What Are Meth Mites & Why Do They Occur?

Last Updated: Feb 18th 2022

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

What Are Meth Mites & Why Do They Occur?

Meth mites, which are the result of hallucinations after someone uses meth, cause marks on the skin and face called meth sores. Keep reading to learn more about what meth mites are, what they can cause, why they occur, and how to ease or treat them.

The Side Effects of Using Meth

People choose to use meth because of its short-term effects that result in a high sensation. These effects include a higher libido, hallucinations, more energy, and excessive talking. In most cases, they only continue to use because they become dependent on methamphetamine.

If someone uses meth regularly, they may experience the following side effects:

  • Seizures
  • Dilated pupils
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Stomach pain
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Sexual aggression
  • Agitation
  • Weight loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Meth mouth
  • Skin sores

Side effects will vary depending on the individual and how much of the substance they have used. If you witness someone having difficulty breathing or a seizure after using meth, get them emergency medical care as soon as possible.

Meth Mites: What Are They & How Do You Get Them?

The term “meth mites” refers to the obsessive picking of the skin due to hallucinations from using meth. When people have these hallucinations, they get the illusion that bugs, or “mites,” are crawling under their skin. Some people who use meth have even claimed to see these mites under their skin while hallucinating. After they see or feel mites on their body, meth users will then obsessively scratch or pick these spots using their nails or another tool. This picking results in what is known as meth sores.

Meth sores can happen anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the face, chest, and lower arms. They can ruin an individual’s skin and give it a red & blotchy appearance. While meth sores are uncomfortable and can be unpleasant to look at, they are not contagious and are only possible if someone uses meth regularly.

Meth Mites & Methamphetamine Abuse Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no way to actually cure or get rid of meth sores. However, there are some treatment options to help ease the sore and reduce any inflammation. These options include topical ointments, natural oils, and more products that are approved to clear the skin. The best way to prevent getting these sores is to stop using meth. However, quitting meth suddenly will result in withdrawal symptoms. If someone decides to stop using meth, they should seek medical attention or enroll in a substance abuse treatment program first.

All individuals who use or have used meth are encouraged to enroll in a rehabilitation program. While in the program, they will safely detox from the substance and will develop more healthy habits & behaviors. These changes are made possible by treatment methods like certain medications, non-drug-related activities, individual counseling, family education, behavioral therapies, 12-step support groups, and more.

To learn more about meth mites, their causes, and how to prevent them, please reach out to our team of substance abuse treatment representatives. Give us a call at (866) 971-5531 or contact us today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.