Physical Effects of Meth

Meth has its effects on the brain, but another shocking aspect is changes that meth causes to physical appearance. The face of meth can get quite ugly, fast. Keep reading for information on the physical effects of meth abuse including meth mouth.


Chronic meth abuse can lead a to a host of problems when it comes to the brain. Indeed, after a while meth inhibits the ability to feel pleasure, as well as lead to paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations and permanent cognitive damage. However, this damage may not always be visible. One of the most shocking things about meth use the physical effects of meth that appear rather dramatically. Indeed, after just two or three years of meth abuse, some users appear decades older than they really are. This is due to the dramatic effect that meth has on the body.

The visible physical effects of meth abuse

One of the issues related to meth is how it changes the way the body functions in terms of repairing itself. Methamphetamine actively destroys blood vessels and body tissue. Blood vessels are damaged and the tissue that is used in the body for repairs is damaged as well. This gets in the way of how the skin and other tissue normally replenishes and reapirs itself. As a result, a meth user's face starts to age. The skin is not replenished, losing its elasticity, and lines appear, since the tissue is damaged.

Other effects related to the body's inability to properly heal itself are also seen. Another physical effect of meth is acne. Acne begins to appear, and it does not disappear as quickly. Additionally, sores might appear and, because the body is not healing itself and the tissues are not replenished, those sores that do appear can remain for months -- or even years. This further disfigures the visage and can lead to scars that might never fully heal. This only compounds, further, the aging effect that meth can have on users.

Sores and physical effects of meth appear all over the body, and not just on the face. One of the main reasons that sores are so common for those addicted to methamphetamine is because users pick at their skin a lot. The hallucinations caused by meth use often take the form of bugs crawling under the skin. As a result meth users often scratch at their skin, in an effort to get at the bugs that are not actually there. This can lead to bloody scratches and sores that may not heal quickly, and that continue to lead to a deteriorating physical appearance.

Meth mouth

One of the most notorious changes related to meth is "meth mouth." Meth mouth is caused in meth users by a combination of factors. First of all, the use of methamphetamine dries out the saliva glands. This means that acid in the mouth, used to help digest food, has a greater effect on the teeth. The teeth are eaten away by the acid. This problem is compounded by reduced hygiene that leads to a neglect of brushing, and that usually means more cavities, and soft teeth prone to breaking.

On top of the declining health of the teeth, meth use often leads users to grind their teeth together. Weakened teeth, which are then ground together, break easily, creating the jagged teeth that are a hallmark of "meth mouth." This can futher change the appearance of a meth user's face, as the teeth change.

Hygiene habits are neglected as well, leading to less bathing, and an increased susceptibility to diseases. All of this, combined with the physical effects of meth, can lead to a face that looks much older, and much less attractive in a short period of time. Because the body builds a tolerance to methamphetamine, meth users have to take more and more of the drug in order to get the same effects of the "rush" that they enjoy. This further compounds the issues related to personal appearance and hygiene, since meth is so addictive.

Related Article: Signs of Meth Use >>