Congratulations! If you're here you're either curious about the effect of methamphetamine on people, or your character has or is going to use methamphetamine. If it's the latter then you should be prepared to RP possibly the worst experience the human body and mind can go through. As someone with secondhand experience of meth addiction through family and friends, I find myself dissatisfied with the roleplay regarding the usage of methamphetamine and have decided to make this guide as a result. People who are curious or eager to RP smoking meth should hopefully be turned away by this guide as it takes a special kind of person to totally abandon their own desire for positive character growth. Meth is an all-consuming and heavily destructive drug. Your character should be willing to do anything for the mere prospect of obtaining more if they're an addict. The "Cracked" video on meth, "Everything You Know About Meth is Wrong" is essentially bullshit, and if you have the intention of posting it as a refutation to this guide then please do not bother.
How Addictive is Meth?
Meth is the single most addictive substance on the planet, to my knowledge. The Montana Meth Project's Slogan for a long period of time was, "Meth, not even once." The reason behind this is due to the sheer potency of meth's high. Meth, like heroin and cocaine, releases dopamine. Dopamine is the body's chemical means of identifying survival needs. The highest natural release of this is during sex, where for the sake of example 100 arbitrary units of dopamine are released. It is the highest natural human need. Heroin and cocaine release roughly 400 arbitrary units of dopamine and takeover after extended use as the primary need. Methamphetamine releases 1500 of the arbitrary units; it is 15 times better than sex. Upon the first use of methamphetamine, the brain will recognize it as the highest necessary survival need and will seek it out over sleep, sex, food, or any other need imaginable. In an experiment: mice were first given meth, and then they were then repeatedly given a choice of food and meth. They chose meth every time until they starved to death.
While humans have the capability to break from that choice there is a methodology behind meth addiction, and that methodology is simple: "How can I do more meth?" This means that a person will eat, but they won't eat for the sake of eating; a meth addict will eat so that they can do more meth. They will drink so that they can do more meth. Everything that they do is to obtain more meth, but these actions won't be long term calculations. A CEO won't be a meth addict as that requires the ability to delay gratification. For a meth addict, the immediate gratification of meth is the only thing that matters, and the perception of its need for survival is so intense that it cannot be delayed without extreme psychological and physical impact.
What is a Meth High Like?
Highs are a subjective experience for many people, but there are similarities due to the actual chemical release it causes. It is the best singular experience someone can feel. For many, the first time using meth is an indescribable euphoria. It can boost confidence to incredible levels. For many users when they smoke meth it is comparable to feeling like a god and having legitimate feeling invincibility. In the words of Cg Kid, a recovering polyaddict whose drug of choice was meth, "If I had a choice between a ten-person orgy, and jerking off on meth, I'd chose meth every time." It is common for users to ejaculate in their pants during their first time, or at any other point. To restate and finish, a meth high is the greatest singular experience someone can go through; it feels amazing, and not in a "weed calms me down" sort of way. It is many many times better than the experience of an orgasm, and it can last longer that twenty-four hours. At the beginning of a meth addiction it is common to feel more productive, but usually after a bit of time that productivity turns into a never-ending search for pleasure usually through sex or pornography.
What is it Like to Come Down from Meth?
It will feel like dying. Not in a psychedelic "ego death" sort of way. This is akin to starving oneself or refusing to drink water, but even more intense. This is especially true for veteran meth users; I use the term veteran loosely as it can only take a month to reach the peak state of addiction, it is dependant on the user. Extreme fatigue due to a lack of sleep and/or incredibly brain activity, extreme appetite, psychosis, and anxiety, paranoia, negative emotions will become far far more intense. If somebody has anger issues they will struggle heavily with anger. If somebody has anxiety it will become overbearing. Depression will happen, but if someone already suffers from depression it will become even more intense. It is the worst thing in the world. It is torture, and it will all go away with the simple use of more meth.
What Are the Effects of Meth?
I have already discussed the psychological effects of meth, but now I'll talk about the physical effects. The vast majority of users will experience extreme weight loss because of the loss of appetite experience for the vast majority of users. There will likely be muscle loss as well, but this will only occur in extremes when the body eats through its fat. Acne will occur, and likely the user will scratch this acne off leading to a large number of open sores and scabs. People who are experiencing heavy meth addiction will likely have very poor personal hygiene. Heavy meth users will experience tooth decay and without treatment, this tooth decay will become incredibly painful; that pain will not be experienced or at least not significant during a high.
If You're RPing a Meth Addict
Please be aware of what meth is actually like. Nothing annoys me more than a character who will smoke meth socially. The chances of smoking meth and not becoming addicted, for the first time, is one in twenty. That stat gets slimmer and slimmer with repeated use. It is possible to start of smoking meth socially. After a month of use, it will not be social. It will at least be a weekly ritual. If your character's family has a history of addiction to any substance then it is incredibly likely that they will spiral immediately into heavy use. If your character has been a heavy meth addict for over a month they will not look good. They will most likely be concerningly underweight. They might have scabs and open wounds. Their goal and drive in life will be the use of meth.
Meth addiction shouldn't be a casual facet of a character. If someone is a meth addict is an all-consuming, life-destroying addiction. Meth becomes the personality; meth becomes the drive. A meth addict lives for meth. This isn't to say that it is impossible to get off of, many people have, but being sober and not being addicted are two entirely separate things. Meth addicts are addicts for life. Even after years of being sober, they will dream about meth use; they will crave that feeling of a meth high as it is the highest obtainable release of dopamine. It is virtually impossible to quit meth, after prolonged use, by oneself. It oftentimes requires detox and immense support structures. Even for people who've been sober for years, if they were sat in a room with meth for just five minutes it in all likelihood will trigger a relapse.
If you have any doubts about your ability to RP a meth addict then do not even use meth in character. To RP a meth addict will be a painful experience. Your character will hurt people they love, emotionally, financially, and oftentimes physically. It is an immensely tragic experience. It will change the course of your character forever, and they will be incredibly lucky to escape that usage alive, and they will always be an addict. If you do not want to RP a meth addict, then don't smoke meth.