In this section:
Deaths involving methamphetamine have increased 600% in the last ten years in Washington State.
To learn more about the data on methamphetamine involved deaths in WA State go here.
Check and download out our methamphetamine overdose response flyers.
Risks for methamphetamine overdose
The biggest risks of methamphetamine overdose (also called overamping) include: overheating, heart attacks, strokes, and not breathing. These can happen from:
- Using too much meth
- Staying high too long
- Using meth with opioids (heroin, fentanyl, etc), benzodiazepines/downers or alcohol
- Using drugs/being high alone (when no one is there to help if problems come up)
Watch for these signs of meth overdose and take action:
What to do when you call 911 for someone using methamphetamine
- When you call 911, describe the person’s symptoms. You don’t have to talk about drugs.
- If someone isn’t sure about going to the ER or getting help, let them know you care about them and that medical help could save their life. Offer to go with them if you can.
What to do for someone having a mental health crisis from methamphetamine
Sometimes, people who use meth can feel strong paranoia, agitation, depression, or fear. They may also see, feel, or hear things that aren’t real (hallucinations). These can make a person do something dangerous. If you think someone might hurt themselves or someone else, call 911.
- Tell 911 that a person is having a mental health crisis.
- Say what the person is doing (e.g. walking into traffic, talking about suicide, talking about hurting someone else). You don’t need to say anything about drugs.
- If this has happened before, tell 911 what kind of response has worked in the past.
- 911 may ask if the person has a weapon.
Staying healthy: tips from people who use meth
- Eat before and while you’re high, even if you don’t feel hungry. Coffee and energy drinks aren’t food.
- Drink plenty of water. I set my phone alarm to remind me.
- Take any medications you’re prescribed, especially if you have heart problems or high blood pressure.
- Use and be around people who know you and can tell if you need help.
- Don’t stay high for too long. Get some sleep.
- Meth lasts a long time in your body. If you feel close to your limit, don’t use more.
Treatment or help cutting back
Want to cut down on your meth use or need other help? Call the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1.866.789.1511
Safer Smoking – Crystal Meth, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC
Stimulant Overamping Basics, Harm Reduction Coalition
Acute Consequences of Methamphetamine Use Among Participants of Syringe Services Programs, Report from ADAI, February 2021
Methamphetamine in Washington: Informing Policy and Research, Summit held at ADAI, June 28, 2019
Methamphetamine in Washington, Report from ADAI to the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, Washington Health Care Authority, June 2018