Meth-Induced Weight Loss: Dangers And Effects
Ingesting methamphetamine induces significant weight loss when abused on binges or for long periods. A drastic weight decrease can lead to muscle loss, malnourishment, and disrupted sleeping patterns.
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug with many recognizable short-term and long-term side effects on the body. One of the common effects of meth is weight loss.
Prolonged meth abuse diminishes appetite and can lead to transformations in the body, making it harder to eat and drink.
There are several dangers when a drastic weight change occurs. Below we’ll explore how meth leads to weight loss and the dangers of meth-related weight loss.
How Does Meth Lead To Weight Loss?
Meth use affects many parts of the body and brain, including increasing heart rate, creating hyperactivity, and raising body temperature.
Because of its addictive nature, meth cravings form quickly. A person may continue to abuse meth to avoid uncomfortable meth withdrawal symptoms.
The effects of meth can lead someone to go on long binges, during which time a person may experience a decrease in appetite and avoid drinking or eating for days or weeks.
After a long period of methamphetamine abuse, people may gain meth sores and lose a significant amount of weight.
Below, we’ll describe exactly how the use of methamphetamine leads to weight loss.
Meth’s Effect On Appetite
The amount of dopamine meth causes and keeps in the brain disrupts the communication between neurotransmitters in the body.
Signals that indicate low blood sugar levels, hunger, and food digestion may be lost when a person is under the influence of meth.
When the natural flow of messages between the stomach and brain is damaged or nonexistent, it can lead to a loss of appetite.
Muscle And Fat Loss
Usually, the body depends on nourishment, such as food and water, for energy. However, as the want or need to eat depletes, the body starts to burn fat and muscle for energy.
Typically fat is used first, then muscle and protein follow. This leads to muscle loss, a decrease in body mass, and eventually weight change.
Those who are high on meth may feel extra hyperactive. Some move around for days with no rest, leading to the overuse of muscles and extreme calorie burning.
They may also feel overheated and sweat profusely, leading to more weight loss. Some engage in exercise or a vast cleaning uphaul, which also burn calories.
Not sleeping and constantly moving around doesn’t give the body the chance to rest. Fat, muscle, and protein continue to be used.
Meth creates several dental problems. These changes are sometimes referred to as “meth mouth.” Smoking crystal meth, a common form of meth abuse, can damage teeth.
Next to disrupting the need to eat, drug use can make someone avoid personal hygiene, such as brushing their teeth.
Meth can lead to many mouth defects, such as:
- tooth decay, such as chipped, broken, loose, and rotten teeth
- dry mouth
- gum infection
- mouth sores
When the mouth is damaged, chewing, swallowing, and digesting food can be uncomfortable. Some people may avoid eating or drinking altogether to avoid discomfort in the mouth.
Dangers Of Meth-Related Weight Loss
Some may use meth for its weight loss effects. Though weight loss may appear desirable, the weight changes experienced due to meth addiction can be dangerous.
Some long-term effects of meth-related weight loss are:
- stomach, muscle, joint, and cardiovascular damage
- mental health problems, such as meth psychosis and hallucinations
- disrupted sleeping patterns
- increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
- body image issues
- food phobias
- trouble concentrating
- behavioral health issues, such as erratic and violent actions
Even though meth can create a host of problems and dual diagnoses, many still abuse it to lose weight. There are healthier and more enjoyable ways to lose weight.
Some safe ways to lose weight are:
- physical exercise
- a nutritious diet
- joining a sports club
- yoga and tai chi
How To Recover From Meth-Related Weight Loss
Recovering from weight loss due to drug abuse, such as meth or opioid abuse, can be achieved through many different options.
Weight Gain Diet Plans
If you’re in an addiction treatment center, healthcare providers can create a diet plan high in fat, carbohydrates, and protein to replenish a malnourished body.
Treatment programs may also suggest green vegetables to replace vitamins and minerals lost due to drug addiction.
Weight training, calisthenics, and high-intensity workouts can rebuild muscle and repair damaged body parts.
Physical exercise can also better someone’s mood and lift spirits. Endorphins, which are naturally created in the brain, lead to positive feelings.
Mental Health Help
While dieting and physical exercise can help the body recover from weight loss, the best way to treat meth addiction is through long-form treatment.
Drug rehab facilities are great places to medically detox from meth, physically recover from substance use, and learn underlying reasons for drug abuse.
A patient can expect to undergo different approaches while in treatment, such as:
- substance abuse therapy
- holistic activities
- dual diagnosis treatment
- 12-step program exposure
Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts
If you or a loved one are concerned about drastic weight loss from meth and seek help, a New England rehab center can help you to start your recovery.
We offer many treatment approaches at Spring Hill Recovery Center, such as inpatient programs, outpatient options, and aftercare services.
Reach out to one of our drug specialists by calling our helpline to learn more about addiction recovery at Spring Hill.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2023 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- National Institute On Drug Abuse — What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Methamphetamine Use? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-misuse
- University Of Rochester Medical Center — The Menace Of Methamphetamine https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=3005