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Meth Facts

Methamphetamine, otherwise known as "meth" or "crystal meth", is a powerful stimulant of the amphetamine class of drugs. Its most common effects include increasing alertness, concentration, energy, inducing euphoria, enhancing self-esteem, and increasing libido. Methamphetamine carries a high addictive liability.  It works by activating the reward system in the brain (the mesolimbic dopamine system), triggering the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. In pharmaceutical form, methamphetamine is FDA approved for the treatment of ADHD and obesity, sold in the United States under the brand name Desoxyn™. Meth is a synthetically produced drug that has become an epidemic in American society, destroyng lives and tearing families apart.

Methamphetamine Facts

  • Street terms:
    • speed
    • crystal
    • ice
    • shards
    • crank
  • Methods of ingestion:
    • injecting
    • snorting
    • smoking
    • oral ingestion.
  • In 2002, over 12 million people in the US aged 12 and over reported trying methamphetamine at least once in their lives. Of these, over 590,000 reported having used meth in the past month.
  • Common dangers include addiction, brain damage and psychotic behavior.
  • Chronic use can cause confusion, anxiety, violent behavior, delusions, paranoia, insomnia, and hallucinations.
  • Damage to the brain caused by methamphetamine use is similar to that of strokes, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.
  • Snorting meth affects the user within 5 minutes. Oral ingestion takes about 20 minutes for the effects to take hold.
  • Side effects include convulsions, high body temperature, shaking, stomach cramps and cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Chronic use can also cause inflammation of the heart lining. For those injecting the drug, damaged blood vessels and skin abscesses.
  • Overdose can cause hyperthermia and convulsions. If left untreated, it can result in death.
  • Injection also causes a raised chance of contracting the HIV/AIDS virus from an infected needle.

Helpful resources:

http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/methfact01.html

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