Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant that's closely related to amphetamine, it's long lasting and toxic to the central nervous system. Meth which is short for methamphetamine, is a white, odorless, bitter tasting powder that's taken either orally, snorted through the nose, dissolved in liquid and injected or also comes in rock form known as crystal meth which is smoked.
What's In Meth?
Even though the most common ingredient found in meth is pseudoephedrine which is commonly found in cold and allergy medications, the powerful stimulant drug also contains other ingredients that are very poisonous and toxic. The following ingredients are also some of the items that can be used in the process of cooking meth.
- Paint thinner
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Iodine crystals
- Red phosphorus
- Drain cleaner
- Battery acid
- Lithium from batteries
It's hard to imagine why anyone would choose to abuse meth because it contains such harmful and poisonous ingredients but it's said the stimulant drug can produce intense and pleasurable feelings rapidly upon use, which is what users are wanting to achieve. Methamphetamine isn't just toxic, it's also very addictive and users can become dependent on the drug very quickly.
Repeated meth use can lead to addiction which is a chronic relapsing disease that's characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use which is accompanied by chemical and molecular changes in the brain. Sadly though, some of the changes that take place in the brain could persist long after meth use is stopped. Meth does more than enhance a person's mood!
Feelings of pleasure aren't the only effects meth produces, methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant increasing wakefulness and physical activity. Meth also produces rapid and irregular heart rate, increases blood pressure and body temperature and decreases a person's appetite. Methamphetamine is a very dangerous stimulant drug and the effects of meth don't stop there with continued use. Long term use of methamphetamine can lead to mood disturbances, violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia and severe dental problems. Also, medical research has shown that long term use of meth can actually cause damage to the brain similar to that seen with Alzheimer's disease, in stroke victims and with epilepsy so the effects of the drug aren't just pleasurable. All users of meth particularly those who inject the drug risk infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Can You Overdose on Meth?
Yes, an overdose is also a very serious risk associated with meth use and the symptoms should be taken seriously. Because of the rapid onset of the drug's effects, a lethal overdose can be sudden and unexpected. Signs of a meth overdose include profuse sweating, rapid breathing, increased and irregular heart rate and dilated pupils. A meth overdose can result in kidney failure, cardiovascular collapse, and sadly sudden death.
Everyone responds to drugs differently, not every one that tries meth eventually becomes addicted but because of the drug's immediate pleasurable effects, a person can easily become dependent because of the way they respond. Methamphetamine is highly addictive because the enhanced feelings of pleasure can keep users coming back for more, eventually becoming tolerant needing to increase the amount they're using to experience the same feelings.
You see, a meth addict will seek more and more methamphetamine regardless of the consequences in order to get the pleasurable feelings it provides. Overtime, this feeling gets to represent normal to the user which results in the need for more and more. As mentioned above, the effects of meth use don't just involve pleasure or euphoria, below are some of the other symptoms of methamphetamine use and addiction that are far from pleasurable.
- Extreme weight loss
- Severe dental problems "meth mouth"
- Mood disturbances
- Violent behavior
Chronic methamphetamine users can also display a number of psychotic features including:
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Delusions such as the sensation of bugs crawling under the skin
Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Methamphetamine Use
As many as two thirds of methamphetamine users can experience some form of psychosis during withdrawal which can begin during the first few months of use. Sadly they can become consumed by paranoia and fear believing they're in constant and continual danger and that people are out to get them. This delusional state of mind is very similar to that of paranoid schizophrenia.
Furthermore, the methamphetamine user in withdrawal may also alternate from wanting to sleep all the time to not being able to sleep at all. Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms can last for several months so you see, there's many risks and serious dangers associated with meth use. Below are other symptoms associated with methamphetamine withdrawal.
- Feeling extremely tired
- Sleep disorders
- Dry mouth
What's a Safe Way to Detox from Methamphetamine?
Entering a substance abuse medical detox center can make a huge difference, in this type of environment methamphetamine withdrawal effects and symptoms can be minimized in a safe and steady pace while under the supervision of a medical doctor.