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Drugs & Health Blog

Meth Mouth and Crank Bugs: Meth-a-morphosis

Sara Bellum

The SBB has already told you about some of the nasty effects that methamphetamine can have on the body—remember that post about how scavengers won’t even eat the dead bodies of meth users?

Not only can meth mess up your body’s chemical structure and even cause problems with your heart and lungs, it also changes your appearance and behavior. Soon, meth users might not even look or act like themselves.

Bad news for teeth and skin. Ever heard of “meth mouth?” It isn’t pretty. Meth reduces the amount of protective saliva around the teeth. People who use the drug also tend to drink a lot of sugary soda, neglect personal hygiene, grind their teeth, and clench their jaws. The teeth of meth users can eventually fall out-even when doing something as normal as eating a sandwich. As if that’s not bad enough, meth can also cause skin problems-and we’re not just talking about regular zits.

Take a look at these pictures from the Department of Justice—but beware, they are disturbing!

Meth users’ skin can start to look like this because they frequently hallucinate—or strongly imagine—that they’ve got insects creeping on top of or underneath their skin. The person will pick or scratch, trying to get rid of the imaginary “crank bugs.” Soon, the face and arms are covered with open sores that could get infected.

No peace of mind. In addition to the “crank bug” hallucinations, long-term meth use leads to problems such as irritability, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, sleeplessness, confusion, aggressive feelings, violent rages, and depression.

Users may become psychotic and experience paranoia, mood disturbances, and delusions. The paranoia may even make the person think about killing themselves or someone else.

For more information about how methamphetamine could harm your body and mind, read more in-depth information on NIDA DrugFacts.


how disturbing. Not sure how anyone could consider doing meth after seeing those images.

idk whats not to get , these people put chemical in , with no water salt or vitamins to push the sweat thru there skin, and anyone who isnt sleepin for 5days in a row multiple times with a day between is gonna go crazy, hopeiquiy

This is Really Gross, If People Are Smart And Know About meth And How The "Crank Bugs" Then Why Dont they just not let it get to them because they should know better

crystal meth controls the brain and how they think. they cant just "not let it get to them"
I am surprised that everyone still says that the "Crank Bugs" that meth users experience are hallucinations. There is a very real physical thing happening to them which is causing the intense itching. To say they are imagining it is just naïve. Many things can happen to the physical body that may be only determined by a microscopic analysis. When micro capillaries near the surface of the skin dilate unexpectedly or burst, it is very itchy and feels like being bitten by a bug. If you look at where it itches, you can see nothing to cause it. Another very possible cause (in my opinion) is that the meth is causing a die-off of parasites in the user's body that is causing intense, unrelenting itch. Doctors who specialize in this field say that most first world humans have numerous undiagnosed intestinal and blood borne parasites that are rarely uncovered unless blood and stool exams are done. When known anti-parasitic medicines or herbs are taken, the human host will experience a number of symptoms when the parasites are being killed. Google "Herxheimer Reaction". If scavenging animals want nothing to do with a dead meth-poisoned body, it may be that any dormant or active human body parasites are being poisoned, too. If the meth is causing a blood-borne parasite die-off, the microscopic debris can exit through the skin causing intense itching. If intestinal parasites are being attacked by the meth, they give off distress chemicals that flood the system of the host. One of these symptoms is extreme skin itching that is intense and cannot be relieved by normal means. Asking the miserable addicts to just "not let it get to them" is not even reasonable. Could you say this to someone covered in poison ivy or 100 large mosquito bites? I think not. Another possible cause for the itching is scabies, which can be found in less than hygienic conditions. Just because you can't see it with your naked eye, doesn't mean there isn't an actual cause for this.
I've experienced the nightmare of bird mite infestations more than once. I once lived by a duckpond and got them on my legs every time I walked outside, and later on, I picked up a baby bird that fell out of a tree and got them on me again. I also had some kind of scabies-like or mange-like mite on my cats many times. They get into the laundry too, and that was a problem for me because in the past, I didn't do the laundry very often, but I absolutely had to wash the laundry all the time after I got the mites. There are other people on the internet writing about bird mite infestations. They are an unimaginable nightmare to anyone who hasn't experienced it. Some kind of itch mite also lives on public seats, usually seats covered in fabric which cannot be washed, wiped, or removed - I get them badly every time I go to the movie theater, and I get them from sitting on toilet seats. As long as you can keep your laundry clean, and wash your bed blankets a lot, and cover your mattress with a plastic mattress cover, AND cover your car seats, and on and on and on... all of which is hugely expensive and takes a lot of time and effort... then the infestation will be reduced and become tolerable. I imagine a person surviving the chronic poisoning of meth use would not be able to do all those things. Plus, when you scratch these mites, it leaves permanent scars, and I am not a meth user - although I came to this page while looking to see if anyone else on the internet had ever written about "ephedra contamination," which I also experienced - I had to throw away all my belongings after merely touching the SEEDS of the ephedra plant, which I had intended to grow inside my apartment years ago, and the toxic oils of the plant go through your skin, causing all the horrible side effects of ephedra, such as permanent insomnia, absolute insomnia which will never, ever stop unless you wash all the ephedra contamination off of your body. I could not buy anything expensive, and still to this day I keep all my belongings in cardboard boxes and plastic bags, and have very few belongings. The ephedra ruined my life. So I imagine that someone living with meth use, meth contamination, and bird mites WOULD indeed have huge, unhealed wounds all over their skin, and it's NOT a hallucination.
its rare to think your seeing anything without 5days up & typically hearing things comes first . the drug makes u sweat & able to sweat without feeling or seein ur own sweat, this witha cold temp an bad hygiene creates a film on the skin made of chemicals, pops and sugar products not eatin anything but small foods now drys the mouth an digestive system , dry teeth rub an spread bacteria that thrive when not consuming water & food (due to lack of saliva produced for lack)

Say if i knew about crank bugs and then later on i used Meth... would i still have the effect of seeing the crank bugs..????
Thanks:) !

@Abs123--hmmm, interesting question. I really don't know what causes the hallucinations or if you can psyche them out...but, the scary part is with these hallucinations, people really think they're real! So, my point would be since we know about crank bugs and all of the other things that could happen with meth, who would anyone even want to try it?

No, I know from experience..unfortunately, n my is a's frikin but I don't pick, I just rub my eyes till their raw..
yep it is the same
well but of course
I'm glad someone is brave enough today the truth .yes there are meth Biggs fr the poison ,but there are a lot of mites on birds ,mice and others .aost 70%of Americans are infected with one kind or another .our gov and cdc know it and are lying .knowing the truth would cause mass hysteria!

whoa whoa whoa whoa my teeth aint gonna look like that,,,

Aughh thats gross people should never take or abuse drugs in the first place

ewww thats super creepy im gonna have nightmares!

that is just gross!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! people need to STOP DOING DRUGS!!!!! AND ABUSEING THEM!!!!

you guys are worng about it it is the best drug ever

heck yes brother
yep i totally agree with you

they are very distrurbing. i woul dnever do it.

this is the truth im tellin u and its nasty and i dont see why people even consider using it its stupid omg WAT IS OUR WOLD COMING TO!!!!!(:

who would ever do such a thing?


methbaby wat are u talking about meth can kill u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meth is the method in which you consume a particular substance

dont do this ppl~~

what it is good makes a lot of money

das poo

this is horrible.

yum *cough cough*


eww! why would anyone want to throw away their life like that?

i love this website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i think this website is gross and cool at the same time. i think that they should not start to smoke,drink,or do drugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Why would anyone want to start to take meth because they just take meth because they think that meth is going to make thier life much beter but all it does is that it makes your life more misareble.I hate it when people think that they are pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't try ever ever ever ever ever try meth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


thats nasty!!!!! gross


ewwww nasty! my mom did that and died! its not for me!

i have always wanted to try this stuff

Wouldn't recommend it. Meth is very addictive and toxic to nerve cells. Really not worth it.

Yeah, I used meth for 5 years, and I dont look like that. These images are EXTREME people!! And they probably were using MUCH more than just meth. But dont get me wrong, Crystal is horrible and I was terribly parranoid and my teeth ARE MESSED UP!! they look okay but they hurt alot. Just dont do it. It's not worth it, and methbaby is stupid!!!!!

It's good to have this kind of education available for young people. The images above are frightening.

The problem with sites like this is that they think that the only way to prevent people from using is to scare them. Yes, meth has extreme side effects, but I've been around a lot of users and I've only seen one that couldn't deal with the "bug" problem. Additionally, there was a lot more than meth involved. Of the drugs in the scene, Meth is more of a problem because you can function normally when you're on it. People may see this as a positive aspect, but in the end, it is a negative because you incorporate the use of it into every facet of your life.
This becomes a problem because the constant use insidiously changes the way you think without you knowing it. Things that used to bother you before, like paying your bills, or going to work, don't bother you anymore, and it will eventually not bother you that you're not doing either one of these activities.
At a certain point, an event in your life may cause a "break" in your Meth thinking and you realize how lost you are and how much you've lost,....(in my case 50 pounds, relationships, job, my good name).
And then you decide to get it all back, but it's not that easy. All the pain you have postponed now comes back to you ten-fold. I spent the first three weeks off of meth, alternating between sleeping and crying. I thought I was a tough guy, but the kind of horror and dispair that I experience was too much to bear at times.
So yeah, horrible pictures like that may scare people from using the drug, but it's exagerrated. I am clean now and look exactly like I did before I started using. The emotional scars are much more real and painful.

hey dont judge people use that some of them using it coz the have reasons i know what u guys gonna say reason by taking drugs i know that is what u guys gonna say just dont judge them yet show love coz drug user they are the victim they need help

Omg no way:)

After swearing to myself I'd never try this drug- I have tried it three times in the past two weeks; it's not the end of the world. I was up all night once and that's the only real side effect I had. I wouldn't recommend it, because well it's illegal and people should only do drugs of they so chose. These pics are awful. But they didn't come from one time uses either. I smoked marijuana while still high from meth and had panic attacks pretty severly, they lasted about an hour. So I drank water, ate a substantial meal, rested- and am completely fine now. I wish someone would be honest on these websites. Yes, drugs are bad. Yes, my panic attacks were scary- I thought they wouldn't end. Yes there are side effects that could be different for every person. But even when I was growing up all the alcohol & drug addicts would come to school presentations to scare everyone- which it did- but I still wanted to experience them for myself. Just don't do anything against your morals or overdo anything. There is a difference in experimenting and becoming addicted. If you have an addictive personality don't tempt it with trying anything because no one can predict where that road may lead.

I am An Addict i tweek every day up for days i want to shop andboth my husban and i are doing it together and i want to stop but dont know how

@flower Making the decision you need help is the first step. Click on this treatment locator to find a treatment center near you, or call this 24-Hour Toll-Free Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) and ask for help.


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