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Drug Information - Methamphetamine

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Methamphetamine


Effects of Methamphetamine on the Brain

Dopamine plays an important role in the regulation of pleasure. In addition to other regions, dopamine is manufactured in nerve cells within the ventral tegmental area and is released in the nucleus accumbens and the frontal cortex. It appears that the drug stimulates excess release of dopamine, contributing to the effects on the user.


Effective Treatment Options for Methamphetamine or Crystal Meth Abusers

At this time the most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are cognitive behavioral interventions. These approaches are designed to help modify the patient's thinking, expectancies, and behaviors and to increase skills in coping with various life stressors. Methamphetamine recovery support groups also appear to be effective adjuncts to behavioral interventions that can lead to long-term drug-free recovery.


Crystal Meth Addiction

There are some established protocols that emergency room physicians use to treat individuals who have had a methamphetamine overdose. Because hyperthermia and convulsions are common and often fatal complications of such overdoses, emergency room treatment focuses on the immediate physical symptoms. Overdose patients are cooled off in ice baths, and anticonvulsant drugs may be administered also.


Narconon, with its comprehensive and natural approach to substance abuse, is known to be effective to help addicts tosafely and permanently recover from all kind of drug addictions, includding methamphetamine.


Methamphetamine: a Dangerous Drug, a Spreading Threat

Methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is a highly addictive drug that can be manufactured by using products commercially available anywhere in the United States and Canada. The chemicals used in producing methamphetamine are extremely volatile, and the amateur chemists running makeshift laboratories -- often in hotels or areas where children are present -- cause deadly explosions and fires. The by-products of methamphetamine production are extremely toxic. Methamphetamine traffickers display no concern about environmental hazards when it comes to manufacturing and disposing of methamphetamine and its by-products.


The effects of methamphetamine, or crystal meth, on humans are profound. The stimulant effects from methamphetamine can last for hours, instead of minutes as with crack cocaine. Often the methamphetamine user remains awake for days. As the high begins to wear off, the methamphetamine user enters a stage called "tweaking," in which he or she is prone to violence, delusions, and paranoia. Many methamphetamine users try to alleviate the effect of the methamphetamine "crash" by buffering the effects with other drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Like heroin and cocaine, methamphetamine can be snorted, smoked, or injected.



Methamphetamine History

First synthesized in 1887 Germany, amphetamine was for a long time, a drug in search of a disease. Nothing was done with the drug, from its discovery (synthesis) until the late 1920's, when it was seriously investigated as a cure or treatment against nearly everything from depression to decongestion.

In the 1930's, amphetamine was marketed as Benzedrine in an over-the-counter inhaler to treat nasal congestion (for asthmatics, hay fever sufferers, and people with colds). A probable direct reaction to the Depression and Prohibition, the drug was used and abused by non-asthmatics looking for a buzz. By 1937 amphetamine was available by prescription in tablet form.

Crystal Meth Abuse

Methamphetamine, more potent and easy to make, was discovered in Japan in 1919. The crystalline powder was soluble in water, making it a perfect candidate for injection. It is still legally produced in the U.S., sold under the trade name Desoxyn.


During World War II, amphetamines were widely used to keep the fighting men going (during the Vietnam war, American soldiers used more amphetamines than the rest of the world did during WWII). In Japan, intravenous methamphetamine abuse reached epidemic proportions immediately after World War II, when supplies stored for military use became available to the public.


In the United States in the 1950s, legally manufactured tablets of both dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methamphetamine (Methedrine) became readily available and were used non-medically by college students, truck drivers, and athletes, As use of amphetamines spread, so did their abuse. Amphetamines became a cure-all for such things as weight control to treating mild depression.


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