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The Effects of Meth
on The Brain

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Methamphetamine is a derivative of amphetamine, a chemical synthesized in Japan in 1919. Both chemicals were originally used in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. It has also been used as an obesity treatment.

Meth is powerful, synthetic stimulant that attacks the central nervous system. The drug is either ingested, injected, snorted, or smoked. The effect is much longer than most drugs. Consumption of methamphetamine has a neurotoxic effect on the brain cells which store dopamine and serotonin. Even abusers who have remained abstinent for at least nine months showed progress from damage to their dopamine transporters but their motor skills and memories were not found to have improved much at all. The consumption of methamphetamine has been proven multiple times to be associated with irreversible damages to the brain.

Immediate Effects of Meth Include:

  • Wakefulness
  • Increased physical activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased respiration
  • Hypothermia
  • Euphoria
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression

A common term found from using methamphetamine is “tweaking”. Tweaking is the most dangerous stage or state produced from using meth over a long period of time. Tweaking happens when the user has not slept in 3-15 days and is severely irritable and paranoid. This action or behavior is known as tweaking where as the user is called the tweaker.

The tweaker then craves more and more meth, and then find it difficult to achieve an original high, which then causes frustration and bitterness.

A tweaker can appear very normal. But with just getting closer to the user you can sense that the tweakers eyes are moving very fast, slim voice quiver, and sudden movements or jerks will occur. These signs may not be apparent to the user or tweaker because generally they have found another substance to use with it to counteract as a depressant. Paranoia and frustration are common symptoms or feelings and as a result of these the user will usually turn to another substance to try and feel comfortable again. Anyone who is around someone who is in this state of mind or let alone on methamphetamine should approach with caution.

With meth addiction comes the other side, treatment. The treatment mainly includes counseling, psychotherapy, support groups, and family session therapy. Some medications may be prescribed to help assist the meth withdrawal, cravings, and in blocking the effects of the drug upon the body. The more treatment given, and longer time spent in a treatment center, the more successful of an outcome will happen with the drug addict.

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