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Methamphetamine Use Disorder

What is Methamphetamine?

Overview: Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant. The FDA-apprived brand-name medication is Desoxyn®.

 

Street Names: Batu, Bikers Coffee, Black Beauties, Chalk, Chicken Feed, Crank, Crystal, Glass, Go-Fast, Hiropon, Ice, Meth, Methlies Quick, Poor Man's Cocaine, Shabu, Shards, Speed, Stove Top, Tina, Trash, Tweak, Uppers, Ventana, Vidrio, Yaba, Yellow Bam.

 

Looks Like: Regular meth is a pill or powder. Crystal meth resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white "rocks" of various sizes.

 

Methods of Abuse: Meth is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. To intensify the effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their method of intake. In some cases, meth abusers go without food and sleep while taking part in a form of binging known as a "run." Meth users on a "run" inject as much as a gram of the drug every two to three hours over several days until they run out of meth or become too disorganized to continue.

 

Affect on Mind: Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant properties. Those who smoke or inject it report a brief, intense sensation, or rush. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day. Both the rush and the high are believed to result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine into the areas of the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure. Long-term meth use results in may damaging effects, including addiction. Chronic meth abusers exhibit violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and psychotic features; including paranoia, aggression, visual and auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions - such as the sensation of insects creeping on or under the skin. Such paranoia can result in homicidal or suicidal thoughts. Researchers have reported that as much as 50% of the dopamine- producing cells in the brain can be damaged after prolonged exposure to relatively low levels of meth. Researchers also have found that serotonin-containing nerve cells may be damaged even more extensively.

 

Affect on Body: Taking even small amounts of meth can result in increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, rapid breathing and heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hyperthermia (overheating). High doses can elevate body temperatures to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels as well as cause convulsions and even cardiovascular collapse and death. Meth abuse may also cause extreme anorexia, memory loss, and severe dental problems.

 

Drugs Casuing Similar Effects: Cocaine and potent stimulant pharmaceuticals, such as amphetamines and methylphenidate, produced similar effects.

 

Overdose Effects: High doses may result in death from stroke, heart attack, or multiple organ problems caused by overheating.

*Above information and images below courtesy of the Drug Enforcement Administration (www.dea.gov)