Crystal Meth’s Harm to Women’s Bodies

May 2, 2020

As a woman using crystal meth on occasion, beyond the obvious outcome you’re seeking, you may have noticed some other effects of the drug. These can be serious and harmful effects on your body and your brain. As you’re considering treatment for your use of crystal meth, let’s take a look at the damage it might be doing now and in a future without recovery help.

Crystal meth provides a sense of euphoria to the user while causing numerous harmful side effects, including rotting to teeth and bones, weight loss, and trembling and shaking. Research shows a reduction in gray matter in the brains of people with dependence on crystal meth, affecting the brain’s ability to process information and adapt to changes. While crystal meth may cause some permanent damage to brain, treatment for the addiction to it as well as treatment for a co-occurring mental health disorder is available and a medical detox with trained professionals is strongly recommended.

What Does Crystal Meth Do?

If you have used crystal meth, you have experienced a feeling of euphoria caused an increase of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine affects attention span, learning, movement, and pleasure.

Crystal Meth’s Adverse Effects

Some of the more obvious effects of regular crystal meth may be visible for you now. It shows up as changes in appearance, and those changes can include premature aging and rotting of teeth and gums. Some other effects can be seen in changes to behavior, such as becoming less inhibited, exhibiting repetitive behaviors, or socially isolating. One health risk of the behavior changes is a failure to practice safe sex, which can lead to multiple STDs in the crystal meth user.

Signs of Crystal Meth Abuse

  • Weight loss
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Skin abscesses (particularly at injection sites)
  • Osteoporosis (degradation of teeth and bones)
  • Decreased libido
  • Loss of skin elasticity

Crystal Meth’s Harm to Women’s Bodies

A lesser known yet serious effect on women with a dependence on crystal meth is a reduced amount of gray matter in their brains. Loss of this gray matter can lead to two particular outcomes. One relates to the processing of information received and the other is the ability of the brain to change and adapt following experiences, something known as its “neuroplasticity.”

The harm of crystal meth specific to women’s brains appears to be occurring at a higher rate than it does in men. As neuroplasticity operates differently in the brains of women than it does in men’s brains, research specific to how it impacts women reveals some of the outcomes of beginning crystal meth use at a young age. One significant example is the permanent damage to the brain due to crystal meth’s interference with brain development. This damage to the brain can affect a woman both mentally and physically and even alter emotional and sexual development.

Withdrawal from Crystal Meth Addiction

Withdrawal from crystal meth can lead to a harmful psychosis where the user may attempt to hurt themselves or someone else. Paranoia and hallucinations may accompany this psychosis, and a user in withdrawal may pick at their skin repeatedly. For these reasons, it’s recommended to only begin withdrawal from crystal meth while under the supervision of trained medical professionals.

Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

Women with a dependence on crystal meth are often trauma survivors and benefit from trauma-informed care during a treatment program. In addition to treating the physical dependence, a program offering counseling and medications for co-occurring mental health disorders, including anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression, can provide a comprehensive approach to intervention. Treatment for this kind of drug addiction should last long enough to allow the person in recovery the opportunity to learn new techniques and strategies to be prepared to meet their mental, emotional, physical, and psychological needs.


Hannah’s House is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561.841.1272.

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