Understanding Methamphetamine (Meth) Addiction

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What is methamphetamine (Meth) addiction?

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system.  If has the street names of chalk, crank, crystal, ice, meth, and speed and was originally developed using legal nasal decongestants and inhalers for bronchial cold symptoms.   Because the drug is legally available through a prescription to treat symptoms of ADHD, the potential for abuse is widespread.  

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that gives a quick high that fades quickly causing users to often take multiple doses in a short amount of time.  This increases the incidents of overdose with this drug.

What are the signs of methamphetamine (Meth) addiction?

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse short symptoms of Methamphetamine addiction include:

  • Increased attention and decreased fatigue
  • Increased activity and wakefulness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Euphoria and rush
  • Increased respiration
  • Rapid/irregular heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia

Long term symptoms of Methamphetamine addiction include:

  • Difficulty feeling any pleasure other than that provided by the drug
  • significant anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior
  • May display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects creeping under the skin).

What does methamphetamine (Meth) addiction do to the body?

Some of the physical effects methamphetamine can have on the body are significant weight loss, serious dental problems, and intense itching which leads to skin sores from scratching. Methamphetamine increases the amount of the natural chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is involved in body movement, motivation, pleasure, and reward. Changing dopamine levels can affect coordination and verbal learning abilities, as well as emotion and memory.

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