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Using Meth: Health Risks

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. The drug works directly on the brain and spinal cord by interfering with normal neurotransmission.

Meth use and production pose significant, even grave, risks to public health. Death, stroke, coma, and brain damage are all long-term impacts.

Short-Term Side Effects Include:

  • A false sense of well-being
  • Convulsions, twitching, and jerking
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Stimulation of adrenal gland
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Impaired speech
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Acne
  • Sores
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia

Long-Term Side Effects Include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage
  • Severe weight loss
  • Fatal kidney and lung disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Permanent psychological problems
  • Lowered resistance to illness
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death

Implications for Children

  • 30-35% of labs seized are located in residences with children.
  • 35-55% of children removed from meth labs test positive for meth.
  • 10% of children removed from homes of heavy users test positive for meth.

* These numbers are based on current testing standards. If more sensitive testing equipment was available, we expect these numbers would be closer to 100%.

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