Sunday, 7 October 2012

Effects and Signs of Methamphetamine Use

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark,
in the hopeless swamps of the approximate,
the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish,
in lonely frustration for the life you deserved,
but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desired can be won.
It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."
Ayn Rand

What Is Meth?
Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant.  A synthetic drug, Meth has a high potential for abuse and dependence. It is illegally produced and sold in pill form, capsules, powder and chunks; it can also be smoked, snorted or injected.  The fast, powerful high tapers off quickly, leaving the user with a strong desire to do more.
Usually crystal meth is smoked in glass pipes, similar to how crack cocaine is used.  It may be injected (either dry or dissolved in water), snorted, swallowed, or inserted into the anus or urethra.
This drug is referred to by many names, including "Meth", "speed", "crank", "chald," "go-fast", "zip," and "cristy".  The smokable form of this drug is ofen called "L.A.", "ice", "crystal or chrystal", "64glass", or "quartz."

Why Is Crystal Meth Used?
Females often take crystal meth because it can cause extremely rapid weight loss. However, the effects are short term. The body builds up a tolerance to the drug so weight loss tapers off and stops around six weeks after taking the drug. Also, weight that is lost is regained once a person stops taking methamphetamine. For these reasons, combined with how addictive the drug is, methamphetamine tends not to be prescribed by doctors for weight loss.
Some people take meth because of the long-lasting high that it gives. Methamphetamine causes numerous neurotransmitters to be released in the brain, producing a sense of euphoria that may last as long as 12 hours, depending on how the drug was taken.
Methamphetamine is popular as a stimulant. As a stimulant, methamphetamine improves concentration, energy, and alertness while decreasing appetite and fatigue.
Methamphetamines are also taken by people who are feeling depressed. They may be taken for their side effect of increasing libido and sexual pleasure.

What Are the Effects of Meth Use?
This is a list of effects associated with pure methamphetamine use. Because of how it's made, crystal meth is never pure, so the dangers associated with taking the street drug extend beyond these effects.
Short-Term Effects
When methamphetamine is injected or smoked it immediately produces an intensely pleasurable sensation known as a "rush" or a "flash" by releasing high levels of dopamine in the brain. Snorting methamphetamine produces an euphoric sensation, but not a rush.
Even taken in small amounts, methamphetamine can cause:
Increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, Hyperthermia, Increased heart rate and blood pressure, Irregular heartbeat and cardiovascular collapse.
Other effects of meth use on the central nervous system can produce the following symptoms:
Irritability, prolonged insomnia, confusion, anxiety, tremors convulsions,  paranoia and aggressiveness.
Hyperthermia and convulsions can be fatal.  Methamphetamine can also cause irreversible damage to the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in a stroke.
Long-Term Effects
Long-term meth abuse results in many damaging effects, including addiction.  Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and drug use which is accompanied by functional and molecular changes in the brain.
In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic meth abusers exhibit symptoms that can include violent behaviour, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia.  They also can display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions. The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts.
With chronic use, tolerance for methamphetamine can develop.  In an effort to intensify the desired effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their method of drug intake.  In some cases, abusers forego food and sleep while indulging in a form of binging known as a "run," injecting as much as a gram of the drug every 2 to 3 hours over several days until the user runs out of the drug or is too disorganized to continue.
Chronic abuse can lead to psychotic behaviour, characterized by intense paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and out-of-control rages that can be coupled with extremely violent behaviour.

Signs of Meth Use
Relatives and friends should be aware of the signs of meth use so they can get help for a person who is abusing methamphetamine.  Meth abuse is a dangerous habit that can lead to addiction, mental damage, and death.
Other than actually finding the drug, relatives and friends should watch for less obvious signs that a person is using meth.  Though some warning signs of meth use can be similar to normal changes during the teen years, others are easier to spot.
Meth can stay in the body for a number of hours after it is taken. While a person is high on meth, others may notice some signs of meth use such as:
Dilated pupils
Breathing problems or very fast breathing for no reason
Grinding teeth
Repetitive behaviours
High temperature
Lots of energy and increased activity
Talking excessively
Seeming very alert
Looking flushed even when not doing anything
Experiencing a high or a sense of extreme happiness
Lack of appetite
Nervousness or anxiety
Not feeling tired and not being able to sleep
Shaking or jerkiness
Though these symptoms may wear off once the drug is out of the person’s symptoms, meth use has other effects that last once the high wears off:
Periods of increased alertness and energy interspaced with extreme fatigue and depression
Picking or scratching at skin or clothes
Anxiety or paranoia
Confusion and loss of mental function
Lack of interest in food and dramatic weight loss
Losing interest in favourite activities
Withdrawal from family and friends or sudden change in friends
Sudden drop in grades
Getting in trouble at school/university, etc. or with the police
Burns on lips or fingers from smoking meth through a glass pipe
Nosebleeds from snorting meth
Track marks on the arm, or attempts to cover them, due to injecting meth
Loss of interest in personal hygiene, like not showering or brushing hair
Lying or being secretive, beyond the normal teen desire for privacy
Stealing money or valuables to sell for drug money
Possession of drug paraphernalia, like razors blades, straws, and mirrors, or needles and surgical tubing
Violent moods or behaviours
Psychotic behaviour
Suicidal thoughts and behaviour

Emergency telephone numbers:
USA                            1-800-521-7128
UK                               0800 77 66 00
South Africa              083 900 MY NA (083 900 69 62)


  1. Lots of very useful information. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Mich. Not a very cheerful topic to choose but I think it is very important for people to get educated about drugs especially those with teenage kids.