Psychotic symptoms can last for months or years after discontinuing methamphetamine use. They can spontaneously recur. Methamphetamine use can lead to a number of other health problems, including dependence, heart problems, and other physical and mental health issues. The drug has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Tolerance develops quickly, and psychological addiction can develop within a relatively short space of time.
Methamphetamine is very addictive. This is because a large amount of dopamine remains in the brain cells synapses for long periods of time after use.
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The dopamine keeps the cells activated, allowing the user to experience the powerful feelings of euphoria. After a while, the user is unable to produce dopamine naturally and requires the drug to feel normal, needing larger doses to experience feelings of pleasure. Stopping suddenly does not cause a physical withdrawal, as with heroin. Instead, the person may feel extreme fatigue, mental depression , irritability, apathy, and disorientation. Methamphetamine use increases the risk of heart problems, such as chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm, and high blood pressure.
Pharmacology of amphetamines
This can lead to a heart attack, acute aortic dissection, or sudden cardiac death, even after using the drug for the first time. There is a higher risk of stroke , possibly due to elevated blood pressure or faster rate of atherosclerosis. Methamphetamine abuse can also cause tooth decay so severe that most of the teeth either rot, known as "meth mouth," or need extracting. Methamphetamine may have neurological effects that do not go away if a person stops using the drug. Researchers have linked amphetamine use to a higher risk of Parkinson's disease , for example, a condition that affects the nerves of movement.
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Illicit drug manufacturers are called "cooks. Anyone in the area of a methamphetamine laboratory is also at risk of exposure to chemicals, including children. Other health risks include a higher chance of getting a blood-borne disease, such as hepatitis , among those who inject the drug. Since the drug is illegally produced and sold, there are no controls over its contents.
There is a risk of toxicity from unknown substances that may be present. The individual's overall health may deteriorate due to a lack of food or a poor diet. Severe weight loss may occur. It can also affect a person's ability to think, learn, understand, and remember. They may feel confused and anxious. Social consequences of long-term use include financial pressures, problems with work, and challenges with family relationships.
Symptoms include :. There are currently no available medications for methamphetamine addiction. Possible strategies include behavioral approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy CBT , family education, individual counseling, and motivational strategies, such as vouchers for those who do not use the drug for some time.
Most methamphetamine is made in "superlabs" in California or Mexico, but it can also be made in small home laboratories, using relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients such as pseudoephedrine. It is often mixed with other substances, including caffeine, talc, and other toxic additives. By law, pharmacies and retail stores must keep pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products behind the counter. They also need to keep a log of consumer identification and the amount of product purchased.
Commercially, methamphetamine is available under the brand name Desoxyn, in 5-mg tablets.
It has a very limited use in the treatment of obesity, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. It is used off-label to treat narcolepsy. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Thu 28 June All references are available in the References tab. American Association of Neurology.
Using amphetamines may increase risk of Parkinson's disease [Press release]. History of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine: Brief description. Methamphetamine drug info. Petit, A. Methamphetamine addiction: a review of the literature.
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Reviewed by Lindsay Slowiczek, PharmD. Table of contents What is methamphetamine? Fast facts on methamphetamine Here are some key points about methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is neurotoxic and can damage dopamine and serotonin neurons in the brain. Most methamphetamine is made illegally, and it may contain caffeine, talc, and other toxic substances.
Its use is linked to higher frequencies of unprotected sexual intercourse and violent behavior. Studies suggest that it may lead to structural and functional changes in the brain associated with emotion and memory, and that some of these may be irreversible.
Toxicity increases when used with alcohol, cocaine or opiates. There are several treatment options, but the beginning of recovery involves detoxification. This is a natural process in which the body dispels all toxins from the drug, and is crucial to recover.
Detox must be completed by a team of health care professionals, as the withdrawal symptoms can be highly dangerous and even deadly. Treatment for either drug addiction involves cognitive behavioral therapy CBT , dialectical behavioral therapy DBT , group, family, and individual counseling, and more.
What is methamphetamine?
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