Methamphetamines, also known as speed, is a central nervous system stimulant that quickly speeds up the human body’s systems. Methamphetamines often come in powder, pill, or crystal form to be taken. The most popular forms of taking Methamphetamines have been through snorting, smoking, and injection. Meth is generally an odorless, bitter substance, which is also soluble in liquid and is commonly dissolved into water (1). It has been used in various countries as a recreational stimulant and as a medication for the treatment of certain medical conditions and to further boost the performance of athletes.
Methamphetamine was developed in the early 20th century from its parent compound, amphetamine, and was originally used as a bronchial inhaler and nasal decongestant. Just like amphetamine, methamphetamine increases activity and talkativeness, reduces appetite, and produces a pleasant sense of happiness or euphoria.
However, the difference between methamphetamine and amphetamine is that at a comparable dose, higher amounts of the drugs enter the brain, making it a more effective stimulant. It is also known to have a longer-lasting and more harmful effect on the central nervous system. These features make it a compound that is likely to be widely abused (2)(2a).
What are the common side effects of Methamphetamines?
They include hyperactivity, hallucinations, shakes, tremors, jitters, agitation, profuse sweating, diarrhea, heart palpitations, sexual excitement, depression, anxiety, irritability, and feelings of detachment (3).
What are the precautions to avoid these side effects?
Exposing yourself to methamphetamines without proper guidance or a proper prescription is highly risky. Meth abuse and addiction are the results of not paying attention to warning signs and you could severely jeopardize your health.
How does methamphetamine affect the body?
Methamphetamines affect the body or system in three major ways: Serotonin is affected by this drug, noradrenalin and dopamine are affected by this drug, and GABA is affected by this drug. Serotonin and noradrenalin are both vital in the brain’s chemical systems and affect mood, appetite, sleep, and other functions. Both inhibit the reabsorption (absorption) of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. When the levels of these neurotransmitters are low, the brain can feel depression, anxiety, irritability, and other related disorders. When you take Methamphetamines you are likely to experience all three at once and the effects can be extremely severe, which is why people who take Methamphetamines often develop severe tolerance (4)(5).
What are the common signs and symptoms of Methamphetamines addiction?
People who take this drug will usually start out using it as a recreational (therapeutic) drug. Then, after becoming regular users they will start to experiment with different kinds of “meth,” such as crack, cocaine, crack-cocaine, powder cocaine, crank, etc., and develop a tolerance for the drug. When they try to stop using Methamphetamines, they may have serious withdrawal symptoms that include insomnia, vomiting, nausea, heart palpitations, diarrhea, sweating, chills, and shakes. When you are exposed to methamphetamines, it is very easy to become addicted and abuse it (6)(7).
Are there any other drug substances that are highly addictive as well as Methamphetamines?
There are several other drugs including ephedrine, hydrocodone, and codeine, which are highly addictive as well. Ephedrine was used as a cough suppressant in the days before Methamphetamines were legal. Hydrocodone has been used legally as a pain reliever and recreational drug since at least the 1930s; codeine is one of the world’s most prescribed pain relievers, and methamphetamines were actually first developed as an over-the-counter remedy for depression!
So what do the United States government and the United States National Drug Control Administration both say about methamphetamines?
Both the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States National Drug Control Administration have issued numerous statements regarding the dangers of methamphetamines, including the fact that methamphetamines are highly addictive and may cause severe, even life-threatening conditions if used improperly or intentionally. The two organizations also claim that drug abusers who are not treated for their addiction are prone to resort to homicide and suicide because of psychological addiction. However, many experts are claiming that the true dangers of this particular drug are underestimated. The FDA itself acknowledges that meth abuse has reached epidemic proportions, with an estimated 26% of high school students surveyed saying they had tried methamphetamines at some point in their lives but did not report it.
The problems with using Methamphetamines are numerous and include things like hyperactivity, psychosis, depression, heart and liver damage, violent behavior, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, tics, and more. Not only is the chemical make-up of Methamphetamines highly addictive, but they are also highly toxic, leading to fatal respiratory issues and death from hypertension and heart failure. The immediate symptoms of overdose are often rapid weight loss and changes in blood pressure, which can result in death within ten minutes. Long-term users of Methamphetamines, whether through use, inhalation, injection, or eating, will develop an intense physical dependence upon them. This creates a problem since it means that users are likely to be unable to live without Methamphetamines, even when they are under medical supervision.
Another problem with using Methamphetamines, especially for those who are unaware of its toxic nature, is that the user may become addicted to the drug, which can lead to terrible side effects. This includes, among other things, developing an obsessive desire for the drug, which can eventually lead to a complete withdrawal and jail time. If you or someone you know is thinking about trying this substance, please seek help immediately by considering drug rehab.