What Does a Meth High Really Feel Like?

Some of those who use meth say crystal meth produces a high like none other. The drug works by flooding the brain with high amounts of dopamine, one of the brain chemicals responsible for feeling pleasure. Dopamine can make you feel euphoric and invincible. As one continues to abuse meth, the intensity of that high gets weaker.

Many meth abusers say they keep trying to chase the intense meth high they got the first time they used meth. They know they’ll never get it, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. This cycle is how you can quickly develop an addiction to meth and tolerance to its pleasurable effects. Reach out to The Right Step at 17135283709 today to learn how a meth addiction treatment program can help you kick the habit for good.

How People Get High on Meth

Crystal meth is a common name for the street drug methamphetamine. Methamphetamine users experience similar mental and physical changes while “high,” regardless of the form of meth they take.

When you smoke or inject meth, it reaches your brain much faster than swallowing or snorting it. Some meth abusers prefer crushing it into a powder and injecting it into their veins. Meth abusers may also swallow or snort meth. These methods also produce a much more powerful “high.”

What Meth Highs and Crashes Are Like

Meth causes euphoria by driving up levels of the feel-good chemical dopamine. This chemical also increases when you eat foods you like or have sex. However, crystal meth triggers more significant increases than these activities. Crystal meth use triggers other mental changes as well. You may feel more alert and awake while “high.” You may feel like you can focus better. You can feel less of a need for food. The highs and lows of meth can be intense. When you’re addicted to meth, you go through this cycle repeatedly. The stages of a meth high are the rush, the high, the binge, tweaking, and then the crash.

The Rush

You only experience a “meth rush” if you smoke or inject the drug. It happens in the first minutes after taking it and can last a few minutes to an hour. When meth enters your system quickly, the gland that produces adrenaline is activated. It floods your body with adrenaline. Paired with excessive dopamine, adrenaline can create intense physical sensations. During a meth rush, your breathing and heart rate increase, and you may feel shaky. You also feel a powerful euphoria.

The High

After the euphoria, meth effects create a pleasurable high. This can last from a few hours to half a day, depending on the amount of meth and how it was taken. Meth intoxication can make you feel confident and aggressive. You may be talkative and energetic. Some meth abusers get into fights and interrupt people when high. The high of meth can make you restless and suppress your appetite. Your body rapidly responds to the presence of crystal meth. Since meth is a stimulant, the physical effects are similar to other stimulant drugs. They may include increases in the following:

  • Breathing rate
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Physical activity

Some of the physical effects of a crystal meth high are dangerous. For example, your heartbeat may grow unsteady or irregular. If you take too much meth, you can develop a potentially life-threatening elevation in your average body temperature.

You can also go into seizures or convulsions. The euphoria of a meth high can also lead to poor decision-making. You may have unprotected sex, putting you at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. You may place yourself in dangerous situations like driving a car during meth intoxication or taking extreme risks because you feel invincible.

The Binge

People addicted to methamphetamine try to make the meth high last as long as possible by binging on the drug. Meth binges may last a few days to a couple of weeks. During a meth binge, you won’t achieve the intensity of the first high. Every time you take meth after the first injection of a binge, the high decreases until you’re no longer able to feel it. You’ll also start experiencing some tweaking symptoms. Meth abusers usually binge on meth to avoid tweaking, but it eventually comes.


When a meth addict is portrayed on television, it’s often in the tweaking phase. Tweaking is when you’ve binged on meth until your body can no longer get high. You’ve severely drained your dopamine supply and physically exhausted your body. Common symptoms of tweaking include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Panic
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Hallucinating sounds
  • Feeling like bugs are crawling on you (known as meth bugs or crank bugs)
  • Movement problems
  • Violent behavior

Many methamphetamine abusers try to cope with tweaking by abusing alcohol or other drugs. This can make recovering from the effects of meth even harder, fueling more meth use.

The Crash

After a meth binge, you’ll inevitably crash. All your energy is depleted, and you can’t do much of anything. This can continue for about three days. Each time you binge and crash, your “normal state” worsens. Taking crystal meth over and over can cause the brain to rewire. It stops being able to produce regular amounts of dopamine on its own. It also thinks it needs excessive amounts of dopamine to function. When crystal meth abusers get used to having meth in their systems, they no longer feel as “high” as they used to when they take any amount of methamphetamine.

To get the desired high, they keep increasing their meth intake. In time, this cycle repeats itself. The ongoing spiral of rising tolerance and increasing intake leads to meth addiction. People with meth addiction usually have meth withdrawal symptoms when they go without the drug for a while.

Why Treatment Is Important

According to one study, 61% of meth users relapsed within a year of quitting. However, addiction recovery from meth is possible with determination and proper treatment. Time in an inpatient addiction treatment center may be necessary. You’ll have space to focus on yourself, and you’ll get distance from triggers to use substances. Substance abuse treatment teaches coping skills that help you stay sober in everyday life.

Drug rehab centers also address co-occurring disorders; these are mental health issues that may fuel drug addiction. People with meth addictions sometimes also have mental health issues like:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Major depression or mild, chronic depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Other substance issues like alcohol abuse and mixing drugs

Conditions like depression can come about because of changes in dopamine from meth effects. Other times, you may already have a mental health disorder before using drugs or alcohol. Meth abuse may be your way of coping with mental disorder symptoms. Drug rehab centers have psychiatric specialists and provide peer support. They’re able to treat mental health symptoms appropriately.

Get Effective Meth Addiction Treatment at The Right Step

If meth addiction has overtaken your life, break the cycle today. Contact us at 17135283709 or fill out our online form to speak to an addiction treatment specialist about your options. We can help you live the life you want, free of addiction. All you have to do is take the first step.

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