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Methamphetamine Abuse

The abuse of methamphetamine first became common in the San Diego, California region but now it has spread nationwide. Early on, people who used to abuse the drug the most were white males who held blue collar jobs, but the situation has changed. Now, abusers come from all different backgrounds. Many people usually attribute this to the fact that methamphetamine is a drug which is readily available since it is usually manufactured by dealers operating clandestine laboratories.

In addition to this, the drug is usually made using ingredients that are readily found over the counter. This drug was actually derived from amphetamine (the parent), which has been in use in medical institutions for some time. In certain rare circumstances, doctors prescribe this drug for treating medical conditions such as narcolepsy and hyperactivity.

Methamphetamine has been used for treating conditions requiring nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers, since it is the main ingredient used. The drug goes by numerous other names on the street, such as Chalk, Speed and Meth. Methamphetamine can be smoked, ingested orally, injected, or even snorted. The effects that are produced usually depend on the method used.

Methamphetamine Abuse

Many abusers of the drug smoke it and when it is administered through this method, it is normally referred to by other different names including Crank, ice, glass and crystal. Methamphetamine is white in color, bitter-tasting and usually dissolves in alcohol and water.

This drug is classified under the category of Schedule 2 stimulants, which are usually drugs that have a high potential for addiction and abuse. When this drug is used for a relatively long period of time, dependency of Methamphetamine usually develops, and this means that the user has to ingest the drug in order to function normally. A user cannot stop using the drug abruptly because withdrawal symptoms will kick in, and these can often be very painful. Other medication has to be prescribed to relieve the symptoms.

This drug usually gives the user a sudden rush of ‘high” when ingested, but this only lasts for a moment, meaning that the user will have to take another dose as soon as the effects of the initial dose wear off. The behavior that users of this drug frequently exhibit is due to this effect.

Side Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

  • Rush
  • Death
  • Euphoria
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Hyperthermia
  • Heart attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Increased respiration

This drug tends to stay in the brain for much longer than most other drugs and this is mainly why treatment for its addiction often takes more time than is necessary for other types of addiction.

This does not mean that the treatment techniques which are used for methamphetamine abuse are special, but only that the body may require a longer period of time to detoxify.

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