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Methamphetamine Abuse

What is methamphetamine abuse?

This drug, also known as “Meth” usually appears as a white, bitter tasting, odorless powder. “Crystal Meth” is the identical chemical compound, but in a crystalline form. A central nervous system stimulant, Meth can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected.

What effect does methamphetamine have on the user?

Methamphetamine acts on the brain’s “reward center,” releasing cascades of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin (the brain’s own pleasure-inducing chemicals).

The immediate effect is a level of euphoria, based on the user’s size, weight and past drug-using history, as well as the quality of the drug. Because it offers a “straight shot” to the brain’s pleasure chemical storehouse, it is highly addictive. Users claim, in addition to the euphoria it creates, to feel increased alertness and focus, easing of the symptoms of fatigue, and dulling of the appetite.

What are the symptoms of someone under the influence of methamphetamine abuse?

Methamphetamine addicts experience a heightening-or sharpening-of many of the body’s organs, to extreme levels. Not unlike an appliance that receives too much power from an outlet, the Meth addict’s body runs at a higher temperature, and the heart runs faster (spiking blood pressure). Throughout the “high,” the brain is sending and receiving a barrage of chemical messages, which can lead to paranoia, hallucinations and mood swings.

What are the potential dangers of using methamphetamine?

Because the body’s systems are being pushed by the presence of methamphetamine, it may “overload the circuits,” resulting in stroke or heart attack. The user can’t sleep, becomes overly sensitive to noise, and may experience tremors or convulsions.”Meth mouth,” the rotting teeth of Meth addiction, is one of the longest-lasting effects of Meth addiction. As the user becomes more and more fixated on the drug, hygiene and self-care deteriorate, and with that the teeth decay and fall out.

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