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Meth, or methamphetamine, is a stimulant drug commonly abused in the United States. The quick-acting effects it has on a person’s brain makes it popular among young adults, but what they don’t realize is how it can break down their brain and disrupt its necessary functions. The feeling of pleasure and euphoria it invokes distracts users from the long-term and sometimes life-threatening damage it can have on their mind and body. At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we advise those who struggle with meth to seek meth addiction treatment


The Effects Meth Has on The Brain

Similar to other drugs abused or misused, methamphetamine attacks the brain in different ways that can range in intensity. The effects of meth use on the brain depend on how frequently it is used, how much is being used, whether it’s been mixed with other drugs or alcohol, and on the user’s current health conditions. The frequent use of meth at higher doses usually results in more harm to the brain. 

People who use methamphetamine do so because they enjoy the feeling of euphoria it provides. However, they don’t realize the immediate symptoms that can occur from the smallest doses of meth. These immediate symptoms are a result of how meth works on the brain. At our rehab center in Pennsylvania, we help people recover from meth addiction. 

The negative effects of meth on the brain include short-term symptoms like:1

  • Feeling of pleasure or euphoria
  • Alertness
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hyperthermia


Aside from the possibility of experiencing an overdose, these symptoms may seem harmless at first, but the addictive properties of methamphetamine can cause addiction within their first few uses. The long-term effects of meth are the most destructive to brain function. Meth addiction can cause lasting and permanent damage to the brain.

The long-term effects of meth abuse on the brain include:2

  • Addiction or dependency 
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Disruption in brain function
  • Loss of cognitive function (inability to think clearly or logically)
  • Loss of memory
  • Aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Dental hygiene problems (meth mouth)
  • Severe weight loss
  • Heart disease
  • Increased risk of Parkinson’s disease2


The severity of the negative effects of meth on the brain will vary, but long-term use leads to a greater risk of experiencing these symptoms. Although the more immediate effects of meth may be treatable, the aftermath of prolonged can be permanent and even life-threatening. To avoid these problems, users should undergo detox from methamphetamine as soon as possible. 


Substance abuse is not a joke. To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one, contact us today at 888-280-4763



  1. NIH- What are the immediate (short-term) effects of methamphetamine misuse?
  2. NIH- What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse?
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