The possibility of overdosing on meth exists but depends on many factors. Learn the signs and complications of meth abuse then learn how to seek support and treatment for addiction to methamphetamine.
How it Happens
Methamphetamine, like all drugs, can have medicinal application though typically is perceived as an illegal street drug. Unintentional overdoses on meth generally occur in two different ways:
- Acute methamphetamine overdose while taking high doses of medicine
- Chronic methamphetamine overdose when a user continues to abuse meth over a period of time resulting in harmful side-effects
The amount of meth a person must take to overdose varies dependent on several factors. A person’s weight, general health, natural immunities and built-up resistance or tolerance to meth are factors. The purity of meth determines how much is too much.
People who take meth generally experience a sense of euphoria or a rush. This is accompanied by physiological changes such as increased heart rate, blood pressure and widening of the pupils. Complications may occur when taking large amounts of meth and can result in serious damage or death. Overdose can result in the following complications:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Convulsions resulting in death if not treated right away
- High blood pressure
- Hyperthermia (rise in body temperature)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Permanent, stroke-inducing damage to small blood vessels in the brain
- Rapid heartbeat
Individuals who use meth chronically may experience inflammation in the heart lining. Injecting meth can damage blood vessels and cause skin abscesses and increase chances of protracting HIV and hepatitis B and C. Continued use of meth may also result in progressive social dysfunction and difficulty maintaining employment.
People who experience an overdose from meth may recovery but it depends on several factors. The amount of meth ingested can affect recovery results. How quickly medical treatment is administered plays a significant role in whether the individual will recover. Death due to meth overdose is likely for individuals who are exposed to too much of the drug for the system to handle. A person may die from using meth when complications arise and the individual is not able to receive help before it is too late.
Treatment options for meth overdose are not recommended at home as no drugs can reverse the effects of meth and it is not safe or possible to treat at home. A doctor will try to mitigate symptoms of an overdose which might include administration of IV fluids, monitoring of a person’s heart rate and distribution of medication to slow blood pressure and ease anxiety. Suspected overdoses from meth should receive emergency medical care to be safe.
Meth is a highly addictive substance. If your attempts to quit using meth have hit a wall, the Villa can help. We are here to support your recovery with tools, resources and information on treatment for addiction.