Intravenous meth users experience a high within 30 seconds of injecting the drug. The reason for this speedy reaction is because once injected into the bloodstream, meth travels straight to the heart. It causes veins and arteries to constrict, which then reduces blood flow and elevates blood pressure, leading to increased body temperature, faster heartbeat, and possible blood clotting. High doses and frequency of meth use can increase body temperature (called hyperthermia) to dangerous levels, causing convulsions or even death. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports body temperatures as high as 108 degrees Fahrenheit following meth use.7, 13
Long-term users also raise their risk of arrhythmia (meaning irregular heartbeat), heart attacks, and cardiovascular collapse.
Methamphetamine can cause inflammation of the heart lining, and also permanently damage the small blood vessels in the brain, which can lead to stroke (bleeding inside the brain).7, 13
There is overwhelming and ample evidence that smoke from cigarettes and marijuana contains cancer-causing chemicals and damages the lungs in multiple ways. In similar ways, smoking meth harms the lungs; it is probably the most impure form of intake because the burning of the drug actually causes other toxic by-products that have serious negative affects on the lungs. The ingredients used to make meth (i.e., engine starter fluid, drain cleaner) can actually block blood vessels in the lungs, and, as a result, long-term use can permanently reduce the amount of air the lungs are able to take in. 2 31
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