By: Shannon Persad
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What is Methamphetamine? Facts You Need to Know
Most people are familiar with opioids and marijuana, but what about methamphetamines?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA):
”Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Also known as meth, blue, ice, and crystal, among many other terms, it takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.”
Unlike the opioid crisis, meth isn’t in the limelight, but it should not be ignored. Here are some facts you need to know about meth.
Meth Facts to Know
Meth can alter the brain in a negative way. According to NIDA,
“Methamphetamine increases the amount of natural chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is involved in body movement, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. The drug’s ability to rapidly release high levels of dopamine in reward areas of the brain strongly reinforces drug-taking behavior, making the user want to repeat the experience.”
WebMD says meth originated during World War II. Since then it has been used to cure depression or decrease appetite. It has also been found in ADHD medication. Today, it is abused by many people whom later become addicts.
NIDA states that people take meth by smoking, swallowing pills, snorting, or injecting the powder into water/alcohol. When people are using meth, the “high” starts and fades quickly, which leads to repeat doses in a “binge and crash” pattern, NIDA says.
Just like most drugs today, meth is combined with synthetic drugs, causing overdose deaths to rise in the United States. Synthetic opioids and other substances have been laced into meth, resulting in deadly consequences. It is also possible to overdose on meth, even without the combination of fatal substitutes.
There are various ways to treat meth addiction, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, coping skills, and submitting into drug rehab.
Just like most drug addictions, there will always be negative consequences. Meth is just as dangerous as other substances out there and has contributed to the overdose death toll.
If you or someone you know is battling a meth addiction, please seek professional help.