Home » Blog » Meth and Physical Appearance: Signs of Abuse and Treatment

Meth and Physical Appearance: Signs of Abuse and Treatment

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug that has surged in popularity over the years due to the euphoric effects and increased alertness experienced while under the influence of this drug.

Sadly, it is very easy to become addicted to meth. Physical side effects like changes in physical appearance from meth are a side effect of abuse.

Meth Mouth

Meth mouth is the result of meth abuse that affects overall oral health. People who use the drug regularly often experience tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and periodontal disease, the advanced stages of gum disease. 

Facial Meth Sores

Another sign of meth abuse is the appearance of facial sores and open wounds on the face. One of the side effects of using meth is experiencing intense itching and a sensation of bugs crawling under the skin, including the face. The constant scratching and picking of sores on the face causes them to become infected and makes it harder for them to heal. 

Wounds in the Arms

Meth users typically inject it into the veins in the arms. The injection locations usually look like small red dots in clusters. There can also be open wounds and sores on the arms. Additionally, the same itching and bug-crawling sensations can also occur near injection sites, causing further wounds in the arms

Track Marks

Continued meth use causes track marks to appear from the injection locations. These marks are a visual indication someone is abusing meth and appear as oddly shaped scars. There can be bruising around the track marks, especially when the same location is used continuously to inject meth. Track marks can be found on the arms, hands, feet, legs, and other areas of the body. 


Abscesses are infected, swollen areas filled with pus. These develop when meth users inject it in their arms using non-sterile needles. The abscesses normally appear at injection sites. They can be painful and have an appearance that is red with swollen lumps. Untreated abscesses can lead to infection and severe tissue damage. 

Rapid Weight Loss

One of the more noticeable meth and physical appearance changes is rapid and significant weight loss. Meth is a stimulant, so it suppresses the appetite while increasing metabolism. This causes the body to use fat stores. Combined with poor nutrition, rapid weight loss can have serious health consequences. 


Prolonged meth use causes premature aging–a common theme between meth and physical. The result makes people look much older than their actual age. The accelerated aging is often called meth skin because it features characters such as:

  • Sunken cheeks
  • Sagging and loose skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Dulled complexion

How Meth Addiction Starts

Meth addiction starts similar to other substance use disorders. Some people might want to experiment with the drug or give in to peer pressure to try it. Other people may turn to meth to cope with stress and other mental health issues or for an energy boost. 

Unfortunately, the euphoric and increased awareness meth causes are often pleasurable for the user. As such, the body remembers these sensations as positive behaviors, which then causes cravings for meth to develop and encourages future meth use. 

Then, the more often meth is used, tolerance to the drug builds, so its effects are diminished. This leads to a cycle where meth users have to increase their dosage levels to experience the desired effects until tolerance increases. Eventually, the body becomes dependent on meth just to function, making it very challenging to quit. 

Meth Withdrawal and Treatment

Meth withdrawal is the unpleasurable symptoms experienced when the drug wears off, as well as when someone attempts to stop meth use. Individuals experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms, including increased appetite, cravings, fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, and disturbed sleep patterns. Whenever these symptoms start, people use more of the drug to make them stop. As a result, quitting meth without medical supervision is rarely successful. 

Treatment for meth addiction begins with medically supervised detoxification. It is crucial that meth detox be medically monitored to help safely manage withdrawal symptoms and receive the necessary support. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is often used as well to help alleviate the more severe withdrawal symptoms. MAT can also be used longer-term as part of an effective recovery plan to reduce the risk of relapse. 

During detox, many people will also begin individual and group therapy sessions that help them learn more about their addiction and its causes and develop a peer support network. As detox treatment nears its end, people can transition to addiction treatment as part of an ongoing personalized recovery plan

It is essential to remember detox alone does not address all the underlying psychological and emotional issues associated with meth abuse. Without continued treatment, the chances of relapse are significant. Ongoing treatment is the only way to ensure recovery efforts are successful. 

Explore Meth Detox Services in Nashville, TN

You are not alone when you are ready to take the first step to meth detox and recovery. At Detox Nashville, we will be with you every step of the way. Our experienced team understands the challenges faced when attempting to quit meth. We provide a safe, caring, and supportive environment, with medically supervised detox to help you lay a solid foundation for recovery.

Contact us today to start the path to a brighter, meth-free future.

24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now.

24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now.