Meth is a very addictive stimulant drug that can be smoked, injected, inhaled or swallowed. It is chemically related to amphetamines but, at comparable doses, the effects of meth are much more potent, longer lasting and more harmful to the central nervous system.
- What does it do?
- Why not to use
- Effects on the Body
- Effects on Appearance
- Effects on Relationships
- What’s in Meth?
- Get Help Now
Like other amphetamines, meth induces a temporary state of alertness, increased energy, suppressed appetite and feelings of well-being.
No matter how meth is used, it eventually ends up in the brain. Meth can affect lots of brain structures, but the one it affects the most are the ones that contain a chemical called dopamine—because the shape, size and chemical structure of meth and dopamine are similar.
Dopamine is sometimes called the pleasure neurotransmitter because it helps you feel good from things like playing soccer, eating a big piece of chocolate or riding a roller coaster. Because meth triggers similar good feelings, it is extremely addictive.
Methamphetamine has a faster rate of addiction than many other drugs including marijuana or alcohol. Some people report feeling addicted to meth after using it only one time.
Why does someone use?
Some people use it for the strong “rush” they get when they smoke or inject the drug. Other people use meth to help them lose weight or give them an energy boost so they can work more. Athletes and students sometimes begin using meth because it makes them feel like they are doing better in sports or schoolwork. At first, meth gives them more energy to practice sports and to study for longer periods of time.
Transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C can also be a consequence of methamphetamine abuse by the sharing of needles.
- Weakened immune system
- Sudden and violent behavior
- Tremors, convulsions
- Heart problems like rapid heart rate or irregular heartbeat
The use of methamphetamine causes many serious, lasting effects to your appearance.
- Injection sites of meth use can develop pus-filled infections.
- Meth mouth: Poor hygiene, dry mouth from the chemicals in meth and overall physical neglect result in rotten teeth. Some users lose teeth as they eat ordinary food like sandwiches.
- Meth bugs: Meth users sometimes feel like bugs are crawling all over their skin. They scratch until skin bleeds and scabs. “They scratch, pick and dig the spots, trying to relieve the itching. Many people feel a sensation of small bugs, known as ‘Meth Mites’ or ‘Meth Bugs,’ moving right under their skin.”
Many users reject anything and anyone who stands in the way of getting more meth and isolate themselves from family and friends. They do uncharacteristic things like steal, lie and betray those close to them.
Children of meth-addicted parents are often left to fend for themselves, causing intense emotional harm that can lay the foundation for behavioral problems, depression and future substance abuse.
Scientists have discovered that even three years after long-time meth users had quit using the drug, their dopamine neurons were still damaged—meaning the former user can no longer feel the natural pleasures of everyday life.
Although there are multiple ways to produce meth, most involve the use of toxic and volatile substances that people would not normally put in their body otherwise. The production of meth can be extremely dangerous and create harmful, toxic gases. An odor similar to that of cat urine and other offensive fumes often signify that a meth lab is in operation.
Manufactured in makeshift labs using common household chemicals that can include but not limited to:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Mineral spirits
- Camping fuel
- Brake cleaner
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