Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant
that activates certain systems in the brain. It is closely related
chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects
of methamphetamine are greater. Both drugs have some medical uses,
primarily in the treatment of obesity, but their therapeutic use
is limited. The central nervous system actions that result from
taking even small amounts of methamphetamine include increased
wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite,
increased respiration, hypothermia, and euphoria. Other CNS effects
include irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions,
anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Hyperthermia and convulsions
can result in death.
Methamphetamine can be swallowed, snorted,
smoked, dissolved in water and injected. As with all addictive
drugs, the potential for addiction is greater when it is delivered
by methods that cause the concentration in the blood to rise quickly,
principally because the effects desired by the user are felt more
quickly and with a higher intensity than a moderated delivery
Methamphetamine is a powerful nasal decongestant,
so methamphetamine users who snort it often have very clear nasal
cavities. However, there have been rare cases of people snorting
so much meth that their nose cartilage deteriorates, though snorting
cocaine is far more likely to cause nasal degeneration, due to
its vasoconstrictive properties. Snorting methamphetamine may
also cause tooth decay, since the nasal passages are directly
connected to the mouth region, and it is theorized that damaging
crystalline particles can still attach to the teeth. Another theory
is that the drug directly affects calcium balance in the body.
Methamphetamine is commonly smoked in
glass pipes, or in aluminum foil heated by a flame underneath. This
method is also known as "chasing the dragon". Methamphetamine
must be heated (not burned) to cause the desired smoke. Smoking
methamphetamine is probably the most impure form of ingestion. In
addition to the possible effects on teeth, it is very damaging to
the lungs. Methamphetamine users who smoke it sometimes experience
mild asthma, which can be countered by inhaling salbutamol aerosol
spray, or epinephrine aerosol. Another problem with smoking meth
is the potential presence of oxidation byproducts created when the
heated drug comes in contact with air. Even if the initial drug
is pure methamphetamine, the act of smoking it produces other chemicals,
some of which may be toxic.
Injection is a popular method for
use, but potentially carries with it quite serious risks. The
hydrochloride salt of methamphetamine is soluble in water; injection
users may use any dose from 200mg to over a gram in one I.V. dose
using a small needle. In methamphetamine research, injection users
often do not experience severe tooth decay, presumably because
there is no residue left as with smoking it. But injection users
experience greater jaw-clenching than users who snort or smoke
it, since injecting methamphetamine has a much more powerful effect.
This can cause loose teeth, so injection users still do lose their
teeth. Also, this method of ingestion brings the risk of infection;
injection users often experience skin rashes (sometimes called
"speed bumps") and all kinds of infections due to the
methamphetamine damage to the skin. As with any injected drug,
if a group of users shares a common needle without sterilization
procedures, very grave blood-borne diseases such as HIV or hepatitis
can be transmitted as well.
Thai for "crazy medicine,"
Yaba, a methamphetamine tablet, has been appearing in the UK.
Yaba tablets are sometimes flavoured (grape, orange, and vanilla):
tasting like candy, the tablets are obviously marketed to a young
audience, particularly at raves or parties where Ecstasy
(a similar looking drug) has been well established. The tablets
are commonly reddish-orange or green, and fit inside the end of
a drinking straw. They have a variety of logos, with WY
the most common. Methamphetamine pills are normally ingested orally,
although they can be crushed into powder and administered.
Effects And Risks Of Methamphetamine
Effects of Methamphetamine:-
Immediately after smoking or injection, the
user experiences an intense sensation, called a "rush"
or "flash," that lasts only a few minutes and is described
as extremely pleasurable. Snorting or swallowing meth produces euphoria
- a high, but not a rush. After the initial "rush," there
is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals
can lead to violent behavior. Other possible immediate effects include
increased wakefulness and insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability/aggression,
anxiety, nervousness, convulsions and heart attack. Rush a surge
of pleasure that rapidly follows administration of some drugs.
Risks of Methamphetamine:-
The effects and dependence potential of meth
are similar to that of amphetamine misuse, although as the stuff
is a lot stronger, the dangers involved are greater with an increased
chance of overdose.
Overuse can bring on paranoia, short term
memory loss, wild rages and mood swings as well as damage to your
immune system. As far as we know, it is not physically addictive,
although many have quickly developed a very strong psychological
and damaging dependence for the drug.
Even small amounts of methamphetamine can
produce euphoria, wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased
appetite and increased respiration.
Psychological symptoms of prolonged methamphetamine
use can resemble those of schizophrenia and are characterised by
paranoia and hallucinations. Methamphetamine induced paranoia can
result in homicidal or suicidal thoughts.
Overdosing can lead to severe convulsions
followed by circulatory and respiratory collapse, coma and death.
Some people have died after taking small doses.
Is Methamphetamine Addictive
Methamphetamine is very addictive 95% of
those who are hooked on meth became hooked after the first time.
Only 5 percent of meth addicts are able to kick it and stay away.
From the first hit to the last breath, the life expectancy of a
habitual Methamphetamine user is only 5 years.
Methamphetamine And The Law
Because methamphetamine has no medical use
in the UK, there is no legitimate reason for its possession. It
is a class B drug under The Misuse of Drugs Act. Maximum penalties
for possession are 5 years imprisonment plus fine and for supply
are 14 years imprisonment plus a fine. If any amphetamine type drug
is prepared for injection it becomes a class A drug and increased