These are the effects of the drug that is wreaking havoc in the U.S.

These are the effects of the drug that is wreaking havoc in the U.S.

The word methamphetamine was made popular by. Breaking Bad. Popular, of course, among those who do not use drugs because they did not know of its existence. But methamphetamine was and is a well-known substance among drug users. It is a synthetically produced, highly addictive stimulant. and with a century of history.

What is methamphetamine?

It is a powder that can be presented as a pill or a shiny rock (called a crystal). Crystal methamphetamine is known as “meth,” “crystal,” “glass,” or “chalk.” Its chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine.a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the United States, methamphetamine is a powerful and highly potent stimulant. addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Like all addictive drugs, it produces an initial pleasurable effect followed by an unpleasant rebound effect.

How is methamphetamine consumed?

Methamphetamine can be ingest (pills), aspirate, smoking (the glass one, in a small glass pipe) or inject (the powder is first dissolved in water or alcohol). The “high” it provides begins and ends quickly, so the user often takes repeated doses.

What does methamphetamine do in the brain?

At first, it causes a rush of good feelings, but then users feel jittery, overly excited, angry, or scared. Methamphetamine use can quickly lead to addiction.

Methamphetamine elevates the amount of dopamine in the brain, a natural chemical involved in body movement, motivation, and reinforcement of satisfaction-producing behaviors. In other words, dopamine activates the reward circuitry that makes us tend to repeat a behavior. or consumption in search of that sensation. Conversely, a deficit of dopamine can produce a feeling of weakness, lack of enthusiasm, disinterest and even depression.

It is estimated that every day in the United States 200 people die from consumption of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent and highly addictive.

What methamphetamine does is to rapidly elevate the level of dopamine in the reward areas of the brain.. Thus, it reinforces the idea of its consumption and makes the person want to repeat the experience.

What are the short-term effects?

Methamphetamine use causes medical problems. Basically, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

  • It raises the body temperature so high that the person may faint.
  • Generates severe itching
  • Causes so-called ‘meth mouth’: broken teeth and dry mouth.
  • Causes emotional and thinking problems

Taking it, even in small amounts, can produce similar effects on health as cocaine or amphetamines:

  • Increases wakefulness and physical activity.
  • Decreases appetite
  • Accelerates breathing
  • Causes rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Raises blood pressure and
  • Increases body temperature
  • Constricts blood vessels
  • Dilates the pupils
  • Gives energy to the brain release sugar and fat into the bloodstream.

A report citing the California Dental Association points out that methamphetamine can also cause a feeling of increased alertness, anger, fear or disturbance.. This drug in its crystal form produces a stimulant effect that lasts much longer than that of crack: twelve hours versus one.

What are the long-term consequences?

Since it produces a increase in heart rate and blood pressure.mentamfetamine can cause damage to blood vessels in the brain (strokes), respiratory problems, cardiac arrhythmias, extreme anorexia, and in some cases cardiovascular collapse and death, summarizes the portal Infodrogas.


Habitual use of large doses can produce a toxic psychosis, presenting with ideation paranoid ideas, hallucinations, and violent behavior. or risky, even producing suicidal or homicidal acts.

A little history

  • Methamphetamine was first synthesized in Japan in 1919, modeled on the amphetamine molecule. It began to be marketed in 1938 under the name methedrine as a nasal decongestant and bronchial inhalant. Its euphoriant effects soon became apparent. In Nazi Germany, it was sold without prescription, under the trade name Pervitin, and in World War II it was used on both sides to stimulate the troops.

    It took many years before some control was exercised over its consumption. It was in 1971. The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances placed methamphetamine in Schedule II. It remained legal, but its circulation was drastically reduced.

A public health problem in the U.S.

The methamphetamine death rate in the U.S. is at a record high. 50-fold between 1999 and 2021according to a study published in the journal American Journal of Public Health. In 1999, 608 deaths were attributed to methamphetamine use. That number increased to 52,397 in 2021, according to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of the deaths from this cause also included the presence of heroin or fentanyl. According to Rachel Hoopsick, a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the first author of the research, this immense increase in methamphetamine-related mortality shows no signs of slowing down.

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Kayleigh Williams