Methamphetamine is a dangers stimulant that is double synthesized from amphetamine and is not used for any medical purpose. It can be snorted, smoked, injected or taken orally to produce a euphoric effect that increases energy and elevates the mood. Various street names are commonly used to describe methamphetamine including:
According to the US National Library of Medicine, the effects that methamphetamine has on the brain are similar to those that an amphetamine would have but they are typically much stronger and more dangerous to the user. Unlike amphetamine, which does have a potential for causing tolerance and abuse but only with time, methamphetamine use can QUICKLY lead to tolerance and addiction. Abusers who use meth will often require higher doses of the drug, more often with only a couple of uses.
Methamphetamine Side Effects
Many side effects can occur when an individual abuses methamphetamine.
The most common effects of methamphetamine include:
- Increased feelings of pleasure
- Staying up long hours
- Increased alertness
- Increased awareness
- Increased energy
- Elevated mood
- Rapid heartbeat
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
- Psychological problems
- Mental disorders
- Memory loss
- Dental problems including rotting teeth and gum disease
Using methamphetamine is not safe under any circumstances. Because the drug has no medical use, there is not FDA approval and there is no control over the way the substance is made or how potent it may or may not be. Pure methamphetamine can literally kill a user with one dose if he or she takes too much expecting the potency to be less pure.
Methamphetamine addiction can occur with just a couple of uses of the drug. Most often, it begins with recreational use to stay awake at a part or to stay alert. These periods of staying awake are followed by periods of long sleep and exhaustion as the body attempts to get back on track from the lack of sleep previously. Methamphetamine addiction begins to set in as the user takes methamphetamine again in an effort to feel awake and alert again despite the exhaustion of the body.
This dangerous disease continues on and can have long term side effects including permanent brain damage, permanent damage to the neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and feelings of happiness and possibly the risk of psychosis. Methamphetamine induced psychosis mimics that effects of schizophrenia causing the individual to be paranoid, highly anxious and to act irrationally.
Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
Many methods of treatment are available to help those who become addicted to methamphetamine. Most of the time, inpatient treatment is the ideal choice only because this ensures the safety of the addict while he or she goes through the initial detoxification phase which can have various adverse effects associated with methamphetamine withdrawal. During inpatient treatment, the addict will be monitored around-the-clock which will ensure that he or she remains abstinent from methamphetamine abuse and that his or her medical health is kept under control during detox.
Following inpatient treatment, most methamphetamine addicts will continue many months of counseling and therapy to ensure their continued success in recovery. Methamphetamine addiction treatment is often a long and difficult journey but with commitment and appropriate attention recovery is possible. For assistance, call our helpline at 1-800-943-0566 for help.