Methamphetamines are central nervous system stimulant drugs that are highly addictive and dangerous. Although meth is available for one-time use by prescription, it has a very limited medical use. Most meth used in this country comes from foreign or U.S. illegal super-labs. The composition of the drug is pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, mixed with numerous other ingredients.
Methamphetamines that are manufactured in crystal form are called crystal meth.
Meth changes the levels of the brain neurotransmitter, dopamine, resulting in an intense high, or rush.
How is it used?
“Meth” is a white, odorless but bitter-tasting crystalline powder that dissolves in alcohol or water. It is taken by snorting intra-nasally, orally or by injection with a needle, or by smoking.
Slang terms include:
- Yellow Bam
Signs of usage:
- Erratic behavior
- Increased energy
- Problems with oral hygiene (rotting teeth and receding gums)
- Open sores, especially on face
- Emaciated appearance (weight loss)
Effects of usage:
- An extreme rush or high
- Increased physical activity
- No need for sleep
- Decreased appetite
- Rapid respiration
- Rapid heart rate
Withdrawal and usage can result in:
- Excessive sweating
- Constriction of the artery wall
The obsession to use successfully starts the whole cycle over again.
- Meth mouth and dental problems
- Transmission of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C and B
- Extreme weight loss
- Anxiety and confusion
- Cognitive loss
- Mood disturbances
- Sores as a result of scratching perceived bugs on the face and body
Chronic meth abuse actually changes how the brain functions. SPECT brain image scanning has shown alterations in the activity of the dopamine system that can reduce motor skills and impair verbal learning. Emotion and memory can also be affected.