Methamphetamine is a psychoactive drug and a very potent central nervous system stimulant. It became available in 1893, just a few years after the discovery of Amphetamines. At the beginning of WW2, German soldiers took it to “increase the level of awareness and improve performance.” Among them, however, the army stopped using it in 1940 because of side effects. In the ’50s, methamphetamine was prescribed as a diet aid and as a depression treatment. Today, students, truck drivers, and athletes use it to increase their performance. However, they quickly develop addictions. To learn about our meth addiction treatment program, please contact Addiction Rehab Program today at 844.910.0686.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a powerful substance, which people often use as a recreational drug. The drug is an equal mixture of its enantiomers (levo-methamphetamine and dextro-methamphetamine). It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder. It is easily soluble in water and alcohol that can be inhaled through the nose, smoked, or injected with a needle. Some abusers take it orally. No matter what route of administration the person chooses, all of them can lead to drug addiction.
How Does Methamphetamine Work?
There are two primary neurotransmitters that fan the flames of meth addictiveness: norepinephrine and dopamine. Its effects occur due to the release of dopamine and norepinephrine in the synapses of specific brain areas. The result is the change in perception of the whole sensory input from the outer world. Emotional and rational thinking processes are changed. In the early stages of the addiction, the user will perceive the effects as good, stimulating, and euphoric. However, as time passes by and the addiction establishes, the euphoric response to a drug dulls, and the person only uses it to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Although the meth experience typically involves the sense of accomplishment, huge personal success, and excitement, some abusers feel emotionally blunt. Physical and emotional stimulation leads to sleep deprivation, and that is when psychological problems occur. Paranoid ideas, delusions, and hallucinations take over. Common hallucination is bugs crawling on the skin. Because abusers try to get rid of these bugs, they pick them, scratch repetitively, which leads to open wounds followed by meth sores. Meth sores are characteristic of severe meth abusers.
Can Methamphetamine Be Addictive?
Yes. This drug is one of the most addictive drugs available in the market. Although the strength of the substance is an arbitrary thing, some say that methamphetamine is three times as powerful as cocaine. The mechanism of its action is so powerful that it can trigger dependency after just a few uses. Psychologists reported cases of patients that became addicted after one or two uses. In 1970, the FDA released the classification of the drugs based on the risk of abuse and harm. Methamphetamine is listed as a Schedule II stimulant. Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Is It Possible to Overdose on Methamphetamine?
Yes, overdose is a major risk when someone is taking methamphetamines. There are two types of overdose: acute and chronic.
An acute overdose occurs if a person uses a large dose of methamphetamine one time and experiences side effects. Common signs of an acute meth overdose include:
- Enlarged pupils
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- High body temperature
- Stomach pain
- Kidney failure
- Altered mental status
- Rapid, slowed, or irregular heart rate
An acute overdose of methamphetamine is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical help.
Chronic overdose refers to the accumulated effects after long-term use. Common signs of a chronic meth overdose include:
- Extreme mood changes
- Violent outbursts
- Tooth decay (meth mouth)
- Skin problems
- Weight loss
- Severe sleep disturbances
To avoid chronic overdose, it’s best to seek treatment at a meth addiction treatment program.
Common Methamphetamine Drug Combinations
According to the figures gathered by addiction experts, these are the most frequent combinations:
- 43% of users meth combined the drug with marijuana.
- 14% combined it with GHB.
- 10.8% combined it with amyl nitrite (“poppers”).
- 8.6% combined it with both cocaine and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly called Ecstasy.
- 2.7% combined it with both heroin and Viagra
The most popular triple mixtures are meth and marijuana with poppers (56.9%) and GHB (37.3%).
The health effects of polydrug abuse are not thoroughly researched yet, but so far, it appears that health deterioration develops much faster in such cases.
Contact Addiction Rehab Centers Today
No one should have to deal with their meth addiction alone. At Addiction Rehab Centers, we’re committed to working alongside those struggling with addiction. To learn about our meth addiction treatment program, please call our team today at 844.910.0686.