Methamphetamine use comes with many dangers. What are these, and are there some additional ones when it comes to snorting meth?

What Is Meth?

As a derivative of amphetamine, methamphetamine (meth) is a powerful stimulant, also categorized as a psychostimulant. While amphetamines were intended for use in bronchial inhalers, nasal decongestants, weight control, and the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder, abusing stimulant drugs like methamphetamine is dangerous.

Due to its high potential for abuse and developing physical dependence, meth is a controlled substance. It affects the central nervous system and can cause dangerous increases in certain body functions such as heart and breathing rates, blood pressure, and body temperature.

The substance comes in several forms. The most common methods of abusing meth are snorting and smoking, while intravenous injection also occurs. Crystal meth can be ground into fine particles to become an odorless white powder, which people typically snort or mix with tobacco or marijuana to smoke, but is also soluble in water or alcohol.

Meth Addiction

Meth Addiction

Usually, regular substance abuse makes a person more prone to developing an addiction. But meth is a highly addictive drug, and with as little as one dose, it can lead to addiction. In 2020, 2.5 million Americans aged 12 or older reported having used the drug within the year, while the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported a total of 1.5 million people with a meth use disorder in the same year.

What Makes Meth so Addictive?

A rush of dopamine – the chemical related to feelings of pleasure, inducing motivation, processing reward, learning, and memory retention – is caused by taking meth. This rush is much higher than the amount of dopamine the brain naturally produces, leading a person to crave the drug as they wish to keep experiencing pleasurable feelings.

Additionally, attempts to reduce or stop the use of meth come with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These include both physical and emotional effects that occur as the body attempts to adjust to the absence of the drug that it has become used to. This can keep someone from abstaining, and rather cause them to fall back into meth abuse. A person suffering from meth addiction often requires addiction treatment to overcome it.

While the short-term effects of meth addiction are beyond enough to cause concern, the long-term effects are equally worrying.

Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

When snorting meth, people may barely eat while using as a decreased appetite is one short-term effect. At the same time, it can cause cravings for sugar, so a person may consume a lot of sugary food or beverages. The lining of the stomach is often damaged by meth abuse, causing fewer nutrients to be absorbed, while the manner in which the liver processes nutrients is also altered. Altogether, these factors cause the effect of malnutrition.

The powerfully addictive stimulant has a substantial effect on the central nervous system. It can trick the body and the brain into thinking that it has unlimited stamina, producing bursts of euphoria and energy. Bursts from snorting methamphetamine may cause someone to feel more awake, intensely excited, and very attentive, with a faster heart rate and high blood pressure.

But in fact, the drug is draining the energy reserves critical for maintaining vital organs. The consequence is severe depression when a person comes down from a meth high. They may feel irritable, agitated, anxious, or even paranoid.

Other short-term effects include:

  • Extreme sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Engaging in meaningless, repetitive tasks
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sleeplessness
  • Uncontrolled jaw clenching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Erratic, unpredictable behavior

Meth users may feel short-term effects such as increased alertness and energy for several hours. A false sense of power, invincibility, or confidence experienced in the high often leads to poor decision-making, causing people to take risks they would not normally do if they were sober.

Lasting Effects

Chronic methamphetamine abuse can lead to a range of dangerous psychological and physical effects. Over time, meth use can cause severe damage to the circulatory, renal, respiratory, and nervous systems.

These include:

  • Heart attack or heart complications
  • Brain damage
  • Intense paranoia
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Weight loss
  • Rages that result in violent episodes

Meth use can cause damage to the oral cavity. A term used to describe this is called meth mouth, which includes severe gum sores, tooth loss, widespread tooth decay, and chronic dry mouth. Meth mouth can happen through any method of taking the drug.

The Dangers of Snorting Meth

The Dangers of Snorting Meth

A dangerous assumption about snorting methamphetamine is that because it leads to less intense effects, addiction, adverse effects, and overdose is less likely.

But meth is powerful regardless of how it is taken, and snorting methamphetamine will still place a person at risk for the negative short-term effects that exist when it is injected intravenously or smoked. The detrimental long-lasting effects of smoking meth, snorting, or injecting it are also similar, but some additional dangers are associated with snorting.

Risk of Addiction

Snorting methamphetamine creates a faster effect than oral ingestion, meaning that a person may experience a high in five minutes instead of twenty. Snorting meth also does not usually cause the intense rush that occurs with other methods of use, but these factors increase the risk of physical dependence or addiction. It causes users to snort more frequently and higher amounts of the substance.

Similar to other stimulants, meth is often abused in a ‘binge and crash’ pattern. This is because the euphoria produced by methamphetamine use disappears before the concentration of it in the blood falls. Users will try to maintain the high by taking more and more of the drug, placing them at an increased risk of addiction and overdose.

Damage to Nasal Tissues

Snorting meth causes a lot of damage to the sinus cavity. The very sensitive mucus membranes in the nose absorb snorted drugs, but over time may become dry and worn. The result is chronic bloody or runny noses, damage to the lining of the nose and its tissues, and sinus infections. Chronic meth snorting may cause a person to lose their sense of smell or their ability to breathe through their nostrils.

Contracting Infections

Infections like Hepatitis C are usually contracted by coming into contact with infected blood. Snorting meth may be considered less dangerous than injecting it in this regard, but it still comes with risk. People snort meth by using tools and sharing tools with anyone who has had highly common nosebleeds places a person at high risk for exposure.

Risk of Cardiac Events

An elevated blood pressure, and irregular and faster heart rate place anyone snorting meth at an increased risk for cardiac complications. This can include suffering from a stroke, cardiac arrest, or a heart attack.

Long-term Effects of Snorting Meth

Because of the ‘binge’ nature of taking methamphetamine, one of the severe effects of snorting meth is a condition known as tweaking. This is both a physical and psychological state, typically following a meth binge when a person continues to take the drug to delay coming down from it.

Prolonged use of methamphetamine results in a person being unable to experience a high, despite binging, and their intense cravings for the drug can no longer be satisfied. Tweaking comes with days of insomnia and a loss of appetite, as well as psychotic symptoms, such as altered perceptions, delusions, and hallucinations.

A person may sleep for days after tweaking, which is considered a ‘crash’. The crash is usually followed by extreme hunger, thirst, and exhaustion as the body attempts to re-balance after so much exposure to the drug.

Chronic users also sometimes develop sores on their bodies from scratching their ‘itchy skin’. This is due to a condition known as ‘meth mites’ or ‘crank bugs’, in which a person feels like bugs are crawling under their skin.

Apart from delusions, the lasting effects of methamphetamine can include problems with memory and the ability to learn, mood swings, and suicidal thoughts.

Treatment Facilities

Treatment Facilities

If you or a loved one wants to stop snorting meth, NP Addiction can help. We understand that addiction is personal and individual, which is why our highly trained clinical team uses various treatment therapies to design a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Our caring team will provide you with 24/7 guidance, support, and help as you recover in our comfortable and tropical location.

With our world-class addiction treatment programs, you will be able to truly address both your addiction and your mental health with the support of experienced addiction professionals. NP Addiction can help you start your recovery journey, today.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team

RELATED ARTICLES

A person suffering from anxiety disorder because they never found out the answer to the question: "what is an anxiety disorder"
Mental Health

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

And do I have an anxiety disorder? Sweaty palms. Rapid breath. Racing heartbeat. A feeling like you can’t get enough breath? Like the walls are

Read More »

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine