleeping


Long-Term Effects

Several of the more long-term effects of meth use are psychological and can be extremely difficult to cope with. In fact, individuals may continue to abuse meth more frequently in an attempt to self-medicate these negative feelings, further exacerbating them in the process.

Some of the long-term side effects of meth abuse, both physical and psychological, may include:


  • Depression
  • Bloodborne diseases from injecting meth, such as HIV or Hepatitis C
  • Damage to the lungs and brain
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Cirrhosis
  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Panic
  • Aggression
  • Violent mood swings
  • The inability of the body to repair damaged tissues
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Significant weight loss and malnutrition
  • Memory loss
  • Severe sleep disturbances
  • Missing and rotted teeth, or “meth mouth


Can You Overdose on Meth?

Overdose on Meth

When it comes to overdose on meth, there are two ways in which this can take place: acute methamphetamine toxicity and chronic overdose. For the most part, the symptoms of a meth overdose depend on the type of overdose a person is experiencing.

The Risk of Methamphetamine Overdose

However, like most drug overdoses, there are several side effects each of these types will share. Thus, it is important to be able to recognize the extent of a person’s methamphetamine abuse in order to properly determine what level of medical attention they will need.

Acute Meth Overdose

An acute methamphetamine overdose takes place when an individual either accidentally or intentionally takes too much of this drug, resulting in life-threatening side effects.

The severity of these symptoms will depend on how much of the drug a person used. Mixing meth with other drugs may also increase the intensity of these health risks.

Potential warning signs of acute meth overdose include:


  • Agitation
  • Chest pain
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular or stopped heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hyperthermia
  • Kidney damage and possible renal failure
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Stroke


Chronic Meth Overdose

Chronic overdose on crystal meth refers to the health consequences a person will experience when using this illegal drug on a regular basis.

This form of overdose can be life-threatening due to the health risks associated with constant drug use, rather than those of taking too much meth.

Of course, how much meth a person takes on a frequent basis can certainly contribute to the development of chronic overdose symptoms. If an individual regularly takes higher doses of methamphetamines, they will be far more likely to overdose.

Chronic meth overdose symptoms will likely include damage to their liver, brain, and kidney, which often occurs from frequent usage of this recreational drug. Paralysis, chronic anxiety, failure in the liver and kidneys, as well as respiratory and circulatory issues may all also occur.

Find Meth Treatment Options Nationwide – Call Now!

What are Common Meth Overdose Symptoms?

Whether chronic or acute, there are several warning signs associated with meth overdose that should be carefully looked out for.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon to mix meth with other drugs or alcohol, which can significantly increase an individual’s risk of overdosing; even if they have not necessarily taken too much of the drug. These may include both physical and psychological symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

The physical symptoms of a meth overdose will typically be the most severe and life-threatening. Thus, if any of these occur, it is absolutely critical that the overdosing individual get immediate medical help.

Physical warning signs of meth overdose may include:


  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach pain


Psychological Symptoms

Most forms of drug use and overdose will result in some sort of psychological side effects, whether this be cognitive impairment or any other altered mental state. These symptoms may include:


  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Slowed thinking
  • Lack of awareness
  • Panicked or restless behavior


What To Do In the Event of a Meth Overdose

If left untreated, a meth overdose can quickly result in a person’s death or coma. Thus, if you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing this or any other form of drug overdose, it is crucial that you immediately seek out professional medical assistance.

When calling for help, it will be extremely helpful to know details about the overdose victim, such as the person’s approximate age and weight, how much of the drug they took, how they took it, and how much time has passed since taking it.

This information will provide their medical providers to determine the severity of the individual’s condition and what level of treatment they will need to administer to them.

After calling 911, there are a few things you can do while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. If a person is actively seizing, it is important to not attempt to restrain them or place anything in their mouth.

Instead, you should attempt to roll them over onto their side, so as to prevent them from choking in the event that they vomit. Gently holding the back of their head may also help further prevent injury.

If someone is experiencing psychotic symptoms or paranoia, it is best to avoid them, so as to prevent yourself from being accidentally harmed.

Meth Overdose Treatment Methods

Meth Overdose Treatment Methods

Meth overdose will typically require aggressive medical treatment due to the extremely dangerous nature of this drug. Once in the hands of emergency personnel, the overdosing individual will have their vital signs measured to determine what treatment they will need.

When receiving professional medical attention for meth overdose, this process may include:


  • Administration of activated charcoal and laxatives, if the drug was taken orally, as this will force it out of the person’s system



  • Toxicology screening to determine drug alcohol levels and types present in an individual’s system.


  • Breathing support, including mechanical ventilation or emergency resuscitation.
  • Chest x-ray in the event of irregular breathing or vomiting.


  • In the event of a possible head injury, a CT scan may be conducted.


  • ECG to track heart rate.


  • Administration of intravenous fluids and medications, which can help treat several symptoms, including anxiety, nausea, seizures, and high blood pressure.


  • Provision of other medicines that can help treat complications in the heart, brain, muscle, and kidney.


What are the Meth Addiction Treatment Options?

Substance abuse can be incredibly difficult to overcome on one’s own, and may even feel impossible for some. For those struggling with a methamphetamine addiction, this can be the most difficult substance use disorder to overcome.

Thus, it is strongly recommended that individuals seeking treatment options do so with a professional treatment provider and addiction rehab program.

When treating a meth addiction, individuals will likely have the best chances at a successful recovery through participating in a medical detox and inpatient treatment program.

These will provide constant access to a clinical professional and team of addiction specialists, as well as recovery resources and support throughout the entirety of their treatment process.

24 Hour Meth Addiction Hotline – Call Now!

How Much Does Meth Rehab Cost?

Many people find themselves worried about how they will afford professional addiction treatment services. Fortunately, most treatment programs will accept the majority of major health insurance providers.

Of course, the level of coverage you may be entitled to will depend on your specific insurance provider and policy.

Talking directly to your insurance carrier can help you narrow down your treatment options; or, you can use the Find Addiction Rehabs fast & free insurance verification tool!

Find the Right Addiction Treatment Options for You, Here

If you or a loved one is struggling with a potential addiction and are ready to start seeking treatment, know that this is the right choice, and help IS available.

Here at Find Addiction Rehabs, we are dedicated to finding addiction treatment programs and facilities that are dedicated to meeting all of our client’s personal care needs.

Whether looking for a rehab facility near you or simply in need of recovery resources, our hotline is available 24/7 to provide the support you need, anytime you need it. So don’t wait; call today to get started on a path to achieving long-term sobriety, and a happier, healthier you!


Medically Reviewed By

Scroll to Top
Call Now (877) 959-7271