What Does Meth Taste Like? Risks and Effects of Meth

Using Meth doesn’t only harm your life, but your loved ones’ lives as well. Read more about the different treatment options for you or your loved ones struggling with meth abuse.

What Does Meth Taste Like?

Meth is short for methamphetamine, a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The legal version of meth, Desoxyn, can be prescribed to obese patients to help them lose weight. The street version of meth and crystal meth, which is dangerous and highly addictive, is illegal. 

Knowing what meth could taste like when, snorted, smoked, or taken orally can reveal what meth is made of. People may be familiar with what it looks like, but what does crystal meth taste like? The taste of recreational meth and crystal meth can vary depending on how meth is made and used. Meth usually tastes the way it smells. Many meth users describe meth taste as chemical-like and very bitter

Regardless of what meth tastes like, the short-term and long-term effects of meth are the same. The impact on dopamine and cravings for the drug is just as strong. Meth boosts the amount of dopamine in the body. Dopamine is a natural chemical in the brain. It involves body movement, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors.

Does meth have a taste? Meth is known for tasting very bad, so some people avoid swallowing or ingesting it by mouth. However, when smoked, meth can leave a deplorable, chemical-like meth taste in the mouth. Meth abuse can lead to several side effects, such as psychosis, weight loss, mental health issues, and more. Meth addiction is a severe medical condition that requires professional medical attention.

How Does Meth Taste?

Meth taste can range between batches. This is dependent on a few factors, one of which is the form of methamphetamine.

Meth Taste Bitter

One common taste linked with meth and crystal meth is a bitter taste. This is common with snorting meth, as the powder form of the drug also carries a bitter smell.

Meth Tastes Like Chemical

Another taste often associated with methamphetamine is chemical. A chemical taste is typical with all forms of meth, such as powder, liquid, or crystal meth.

Flavored Meth Taste

Lastly, meth can even be flavored in some cases. This is commonly seen in an increasingly popular form, pink meth. In some cases, the drug is dyed to be a more enticing color and flavored to make the substance seem less dangerous and more appetizing. Pink meth is usually strawberry flavored, but other flavors like orange, chocolate, and cola have also been found.

What Does Meth Look Like?

Methamphetamine can come in many forms, each of which has a distinctive appearance. In most cases, individuals purchase crystal meth that looks like crystalline rocks or broken glass fragments that can be clear, white, grey, or blue-ish white.

The shard, glass-like appearance is where the drug gets the name “glass” and “crystal” This is the form of meth people usually think of when they think of the illicit drug. Unfortunately, it is also the most popular form of meth that is abused by individuals struggling with substance use disorder.

Meth can also come in the form of a powder, tablet, or pill.

  • Powdered meth – This form of meth is usually white or light brown. It may look like fine sugar crystals. There may be large and small-sized “rocks” mixed in with the powder.
  • Capsules of pressed tablets – Some manufacturers sell meth as a capsule with powder inside or pressed tablets mixed with other additives and drugs. These tablets can mimic the appearance of MDMA and come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • Pills (Desoxyn) – Methamphetamine is manufactured into a pill called Desoxyn. Desoxyn is a stimulant prescription medication used to treat ADHD and other conditions on rare occasions. These pills are white and round and have the letters “OV” stamped on one side and the number “12” on the other.

What Does Smoking Meth Taste Like?

Meth is not likely to have a noticeable odor, as pure meth has little to no odor. Some people believe that meth may have a slight sweet smell when being smoked, but others do not believe it has a smell. Either way, the odor is not strong or characteristic of meth. However, meth that has impurities may have smells that come from the process of making it.

What Does Crystal Meth Smell Like?

Crystal meth is a solid, and it does not release gas like meth does when it is smoked or manufactured. This means that crystal meth is unlikely to have a smell by itself, and any smell that crystal meth has would likely be due to contaminants.

Crystal meth purchased on the streets is rarely 100% pure. In fact, meth is manufactured using several toxic chemicals, such as:

  • Ammonia
  • Acetone
  • Ether
  • Red phosphorus
  • Lithium
  • Battery acid
  • Cleaning products
  • Paint thinner

Some of these chemicals have a strong scent. In most cases, crystal meth will smell weakly like ammonia. However, some say meth and crystal meth smells like metallic chemicals, cat urine, rotten eggs, or burning plastic.

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Meth Abuse Statistics

There are about 24.7 million amphetamine-type stimulant abusers worldwide. In 2018, these figures continued to increase. There are about 24.7 million amphetamine-type stimulant abusers worldwide. In 2018, these figures continued to grow.

2.6 million

Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 0.9% (or about 2.6 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.

Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

1.5 million

Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, an estimated 0.6% (or about 1.5 million people) had a methamphetamine use disorder in the past 12 months.

Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health


In 2020, approximately 23,837 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants with abuse potential other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine).

Source: CDC

Methamphetamine Drug Fact Sheet

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant. The FDA-approved brand-name medication is Desoxyn.

What is its origin?

Mexican drug trafficking organizations have become the primary manufacturers and distributors of methamphetamine throughout the United States, including Hawaii. Domestic clandestine laboratory operators also produce and distribute meth on a smaller scale. The methods used depend on the availability of precursor chemicals.

What are common street names?

Common street names include:

  • Batu
  • Bikers Coffee
  • Black Beauties
  • Chalk
    Chicken Feed
  • Crank
  • Crystal
  • Glass
  • Go-Fast
  • Hiropon
  • Ice
  • Poor Man’s Cocaine
  • Shabu
  • Shards
  • Speed
  • Stove Top
  • Tina
  • Trash
  • Tweak
  • Meth
  • Methlies Quick

What is its legal status in the United States?

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant
under the Controlled Substances Act, which
means that it has a high potential for abuse and a
currently acceptable medical use (in FDA-approved products). It is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.

Today there is only one legal meth product, Desoxyn. It is currently marketed in 5, 10, and 15-milligram tablets (immediate-release and extended-release formulations) and has very limited use in the treatment of obesity and ADHD

What does it look like?

Regular meth is a pill or powder. Crystal meth
resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white “rocks” of various sizes.

How is it abused?

Meth is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. To intensify the effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their intake method.

What is its effect on the body?

  • Taking even small amounts of meth can result in:
  • Increased wakefulness
  • Increased physical activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia (overheating)

What is its effect on the mind?

Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant properties. Those who smoke or inject it report a brief, intense sensation or rush. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day.

Both the rush and the high are believed to result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine into areas of the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure. Long-term meth use results in many damaging effects, including addiction.

What does meth taste like? Using Meth doesn't only harm your life, but your loved ones' lives as well. Reach out to our FREE 24-hour Hotline to discover your options regarding Meth Addiction Treatment.
What does meth taste like? Using Meth doesn’t only harm your life, but your loved ones’ lives as well. Reach out to our FREE 24-hour Hotline to discover your options regarding Meth Addiction Treatment.

What Factors Affect Meth Taste?

When meth is taken orally in pill form, it is often described as bitter tasting. The bitter taste can come from various chemicals involved in producing it. Crystal meth is a crystalline powder that is crushed and snorted intranasally or smoked using glass pipes, known as meth pipes. Does meth taste like salt? Smoking meth could taste salty, bitter, or sweet if it was made with added flavor.

Another factor that affects the taste of meth is the use of cutting agents. Cutting agents dilute meth, allowing dealers to make more money using less product. Common cutting agents in powder meth can include talc, sugar, and powdered milk.

A couple of other factors can influence meth taste. These include the ingredients used to produce it. The ingredients used in meth can differ quite a bit, but there are several very common ones, often found in or near meth labs.

 Here are some typical meth-making ingredients and supplies:

  • Cold medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
  • Lithium batteries
  • Ether and/or camping fuels
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Red Devil lye
  • Sulfuric, muriatic, and/or hydrochloric acid
  • Coffee filters
  • Funnels and turkey basters
  • Improvised glassware 


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Is Tasting Meth Dangerous?

While meth can be identified by its taste, it’s important to note that eating or tasting meth is dangerous and risky behavior. This is because the drug will get into your bloodstream by doing either of these things. On another note, meth can often be mixed with additives like amphetamines, opioids, and fentanyl, which can make even small amounts hazardous and even fatal. 

Rubbing meth into your gums or tongue may give you mouth ulcers. Oral ulcerations and infections are common among methamphetamine users. The caustic ingredients of the drug bathe the oral cavity and irritate and burn the oral tissues. This leads to significant oral ulcerations and infections. 

This is also brought on by the severe dry mouth that accompanies the use of meth. Xerostomia is caused by vasoconstriction and reduction of salivary gland function. The tongue and lining of the mouth can become raw and irritated without the surfactant action of saliva. This can lead to secondary infections and limited ability to speak and eat.

What is Meth Mouth?

In one study, 96% of people who used meth had cavities and 58% had untreated tooth decay. People use the term “meth mouth” to describe this condition of stained, badly damaged teeth. One reason for the damage is that the drug is acidic and causes vomiting and reflux. And even though it makes you less hungry, it makes you crave soda and sweets. The damage can happen in a short amount of time and often leads to the loss of teeth.

Meth mouth is characterized by severe tooth decay and gum disease, which often causes teeth to fall out or break. The teeth of chronic Meth abusers are often blackened, stained, rotting, crumbling, and falling apart. The extensive tooth decay in these individuals is likely due to a combination of drug-induced psychological and physiological damage resulting in dry mouth and long periods of poor oral hygiene.

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What Drug Paraphernalia Do Meth Abusers Use?

While meth can be identified by smell, look, and taste, it is often safer to identify meth users by examining their behaviors and the paraphernalia they use rather than by tasting the substance itself. People who abuse meth may have different paraphernalia depending on which method of administration they use.

  • Paraphernalia for smoking meth – glass pipe and lighter
  • Paraphernalia for snorting meth – razor blade or sharp edge, rolled-up bills or cut-up straws, and surfaces with powdered residue
  • Paraphernalia for injecting meth – A bent spoon, cotton, lighter, syringe, and needle

Serious Health Issues Linked with Meth Abuse

Common psychological and physical health problems reported by meth users include poor appetite, anxiety, depression, fatigue and loss of energy, trouble sleeping, heart flutters, and tremors. Some regular users also have symptoms like hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there), paranoia (feeling like you are being followed or stared at), violent behavior, panic, and suicidal thoughts.

All of these problems are more likely to happen if you use large amounts of meth (e.g., more than 1 gram) at a time, binge on meth for several days, regularly use meth more than two or three days a week, inject it, or use the stronger crystal forms of meth which have recently become more available. Problems can also increase when you drink alcohol or use other drugs with meth.

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How Meth Affects the Rest of the Body

Meth mouth can severely damage an individual’s overall health, affecting the entire body. In addition to blood-borne infections from bacteria and open wounds in the mouth, Meth abuse can also cause:

  • Premature delivery
  • Hyperthermia
  • Convulsions
  • Heart problems
  • Risk of HIV
  • Risk of hepatitis
  • Lead poisoning
  • Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Meth mite itching (itching caused by nerve sensitivity)

There are significant psychological effects caused by meth abuse, like paranoia and aggression, that can affect the quality of life in the individual. Meth abuse produces life-threatening health problems that should be treated immediately.

Alcohol and Meth

Alcohol and methamphetamine (Meth) are often abused together and present a co-morbidity such that 77% of people diagnosed with amphetamine dependence also have an alcohol use disorder. Similarly, within the population of meth users, alcohol consumption increases the probability of meth use by four-fold. Combining meth and alcohol can cause heart damage, alcohol poisoning, overdose, and numerous other terrible consequences.

The stimulating effects of meth tend to override the effects of alcohol, which is a depressant. That’s why someone who drinks while using meth may not feel the effects of alcohol, so they might continue drinking and risk alcohol poisoning, a life-threatening condition. Additionally, when alcohol and meth are both present in someone’s bloodstream, their heart rate will increase to such an extent that they may suffer heart damage.

Meth-Induced Brain Injury and Alcohol Drinking

 Individually, alcohol and meth cause inflammation and long-term alterations in dopamine and serotonin signaling within the brain. Experiments were conducted to identify if serial exposure to alcohol and meth has neurochemical consequences that are greater than after either drug alone. The neuroinflammation that ensues from peripheral inflammation has been reported to contribute to meth and alcohol abuse.

Alcohol and Meth Withdrawal

Alcohol and meth abuse create withdrawal symptoms that cause disruptive and challenging effects on the mind and body. Signs of withdrawal occur when a drug dependence has taken place. Withdrawal symptoms can range from anxiety to depression, to vomiting, nervousness, dizziness, lack of appetite, and uncontrollable drug cravings.

Many individuals find it difficult to endure withdrawal symptoms if they are trying to get clean; as a result, many opt to go cold turkey. Withdrawal is best when treated by the care of a qualified medical professional, where medications and supervised detox is facilitated. It is imperative to note that alcohol withdrawal can be fatal if it is not medically supervised.

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Meth Addiction Treatment

First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing meth, you should research the substances and their associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of meth addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.

In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of meth withdrawal. 

Meth Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated meth detox withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the meth detox.

Cravings are very common during drug detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Meth Addiction Rehab

There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using meth and other substances, but drug rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.

Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.

What does meth taste like? Meth identification can be challenging because the drug can take on different appearances, scents, and tastes. 
What does meth taste like? Meth identification can be challenging because the drug can take on different appearances, scents, and tastes. 


Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily. The meth effects on the nervous system can be treated simultaneously with the help of therapies.

If you or a loved one is struggling with crystal meth addiction or a high-functioning meth addict, call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation. The We Level Up NJ treatment center network offers nationwide facilities. Connect with one of our rehab specialists.

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