Meth: A Drug You’ll Regret
Methamphetamine, or meth, is an extremely toxic, psychoactive drug. In fact, the repeated use of meth damages dopamine and serotonin neurons within the central nervous system that are essential for the proper processing and integration of sensory information. In addition, the use of methamphetamine causes adverse changes in brain structure and function, such as reductions in gray matter volume in several brain regions.
In this article, we’ll review the short and long term effects of meth. We’ll look at medical vs. recreational use of methamphetamine. Finally, we invite your question at the end. Please ask! We try to respond to each real-life question personally and promptly.
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Medical Use Of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, stimulating drug, exerting its effects on the areas of the brain that control the sympathetic nervous system. In the past, drugs derived from methamphetamine are used as stimulant and performance enhancing drugs in the military and manufacturing fields. Today, methamphetamine hydrochloride (branded as Desoxyn®) is used for treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and exogenous obesity in adults and children, and for narcolepsy in some countries, under close medical supervision.
For both disorders, the drug dosage starts from the lowest dose and regularly adjusted according to individual’s response. Patients prescribed with methamphetamine are required to visit their doctors once or twice a month, and cannot get refills. In many places, prescriptions on drugs like methamphetamine are put in a database to prevent fraud.
Methamphetamine Recreational Use
Users take methamphetamine recreationally for its intense, euphoric effects. Furthermore, methamphetamine produces desirable effects such as:
- alleviation of mild depression
- suppression of appetite
- increased arousal and stamina during sex
Of note, methamphetamine is popular sex drug in the gay community particularly to men having sex with men. Methamphetamine greatly improves self-confidence and induces sense of grandiosity as well. The euphoric effect of methamphetamine is only momentary.
Using methamphetamine is dangerous to your health and well-being. Methamphetamines can cause problems in your heart and cardiovascular system. Your teeth will fall out and your skin may sustain unsightly scars after using methamphetamine for a time. Furthermore, methamphetamine destroys brain function and makes users psychotic.
Methamphetamine Routes Of Administration
There are several ways for people to use methamphetamine. Here are the principle routes of administration and corresponding risks:
1. Snorting: Snorting methamphetamine powder produce a fast onset of effect. There is risk of nosebleeds and irreversible nasal damage because methamphetamine constricts blood vessels in the nose.
2. Smoking: Some users vaporize methamphetamine for inhalation. This also produce fast onset of effect, but may also result to nosebleed and nasal damage.
3. Oral consumption: Consuming methamphetamine by oral route causes reduced effect and more undesirable effects, and less chance of achieving euphoria.
4. Rectal route: Known as “plugging”, rectal administration of meth also causes quicker onset of effect and euphoria due to numerous blood vessels in the rectum.
5. Injection through veins: This route produces the fastest onset of effect because methamphetamine is wholly introduced in the bloodstream. However, this route is also the most risky due to increased likelihood of blood borne diseases and serious adverse effects that can be life threatening . Repeated injections of methamphetamine cause collapse of veins and subsequent scarring.
6. Injecting under the skin: When taking meth intramuscularly, people inject methamphetamine under the skin or in the muscles. This practice usually does not produce a high and cause reduced to no effect since methamphetamine is not introduced in the bloodstream. This route can result to formation of abscesses under the skin.
Long-Term Methamphetamine Use
There is no definite term for “long-term” methamphetamine use. However, research studies confirm that using methamphetamine for periods of even more than a few weeks is destructive. Methamphetamine has the addictive potential that motivates users to use it regularly for long periods of time. Methamphetamine also induces tolerance, so users need more of the drug over time just to achieve its effects.
Methamphetamine has toxic effects on the brain function, so users tend to suffer from psychosis (loss of contact with reality) over time. The psychosis induced by methamphetamine use is described to be somewhat similar to the mental disorder schizophrenia. In many cases, methamphetamine users only stop when they become victims of violence, lose their jobs and income and so unable to buy drugs, or are admitted to emergency rooms due to serious medical emergencies.
Here are some adverse effects evident on users who use methamphetamine for long periods:
- delusions of bugs crawling under the skin
- face and body scars
Prolonged Use Of Methamphetamine
You already have developed dependence on methamphetamine if you have an increased tolerance and feel withdrawal symptoms upon stopping use. Methamphetamine acts on the reward center of the brain and initiate uncontrolled release of pleasure-inducing dopamine. Thus, over time, users are unable to feel pleasure on anything other than using methamphetamine.
Our body initiates changes function in order to accommodate the effects of methamphetamine. When methamphetamine use is reduced or stopped, the body has to make adjustments as it have to work without the drug, which results to withdrawal symptoms.
Here are some of the most common methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms:
- cravings for methamphetamine
- inability to concentrate
- poor memory
- body aches and pains
- inability to feel pleasure
Methamphetamine Use Questions
Still have a few more questions about the use of meth? Perhaps you would like to learn more about the process of meth detox as well as your options for meth addiction treatment? Leave your questions in the comments section below. We look forward to replying and helping you make a fresh start.
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