Why does meth change people’s appearance?

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Meth can take months or years to change a person’s appearance, and with many people, the change is quite dramatic. There are a number of photographs circulating on the Internet and on billboards demonstrating “the extreme meth makeover” in mug shots of people arrested for meth-related crimes. People who don’t know the drug often ask “how could they let this happen?” or “why would you do that to yourself?” For those addicted to meth, the answers are pretty simple: they aren’t aware of the changes in themselves, their need for the drug overrides any thoughts of personal grooming or hygiene, and for those close to them, the changes may be so gradual, they go unnoticed. The dramatic weight loss experienced by meth users definitely causes changes in the face and body, and once fat is removed from the body, and there are no stores of it for energy that the meth user expends, the body begins to lose muscle, including the muscles of the face. Skin becomes dry from the constant overheating of ... more
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