15 Telltale Symptoms Of Meth Use

Meth use has been depicted through pop culture in a multitude of media formats. While Hollywood often takes some liberties with meth use in movies and TV, many of the symptoms that are shown are accurate. When you call 800-605-6597 Who Answers? to learn about treatment options, keep in mind these 15 telltale symptoms of meth use.

Psychological Symptoms


Paranoia and hallucinations are common symptoms of meth use, the NIDA states. This is often a result of changes in the brain on a molecular and chemical level from chronic, long-term usage.


Formication is the sensation of bugs crawling underneath the skin. It’s not necessary considered to be a hallucination or delusion, as a person’s central nervous system may be incorrectly interpreting normal nerve function as result of meth use.

Memory Problems

This involves forgetting well-established memories like birthdays and the development of new memories. In some cases, existing memories may be distorted by meth’s chemical changes in the brain.

Mood Swings

Meth use

Meth users often experience anxiety and cognitive difficulties.

Mood swings are a common symptom of many drugs, not just meth. They can be frequent and unpredictable, and may be mistaken as evidence of a psychological condition like depression or bipolar disorder.

Cognitive Difficulties

Cognitive difficulties are also common symptoms of meth use, and usually develop as a result of other symptoms. They can include impairment of motor skills and difficulty speaking.

Insomnia or other Sleeping Problems

Meth often disrupts the brain’s normal functions and cycles and can prevent a user from being able to sleep or stay asleep.


Anxiety has been reported in users of meth and is another result of the drug’s effect on the chemical and molecular structure of the brain.


Talkativeness, usually as a side effect of meth’s high, is a common meth usage symptom. In many cases, users do not register changes in the frequency or speed of their speech. Sometimes, the person’s words may not make much sense and will simply seem like random nonsense.

Physical Symptoms

Meth Mouth

“Meth Mouth” is the name given to the dental damage caused by meth. It’s usually characterized by severe tooth decay, and tissue damage to the gums, tongue, throat, and lining of the mouth and lips.

Skin Sores

Skin sores, which are usually caused by unnecessary scratching, are also common signs of meth usage. They can also put the user at risk for infection, as they are often given little time to heal before being reopened.

Cardiac Changes

Cardiac changes, such as an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, or an irregular heartbeat are possible with even small doses of meth the DEA says. If left alone, they can cause severe damage to the cardiovascular system and eventual death.

20 Reasons why Meth use is Just a Bad Idea

Respiratory Changes

Respiratory changes like rapid breathing or difficulty breathing.

Appetite Changes

Appetite changes are a frequent symptom of meth use, and usually result in weight loss and symptoms of anorexia as many users lose their appetite completely while high.

Abnormal Physical Activity

Abnormal physical activity, usually due to the increased amount of activity the user may have while using meth, is fairly common. This can also lead to weight loss, as the person will most likely use more energy than their body actually has.


Hyperthermia is where the body feels like it is overheating. Any noticeable changes in body temperature where there is no identifiable explanation may be a possible symptom of meth use.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call 800-605-6597 Who Answers? to learn about what options are available. You’ll be able to speak with one of our caring specialists to learn more information about treating addiction.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW888-673-0988Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.