Smoking Meth: Risks And Dangers Of Smoking Meth

Smoking meth has many short-term effects, such as feelings of euphoria, energy, and decreasing appetite. As addiction grows, people may experience significant weight change, trouble sleeping, and hallucinations.

There are several ways meth is abused, including snorting, injecting, and inhaling. Perhaps the most common form of methamphetamine use is smoking the stimulant drug.

Smoking crystal meth induces many pleasurable short-term effects but has many dangers. People may feel euphoric from the side effects of meth, which can cause a meth addiction.

Below we’ll explore the short and long-term effects and dangers of smoking crystal methamphetamine and why it’s sometimes preferred over other forms of meth abuse.

How Is Meth Smoked?

Meth can be inhaled in various ways. Some place meth on tinfoil, apply heat under the foil, then inhale the vapors through a tube.

The most common way of smoking meth is with a meth pipe, otherwise known as a bubbler. Pipes can be purchased from smoke shops, online, or made from various household items.

It typically looks like a glass pipe with a rounded end where meth is held. There is an opening on the opposite side to inhale the vapors created from lighting the substance.

Meth pipes can also be:

  • aluminum cans
  • light bulbs
  • emptied pens
  • water bottles

Some prefer smoking because you can hotrail meth, which is when someone inhales vapors through the nose and exhales out the mouth.

Physical Complications From Smoking Meth

The brain becomes accustomed to only deriving dopamine from repeated meth use, which can lead to various physical and mental health issues.

The act of smoking meth through the handling of meth bongs and glass pipes has dangers as well, affecting someone’s oral and respiratory systems.

Meth Mouth

Smoking meth can create “meth mouth,” a term used to describe dental problems that come with meth use.

Someone who continuously smokes meth will typically show effects on their face, mouth, teeth, and gums.

This can look like brown, black, or dark yellow teeth and gums, along with missing and chipped teeth. Meth dries the mouth, leading to more sugar created in the body to cope with the dryness.

Excessive sugar on teeth ruins oral health and leads to infections. Someone who smokes meth may also avoid personal hygiene, worsening oral issues.

Meth’s hyperactive effects can also cause one to grind their teeth, leading to jaw, joint, and mouth damage.

Someone with meth mouth may have:

  • tooth decay, such as rotting, chipped, and broken teeth
  • cavities
  • sores in and around the mouth
  • burnt and chapped lips
  • gum infections
  • dry mouth
  • red and swollen gums
  • bad breath

Respiratory Problems

Smoking anything can lead to respiratory problems, especially when it requires high temperatures, such as meth.

The passing of hot vapors through the throat, lungs, and chest affects many parts of the body and creates long-term problems. Below are some respiratory effects of meth.

Constricted Blood Vessels

Meth affects your lungs’ attempts to supply parts of the body with ventilated blood. When the lungs don’t get enough oxygen, blood vessels tighten, leading to low blood supply levels.


Meth can fill air sacs in the lungs with fluid or pus, creating coughing, phlegm, chills, and labored breathing. This can also lead to acute respiratory failure.

Collapsed Lungs

Meth can cause air to seep through the space between your lung and chest wall. When this occurs, a lung can collapse.

Lung Disease

Scarring, or fibrosis, is another effect meth can have on the chest and lung area. As scar tissue on the lungs builds up from meth, the body has a harder time intaking oxygen.

The Effects Of Smoking Meth

The use of methamphetamine fills the brain and central nervous system with an overload of dopamine. It also stops recycling old dopamine, creating an intense rush of euphoria.

Smoking meth creates a more intense high than snorting and can cause someone to go on binges with the illicit drug.

When methamphetamine abuse continues, many start to show physical, mental, and emotional changes.

Short-Term Effects Of Meth

Meth works fairly quickly upon ingestion, especially when smoked. Its effects can last anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the quality of meth and the person’s drug history.

Some short-term effects of meth are:

  • elevated heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • increased body temperature
  • hyperactivity
  • wakefulness
  • anxiety
  • confidence
  • sensitivity to light, touch, and sound
  • paranoia

Long-Term Effects Of Meth

Meth is one of the most addictive drugs because of how strong its effects work in the brain and body. It’s easy to become physically dependent with this form of substance use.

Friends, loved ones, or co-workers may notice someone’s mental state deteriorate as well as bodily changes from long-term use.

Some long-term effects of smoking meth are:

  • meth psychosis
  • weight loss
  • depression
  • trouble with relationships
  • inability to concentrate
  • meth sores
  • mood swings
  • violent behavior
  • hepatitis
  • heart attack
  • disconnection from reality
  • insomnia

Withdrawal Symptoms

Meth withdrawal symptoms start to form when drug use stops. Because meth is a powerful toxin, the body needs time to adjust without its presence.

The result of this detox is uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms. Their strength and longevity usually depend on the person’s history with meth.

Because smoking meth is one of the faster ways to become addicted, withdrawal symptoms can be more severe from this form of abuse.

Some meth withdrawal symptoms are:

  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • weight gain
  • dehydration
  • chills and tremors
  • inability to feel pleasure
  • intense meth cravings

The best way to handle these symptoms is to enter a medical drug detox facility. Healthcare professionals can provide nutrients, vitamins, and care to work through withdrawal.

However, some feel symptoms are too strong and may resort back to smoking meth. With continued use, dangers can exacerbate.

Find Meth Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts

Our rehab center in New England can help you or a loved one recover from the dangers of smoking meth.

At Spring Hill Recovery Center, we offer several treatment approaches, such as inpatient rehabilitation and partial hospitalization programs to start a substance-free life.

Reach out today to speak with one of our specialists and learn more about recovery options.

  1. Health Direct — Ice (Crystal Meth)
  2. Medline Plus — Methamphetamine
  3. Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration — Know The Risks Of Meth

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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