Methamphetamine or “Meth” for short is a very addictive and powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system and produces an intense and powerful euphoria in its users. It is a white, odorless, and bitter-tasting powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. Meth is also called ice, blue, or crystal.
Methamphetamine was developed from its parent drug amphetamine and was originally used in inhalers and nasal decongestants. The National Institute on Drug Abuse discusses methamphetamine and what it does:
Like amphetamine, methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria. However, methamphetamine differs from amphetamine in that, at comparable doses, much greater amounts of the drug get into the brain, making it a more potent stimulant. It also has longer-lasting and more harmful effects on the central nervous system. These characteristics make it a drug with high potential for widespread misuse. (NIH)
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant that is rarely prescribed legally. Medically, it is sometimes indicated for the treatment of ADHD and as a short-term weight-loss aid, but it is more widely used as an illicit substance.
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Injecting Meth and The Dangers
“Meth” can be ingested by either oral consumption, snorting, smoking, or injecting it. Injecting meth, shooting up, or “slamming” is the most dangerous way to ingest the substance. Shooting meth produces a quicker and more intense high than ingesting it any other way. Users will feel the effects usually within 30 seconds of injecting it. This intense rush produces a euphoric high for several minutes. After the initial rush, the energy-based high will last up to eight hours from adrenaline rushing through the body.
Why Injecting Meth Is Very Dangerous
When an individual shoots meth, the effects are felt immediately and are very intense. This intense euphoric high increases the likelihood of an addiction developing. It also increases the user’s tolerance meaning that they will have to continue to take more and more of the substance to experience the same high. Continuously increasing the amounts of meth will cause damage to their bodies and minds to get worse and worse, and the individual is at more risk of experiencing an overdose or fatal overdose.
Injecting any substance puts the user at risk of developing communicable diseases and blood infections because it is very common for users to share needles. Shooting meth can also cause damage to the veins including scarring and vein collapse. The chemicals found in meth will cause inflammation and burning in the veins, and users are also at high risk of developing abscesses.
Side Effects of Injecting Methamphetamine
Injecting meth can also have detrimental legal, financial, and social consequences, but the mental health issues it causes are the most devastating. Meth causes very serious mental health damage. An individual will often start using meth as an escape from untreated depression and anxiety, and it greatly worsens the severity of both. Meth drains the production of dopamine in an individual’s brain.
This causes severe depression after the high has worn off. There are also several long-term mental issues that meth use can cause. Memory loss, suicidal thoughts, mood and personality changes, hallucinations, loss of the ability to feel pleasure, violent and aggressive behaviors are just some of the long-term mental effects.
Shooting meth can also cause several long-term medical issues. Some of the long-term medical effects of meth use can include:
- Nerve damage
- Severe tooth decay
- Jaw clenching
- Anxiety and depression
- Heart problems
- Skin infections
- Liver and kidney damage
Using meth in any form is dangerous, however, injecting the drug can quickly have devastating effects on its user. Methamphetamine use and abuse have become increasingly popular in this country, and people are becoming addicted and suffering vastly from its effects. Methamphetamine addiction is not easy to recover from, but it can be done.
Treatment for Meth Addiction
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