What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive narcotic that is seldom used for prescription purposes at this time, due to the dangers of addiction and its serious long-term effects on the brain.

Methamphetamine Basics

Methamphetamine is a schedule II narcotic by federal classification. Its chemical makeup is n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine, labeled methamphetamine, methyl amphetamine, or desoxyephedrine. Methamphetamine is a highly-addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, being similar in effect and creation to the drug amphetamine. Prescribed use of methamphetamine is limited to one fill, with a new prescription being necessary to obtain additional supplies. There are few medicinal uses of the drug, and it is infrequently prescribed, due to its many dangerous side effects, along with its tendency to become quickly addictive in the user. Most commonly, it is prescribed for treatment of ADHD, obesity and sometimes narcolepsy.

Methamphetamine Effects

The immediate effect of using methamphetamine by being snorted is a sensation of euphoria. The fast-acting effects produced when injected or smoked is an extreme pleasure sensation called a “rush” or “flash,” which lasts only a few minutes, but is highly pleasurable. This is created when intense levels of dopamine are released into the brain suddenly.

Methamphetamine Dangers

While methamphetamine is certainly a dangerous drug, due to its highly addictive properties, the dangers of even short-term use are many. Users may not immediately recognize the symptoms of an overdose, making it even more dangerous when higher-than-tolerable doses are taken. Normal doses of abuse may produce the same symptoms as those initially seen in an overdose. These symptoms include, but are not limited to: rapid pulse, higher heart rate, sweating, and shortness of breath, dilated pupils, and an increase in body temperature. Heart attacks are common with methamphetamine overdose, as are strokes and kidney failure.

Methamphetamine Addiction

From its first use, methamphetamine creates an effect that is conducive to addiction. The euphoric feeling obtained by methamphetamine is long lasting, and most of the early side effects of the drug are desirable. The initial feelings of high energy, tirelessness, excitation and lack of appetite, combined with the pleasurable high that created by methamphetamine make easily understandable the desire to repeat the experience. As a result, addiction occurs in very short order. As early as the first several uses, the user becomes dependent on the drug to offset the lows that take place when the drug wears off. Within those first early uses of methamphetamine, the cycle is already set.

Methamphetamine Mixing

Mixed with other drugs, the dangerous side effects of methamphetamine can become incrementally more dangerous, and sometimes lethal, without warning. It is very important that those who are using/abusing methamphetamine understand the sometimes synergistic effects of meth when introducing other medications and/or street drugs. Anti-psychotics – When combined with anti-psychotics, methamphetamine renders them ineffectual. They become substantially ineffective, to the point of seizure activity and return of psychosis.

Methamphetamine Legality

Since its creation in 1919, methamphetamine has been under question about its appropriate legal uses. Experimental use in the 1920s led to elimination of the drug for purposes of alleviating depression or as a decongestant. It is legally produced in the U.S. and marketed under the name Desoxyn. Illegal use of methamphetamine appears to have begun primarily during the 1950s, when Methedrine was produced. This drug was abused most frequently by truck drivers and students who wished to make use of longer periods of alertness produced by taking large doses of these pills. Athletes were drawn to its performance enhancement properties and became frequent abusers, as well.

Methamphetamine Drug Tests

Methamphetamine is absorbed by the body quickly, whether administered orally, inhaled, or injected. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and is rapidly distributed throughout the body. While it mimics other stimulant drugs, it is more soluble than others, making its effects more pronounced and impactful. It metabolizes into the blood at peak rates after three to six hours and is fully metabolized by the liver after 10-24 hours.

Methamphetamines FAQ

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