Methamphetamine is a potent and highly addictive chemical stimulant that is illicitly manufactured and sold worldwide. Due to the increasing availability and abuse of this drug, it is important to know the side effects and dangers of using methamphetamine. 

Origin of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, commonly referred to today as meth, remained largely unknown after its development in Japan circa 1919. It wasn’t until after WWII that the substance grew in popularity as troops on all fronts used the drug to increase focus, stamina, and energy. Kamikaze pilots famously injected methamphetamine before their suicide missions due to its stimulating properties. After the war, methamphetamine quickly became an internationally known and used substance.

By the 1950s, the drug was a fundamental component in various antidepressants and diet aids, marketed largely towards suburban housewives. Eventually, the destructive properties of methamphetamine became apparent, causing the U.S. government to ban the manufacture, sale, and use of the drug in 1970. Since the ban, methamphetamine remains among the top 5 most addictive and illicitly trafficked drugs in the world. 

Methamphetamine Use in the United States 

As stated by the CDC, 1.6 million Americans have reported using meth between the years of 2015 to 2018 alone. Despite the many drug addiction and prevention resources available today, methamphetamine use continues to rise. As recently as this past year, methamphetamine overdose rates and Emergency Room visits rose significantly due to the introduction of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the onslaught of Covid-19, there has been a 23 percent increase in urine samples taken from various healthcare and clinical settings testing positive for methamphetamine nationwide. The number of fatal methamphetamine overdoses has also increased dramatically due to the presence of fentanyl in meth supply. 

The Methamphetamine High 

Methamphetamine can be smoked, injected, snorted, or taken in pill form. The use of methamphetamine results in a high in which the user experiences: 

Increased alertness

Increased focus

Decreased appetite


Excessive sweating 

Rapid heartbeat 

Sense of invincibility/ grand sense of self

Methamphetamine Side Effects 

Long-term methamphetamine abuse can cause lasting effects and irreversible damage. Such side effects include:

Facial scars or ‘picking’ scars 

Weight loss

Tooth decay 

Brain damage 

Liver damage 


Memory loss 




Treatment For Methamphetamine Addiction 

Despite methamphetamine being a highly addictive and deadly substance, treatment for meth addiction is available. Depending on the stage of an individual’s addiction, they may require detox, an intensive treatment program, or both. Fortunately, Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling with this addiction. 

Services offered: 

Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of methamphetamine. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable. 

Addiction Treatment –  During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready. 

Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility. 

Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.

Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with methamphetamine abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an addiction expert today. 

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