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FAQ' s on Methamphetamine Addiction

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. It works directly on the brain and spinal cord by interfering with normal neurotransmission. The main neurotransmitter affected by methamphetamine is dopamine.

Methamphetamine has a high potential for abuse and dependence. It is illegally produced and sold in pill form, capsules, powder and chunks.

Methamphetamine was originally used in nasal decongestants, bronchial inhalers, and in the treatment of narcolepsy and obesity.

Slang terms for methamphetamine are: meth, speed, crank, chalk, go-fast, zip, ice, crystal, 64glass, quartz, and cristy.

What are Neutransmitters?

Neurotransmitters are chemical substances naturally produced within nerve cells used to communicate with each other and send messages to influence and regulate our thinking and all other systems throughout the body.

A: Precursors are substances that, in nature, might be inactive. However, when combined with another chemical the result is a new product. Methamphetamine starts with an inactive or marginally-inactive compound (ephedrine or pseudoephedrine) and other chemicals are added to produce the drug.

Signs that a person is using Methamphetamine?

A person using methamphetamine may have the following symptoms:

  • anxiousness
  • nervousness
  • incessant talking
  • extreme moodiness and irritability
  • repetitious behavior
  • sleep disturbances
  • false sense of confidence and power
  • aggressive or violent behavior
  • disinterest in previously enjoyed activities
  • severe depression

Legitimate uses of Methamphetamine?

In some cases, doctors prescribe low doses of methamphetamine to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder.

What happens immediately after a person takes Methamphetamine?

The immediate effects depend on how methamphetamine is taken. Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection, the user experiences an intense "rush" or "flash" that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Smoking or injecting produces effects fastest, within five to ten seconds. Snorting or ingesting orally produces a high but not an intense rush. Snorting produces effects within three to five minutes, and ingesting orally produces effects within 15 to 20 minutes.

The effects can last anywhere from 4 to 24 hours.

Long Term Side Effects of Methamphetamine?

If taken over a long period of time, methamphetamine can cause heart failure, brain damage, and stroke and extreme, acute psychiatric and psychological symptoms that may lead to suicide or murder.

Methamphetamine Overdose?

The most common signs of an overdose are:

  • high fever
  • convulsions
  • heart problems

Methamphetamine Addiction and Pregnancy

Babies born to mothers who take methamphetamine can be born methamphetamine addicted and suffer birth defects, low birth weight, tremors, excessive crying, attention deficit disorder, and behavior disorders.

Can Methamphetamin Addiction be Treated?

Methamphetamine addiction can now be treated, however, currently, a cure does not exist. Antidepressant medications are sometimes used to combat the depressive symptoms of withdrawal. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps change a patient's thinking, expectations and behavior, while increasing coping skills to deal with life stresses are other treatment options.

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