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effects of meth
What is Meth

Meth, is short for Methamphetamine is an amphetamine-type stimulant drug sometimes called nyarbi.

Information about Meth:

Meth affects the way you think, feel and behave

Effects can come on straight away or take longer depending on how you have taken it. The effects last from 12 to 24 hours.

You can become dependent on meth very quickly. If you use meth regularly and then stop suddenly, you will experience withdrawal symptoms - which can be dangerous and painful. Always seek help when you are stopping meth use.

Meth puts pressure on the whole community.

Short Term Effects

Short term effects can include:

  • Feeling happy and brave, and you think you are really deadly. This can lead you to make poor choices and do things you wouldn't normally do (eg. have unsafe sex, drive dangerously, break the law).
  • You have lots of energy and your heart beats faster and your pupils dilate (get bigger).
  • You talk a lot. Some people might think you are talking too much.
  • You stop eating because you do not feel hungry and you may get stomach cramps.
  • Feel hot and sweaty or hot and cold.
  • You may feel worried (anxious), restless, fearful, suspicious or jealous. This could make you aggressive.
  • You may see and hear things that aren't there and your thoughts can become muddled up.
  • Sleeping is difficult, sometimes people stay awake for days (1-3 days).
  • Meth increases your blood pressure and this can cause heart problems or a stroke (a bleed in the brain).
  • You can have very bad thoughts or feelings, which can last from a few hours to many weeks. It doesn't matter if you are a first time user or a long term user.
Long Term Effects

If you use meth for a long period of time you may experience:

  • Mood swings - feel sad or mixed up, be worried or become angry with no warning. Your family and friends might be worried about you and scared by the changes in your behaviour. They may start to see you differently.
  • You can become unhealthy.
  • Get sick very easily because your body is run down.
  • You may have strange thoughts and your thinking can become tangled and unclear.
  • You may get paranoid (fearful, jealous and suspicious). When someone gets paranoid they may think people are after them.
  • Some people may experience psychosis (seeing or hearing things that aren't there).
  • Meth may cause you to have a stroke or a heart attack and this can cause long term health problems or even death. 
  • If you stop using meth after a long time, you will feel very uncomfortable or down. These feelings are known as withdrawal and can last for several days but will get better in time.
  • Meth costs lots of money and this can put pressure on families and communities.

Reducing Harm

There is no safe level of meth use.

If you do choose to use meth:

  • Have a trusted family member or friend around to stay in a safe place.
  • Don't mix meth with other drugs as this can lead to an overdose.
  • Never drive when using meth.
  • Drink small amounts of water regularly to replace fluid you lose from sweating.
  • Eat lots of healthy food.
  • Always have safe sex and always use a condom.
  • If injecting meth, always use a clean syringe and injecting gear.
  • Never share equipment.
  • If smoking meth, be careful not to burn yourself.
  • Make sure you get lots of sleep as rest is very important.
  • Take a break from using meth.
  • Reach out for help and support when you feel overwhelmed.

Looking after Family and Friends

  • Stay together
  • If someone becomes very fearful or is acting paranoid, keep them calm and do not leave them alone.
  • If someone experiences any bad effects or passes out make sure you call and ambulance straight way. Dial triple zero (000).

If someone has passed out, put them on their side(recovery position) make sure they can breathe:

  • Dial triple zero (000) for an ambulance.
  • Stay with your friend/family until the ambulance arrives.

Strong Spirit Strong Mind Resource:

Culturally secure methamphetamines brochure.

Inner Spirit Model

Our inner spirit is the centre of our being and emotions.
When our spirit feels strong our mind feels strong.
When our spirit feels tangled our mind feels tangled.
Strong inner spirit is what keeps people healthy and keeps them connected together.
Strong inner spirit keeps our family strong, our community strong and our country alive.
Alcohol and other drugs can tangle your spirit and weaken your spirit and your connections with family, community and country.

Getting Help and Information

If you are thinking about reducing your drug use you might like some help or information.

If you are worried about somebody and how their drug use is affecting you and your family, perhaps you would like some help.

It may not be easy reducing your drug use but your friends, family and other people in your community can support you to make changes.

If you would like further information, please head to our services help and support page below.