Methamphetamine or ‘ice’ is a highly addictive stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine. It has the same effects as amphetamine, but is much stronger and has a more powerful effect on the body. This drug is increasingly used for recreational use, as it produces a lot of physical energy and feelings of mental euphoria. However, it also has many dangerous side effects and is well known to be extremely addictive (1).
Methamphetamine can damage every organ in the body, causing long-term effects that can be fatal if wrongly used. It can damage the heart and blood vessels, as well as damaging the liver, kidneys, and lungs. Methamphetamine abusers may also suffer from severe heart failure. Methamphetamine increases the level of serotonin in the brain, thereby increasing the ability of the user to focus and concentrate (2).
Short Term and Long Term Effects
Methamphetamine users also face many short-term and long-term health problems, which can be fatal if left untreated. Methamphetamine users often experience anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, frequent appetite loss, weight gain, nervousness, paranoia, shaking, jitteriness, dizziness, heart palpitations, memory loss, blurred vision, dry mouth, insomnia, dizziness, and lightheadedness. The most common short-term side effects of taking methamphetamine are anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. These symptoms generally diminish over time (3).
In the long term, abusing methamphetamine or using it as a central nervous system stimulant can cause severe depression, heart disease, and aggressive behavior. The user’s perception and thought processes become distorted. Users can become compulsive, depressed, anxious, aggressive, thrill-seeking, and suicidal. It is also possible to experience hallucinations, delusions, and thought splashing.
Methamphetamine affects the functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, immune, endocrine, and health systems. It depresses the blood pressure, causes increased blood sugar levels, affects blood cell count, causes vasodilation (or swelling), constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, increases the production of dopamine, affects the brain neurotransmitters serotonin, and affects the retina. It is estimated that about two million American residents use methamphetamine, according to the National Survey of Drug Administration (4).
In rare cases, “meth mouth” can lead to seriously debilitating consequences. If it is not treated, tooth decay can result; cavities can develop, which causes tooth loss and bone deterioration. If not treated, tooth decay can progress to abscesses and root canals. It has also been linked to the development of severe kidney failure, liver damage, and tuberculosis.
Other Effects of Methamphetamine
In rare, but significant cases, methamphetamine use can cause a psychosis-like state called “Mental status” syndrome. Symptoms include paranoia, delusions, mania, and depression. It has also been associated with violent behavior, such as impulse violence, rage, homicidal acts, hostility, destruction of property, sexual disturbances, aggressiveness, and hostility. These psychosis-like symptoms usually begin in the teenage years and are not reversible. Studies have indicated that the drug has potent effects on the brain and affects the ability of the human brain to create new memories, adapt to new stimuli, learn and remember things. Methamphetamine abuse has been shown to increase the risk of schizophrenia and also has been associated with abnormal behaviors like violence and aggression, especially when the drug is used excessively or without the person’s mental capacity being met.
Methamphetamine has been widely used as a date rape drug. It has been reported that the drug leaves behind a false sense of euphoria, as well as feelings of anxiety, paranoia, and mood swings. Date rape is one of the most serious crimes in the United States and Methamphetamine has been called the date rape drug because it manipulates the user into having sex while on a drug, which allows the abuser to have an easy time slipping the drug into the body of the victim. This makes it very difficult for the victim to fight back against the abuser and they are more likely to be seriously injured during this assault.
Note; these compounds are not for human consumption