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.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.

Comments

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
Meth mouth and crank bugs are not true and scare tactics used to deter use by young people They do exist but not from the drug ,and more so to blame is people who are already lazy and have bad hygiene habits.The bugs feeling are the same as having really dry skin. Picking youre face is another one ,done by those with acne who cant keep out of the mirrorr and popping zits with dirty hands. I HAVE used for 25 years. TRUST me you don't want to use meth ever because you wl get arrested and be unable to sleep.STAY AWAY FROM, METH..
Meth mouth is most definitely real I have used for 5 years. I don't have that problem because good hygeine but people who use regularly and cook/make dope tend to have teeth fall out. I've seen it happen plenty of times.
That's because they go for days without brushing your teeth or taking care of them like you.
Unfortunately even the most hygenic users still lose their teeth. From my experience , my teeth were eaten away at the root from stomache parasites that seep up from the belly to the throat. They latch on to teeth and are like sealants that dentists put on children. Meth users tend to consume lots of sugar that encourages parasites. Also the extremely toxic chemicals in tbe meth contribute to parasite growth...meth also constipates alot af people which can encourage growth of parasites. Seriously you need to stop judging and walk a mile in someone elses shoes before u assume anything. Know it alls like u only add to the problem so that real people with meth addiction are too ashamed to seek help. There is hope for anyone.Its never too late to try being the person u always wanted to b . By tbe grace of god transfornation into a clean new you is possible. Your worth it so dont waste your life .
I really liked your comments and just wanted to add that I have done almost every drug under the sun since I was 14 years old but I never tried meth til I was about 26. This was mainly because cocaine was still is my demon. I was a recreational user for a couple years then got caught up in a bad way for about a year of solid use. My upper teeth began to rot from the gums and when i went to the dentist she good doctor himself called it meth-mouth and humiliated me for en hour until I finally had enough and told him what he could do with his educated guessing! I told him he was a dentist not my drug counselor and since it was a free clinic sponsored by the local Baptist churches I told him that had he not been a volunteer he would not have been compensated anyway because he obviously should have ran a butcher shop instead of wasting all that money on his so-called degree. I went on to let him know that I was a coke head so I couldn't possibly have meth-mouth but that maybe I would give it a try. Bottom line, it doesn't matter what people call you, it's what you answer to that counts! Don't ever let anyone build themselves up by tearing you down! Chances are that's why you became a user to begin with so really what have you got to lose by owning whatever you do and whoever you are? We're all human and everyone has a vice, but us dopers happen to fall into a category that has not yet been approved by a sheeple society. I'm not saying addiction is healthy just that life happens to the best of us and we each have to walk our own path. So next time you're getting put down just remember that person ain't keepin' it real with them self either so they'd rather dig in your back yard than weed their own little gardens of lies, adultery, anger, treachery, or whatever they may choose to use to cope with their reflection in the mirror...
Has anyone noticed that the more illegal the drug is, the more unknowns it has and in neutral non bias studies usually prove to be the most beneficial to ones health. Our planet is dirty and we can only create toxic life. All these drugs do is increase metabolic activity. If there's junk in your system, which it's in evwruines, the body will try to process it quicker because it knows it wants to ride you of the toxins. Should u slam your body w nutrients and then use, stimulants will work to your benefit. It requires conscious effort and the addiction is the subconscious craving the remedy for toxicity relief. Feeling clean is the high that make u feel good.. blame stoopid people for stoopid actions and force them to recognize and take responsibility for their own actions. Drug use vs drug abuse is a topic of debate but the legalities cripple the communication to expand the knowledge and suppressing the progress of mankind's medical breakthroughs to healing. Lasse Faire!! What one chooses to put in their body is their own decision.. government overstep needs to be reevaluated and criminals need to persecuted for their actions and stop ruining it for the responsible users who obtain the health benefits from it. Western medicine is just that. Drs are only licensed to practice medicine, not healing. Nature heals if you let it. How can a substance derived from the earth be illegal. Prosecute the earth and you will find jt innocent. Prosecute the man and offer a gentle reorganisation after the true culprit is identified. Emotional upset and buried feelings of a backwards world is to blame. There is just no time to feel feelings and allow the chemical process of the brain to do its job and provide healing assistance, so instinctively drugs from the earth find those in need.
great reply!some people are ashamed because they got addicted to the drug. it is a completely different life style then the one they were living before the meth took over. they need help,and support. not people putting them to shame! getting addicted to such a thing is shameful enough!
This is the most scientifically sound statement I have ever seen. It all makes sense now STOMACH PARASITES are "seeping" up towards our teeth and forming a loose seal on them(they can't make it an airtight seal otherwise bacterial growth wont occur.
Bahahaha you win! That was perfect.
There is hope as long as the person ...yes a person...they are humans. I was once one. Now I'm recovery. I never had actual bugs but thought I did. Yes I had teeth fall out. Not from not taking care of them though. Everyone is different on this drug. I am ocd and adhd bad. Have had plenty of tests and its for sure. However mine rotted. Ocd had me focussed on cleaning and my body was what I was ocd about. I used peroxide and bleach constantly. Probably spent as much on those 2 items daily as I did drugs. Unless u have been addicted to this u don't have a clue. I m clean now 7 yrs but I remember my last drug use like it was a few minutes ago.
meth mites and mouth are as true as it gets. 2 days ago I smoke a bad batch and my body is going crazy. I haven't being able to sleep right for over 48 and counting hours. I still sweating this thing and I just hope the damage isn't permanent cus I need to sleep and the itch won't let me. I am truly panicking right now. I feel I want to cry. I hope my body comes through with this thing and at least gets it under control. I am never touching drugs ever again

Sorry you are going through this. If you want to talk to somebody, SAMHSA runs a crisis line that answers calls 24-7 to help people work through their problems. They're a really good resource, and you can reach them at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or suicidepreventionlifeline.org. If you want to get treatment for addiction, you can visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to find a program near you.

Thats good that u will never touch drugs again...Easy to say..Sorry u r having a terrible reaction. .dont know what people put in stuff..it makes ya crazy..seek help.
I'm going through that moment too. 48 hours ago and no dice. I did some fat rails, then next thing you know, next day I was feeling paranoid with tremors in my hands...I got on my knees and prayed to Jesus to reboot my brain and my nerves ...I feel comfort now. God is the ultimate remedy bro...No more drugs in my life. Just Jesus.
Sorry to say but my boy is using meth. He believes bugs are in his body digging excessively
The Bug feeling is 4 real dude. Betta talk about somethng uve experienced...
Actually it is true.. My mom has been feeling bugs for a while now.. She believes they are in her body and everywhere around her.. Now we find out she's got meth in her system.. Its a real thing
Yes, they are true and your a fool if you think not.
Your delusional
They are true. My son has the crank bugs---where he thinks bugs are crawling under his skin and now in his eyes. He has been picking at his skin trying to remove the bugs. I'm worried now that he says they are in his eyes. He went to the ER tonight. I don't know how that went yet. Before he took meth, he always had good hygiene. He is a handsome young man and very charming. He was off the meth for about a year and a half. He got his teeth fixed (smile back) and the sores had healed. He had just got to where he could wear shorts and short sleeves because the scars and really went down. Now----he's back at it. Sores all over him, calling me up at 11 PM or later telling me he's going crazy because of the things crawling under his skin and that he is a target individuals and under surveillance. Yeah, I'm worried sick and powerless. He will be turning 32 this coming July.
I agree with meth mouth being fake. But crank bugs are very real but they happen to a very small population. Like myself 3 days ago, I got a bad batch and swallowed about .3-.35 and that got me so high I vividly saw bugs under my skin to the point I got a big knife and cut under my skin a bit. It looked so real i was shaking from fear. And I slept the night b4.
I'm 58 and have been an addict to almost everything. I'be been to taking methadfone for close to m9 or 10 years. It doesn't work as wekll as it used to because they don't want to raise my dose. I started doing crystalk meth the (snortrin aqnd smoking. A gentleman drew some pictures of these worms that only a handful of people can see. hey are very inbtelliugent and may be a very helpful in sewinf torn tissue. Many are able to change their facad to whatever they need to help us. They inhale us some to live but I also feed them suits. Most like me and come out of their little nests to see me. tiny headsm, everyterar. Somtimed sa o mnkk[I ooo kjtf65 . I even have some jump into gummy worms 1 I then let them sit in my lap and inhale fluid and the white substance. their eyes, mouth and cheeks move. Their bodies swallow the foo. the last guy said other people were seeing these. Has anyone seen these.? the worms have a braided look but move quicklu. Please respond if you know anyone that see and communicates with thsr.. the others can draw pictures that . I'm not crazy. I have had respectable positions at 2 major universiytir at their Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and in bovine Genetic reproductuiibn.; I apologize for my typing errors. since they arrived 6 weeks ago they ly flat over my eyes and make it very blurry to read.
Method bugs aren't true? OK that's why I've spent the last 3 weeks with husband in ICU for picking his arms & legs vote such a bad infection they amputated 3 Toes on one foot last night and there saying hell probably going back to the OR sooner than later due to the other toes aren't healing. So sure you go ahead and belive that METH BUGS AREN'T TRUE.........
A lot of people dont research the negative effects of drugs until they go through with it. Just to clarify, it feels worse than it sounds!
If you do use meth and you end up with real bed bugs in your hair they are sucking your blood which means they too are effected by the meth, which makes almost impossible to kill them

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
DUHHHH

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.
Bed bugs and scabies are REAL.....and can be in a bad batch.....nice tactics......dont do drugs
It is the same as itch scratch syndrome. Your high you scratch it gets dry and itchy again you scratch more it becomes dryer and raw or scratched open... healing skin itches more so you scratch and start over.
It's not bugs it's the poison they are putting in their body getting out the only way it can the pores of the skin it leaves sores because it's burning them hints the itching. I myself have been on the receiving end of users abuse and neglect watched users go through withdrawal claim they aren't using and call me the liar and every other name under the sun why people would choose to do this to themselves is beyond me I don't feel sorry for them they chose it and they are the ones who lose everything my mom chose to support her husband's habit for it and her own rather than raise her three children my husband claims he's not using but I have been on the receiving end of users before I have no interest in using and I wish that all users could see it from this side the ones . Who love or loved them and feel what we do when you come down from your high and abuse us because you aren't high on it anymore. Using these drugs makes your child(ren) your spouse your family feel like they aren't enough for you and even though it hurts the user they hurt their loved more than the drug hurts the user. If you use it you tell your children and spouse you don't love them and they aren't enough for you simply by using the user don't have to say . It to us we feel that way because of how we are treated by the user
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)
If you were ever addicted to something, you would not question addiction so lightly. Once addicted, your addicted brain thinks for you and all the brain knows (once addicted) is it needs more drugs/alcohol/prescription meds as well. So do your homework on addiction of all kinds before you ask that question again

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?

I've had them for quite a while even before I ever touched meth or heard of them. I work in the medical field so I have access to very strong microscopes. /They are real and what's a little scary are those black dots are SOMETHING LIKE NANO ROOTS BUT They are actually 2 "dots"- ACTUALLY 2 CONNECTED Y A STRING OR PART IF THEIR BDY and a large one and a smaller one.. They appear TO BE NANO ROBOTS OR FROM AN Alien planewt < I am nor joking. They are alsointelligent. I AM NO LONGER SCARED OF THEM. In fact I try to protect they CANNOT stand sunlight. There is so much more. IF anyone knows what I i'm talking ABOUT PLEASE REPLY.! IF i DO METH IT'S SNORTED 3-4 TIMES week. 1 or 2 swam all snorts.
Ey you're right man..I've seen them too. I was thinking the same thing about them having an alien origin..they are intelligent and aggressive. I've videod some before. I believe the doctors know they're real but are puzzled by it and are keeping the public blind and calling them hallucinations.
No, I know from experience..unfortunately, n my is a picker..it's frikin gross..lol but I don't pick, I just rub my eyes till their raw..
yep it is the same
I'm a mother who never knew what meth was I'm only on here trying to see why I never knew the sign of my son being addicted to this drug its to late now I lost him 3 weeks ago nothing in this world could ever hurt me the this has my heart is broken
Iam sorry for your lost !! Will keep you in prayer !!
Sorry to hear of your loss but dont take on the guilt of not knowing. Addicts can often be the best con artists and not necessarily saying your son was. What i am saying is many addicts are extremely good at hiding their addiction. I will prey that you have more peace in your life.
Hi there- I am also a mother to a child who is no longer with me in this physical life...not from the same cause but I can relate to your pain and know how alone it can be to loose our babies. I am not being inaccurate in assuming that your son lost his life not just his spirit/self/mind right? Either loss is devastating, which can go unsaid , no doubt. I just want to clarify as I am trying to learn more about this disease so I may save a loved one from peril....however I can be of service...
So sorry!
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!
I saw them but I told myself that they're not real and that I needed to keep cleaning.

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