Drug Facts

The Destructive Nature of Methamphetamines

Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamines are a central nervous system stimulant that most resembles amphetamines in chemical structure, but meth, for short, has a more emphatic "rush" or onset of effects than is found in amphetamines. Meth is a white, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that is water soluble, but is usually administered by either smoking the burnt fumes from the drug, or dissolved in water and injected intravenously.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that causes feelings of pleasure, increases motivation and stimulates motor function. Meth increases the release of dopamine as well as blocking the natural up-take or reabsorption of this neurohormone. In other words, when a person normally feels satisfaction over the completion of a task, or the pleasure after a good meal, these feelings are being transmitted in the brain by this neurotransmitter, dopamine. When you take meth, this feeling is artificially created at levels that are far beyond one's natural reward feelings.

When a person feels good naturally, their brain is not attempting to reabsorb all of these reward chemicals in a rapid manner, but when dopamine is artificially induced, the levels are elevated and the body is trying to re-establish equilibrium, so the neurotransmitter is reabsorbed and a person feels empty and depressed.

It appears that the only effective way to feel these good, elated feelings is to do the things that naturally produce the feelings and the dopamine. This reward system is age-old and is a vital part of what channels our activities towards producing and doing acts of kindness. However, when one isn't feeling excited or exhilarated, they usually feel a normal baseline of normality. When these feelings are stimulated by artificial means, as happens when one takes meth, the feelings go from euphoria to a crashing depression. The depression is embellished by the fact that the meth stimulation is so extreme that the user doesn't sleep enough or properly and the drug robs the body of essential vitamins and minerals, leaving the user in a declined state of exhaustion.

From this description, you can imagine how dangerously addictive this drug can be. If someone takes meth for the first time and feels the elation and excitement of life for 12 to 24 hours and then begins to feel the opposite, they are going to want to stop the downside of these effects by re-introducing the drug back into the body before it is able to re-establish a normal equilibrium.

This rollercoaster of emotions is very dangerous not only for its addiction potential, but the people that are doing meth can have difficulty with the depressive feelings leading them into psychotic behaviors or suicide. This usually doesn't occur until one has been on meth for an extended period, but there are reported cases when the first use of the drug created these negative outcomes. Meth is such a volatile drug that there isn't a large safety margin related to its use. This drug cannot be considered a recreational drug and should not be used to disturb the delicate neurohormone balance that keeps all of us stable and functional.

The Narconon drug rehab program has helped many people overcome meth addiction. If you know someone who has a problem with methamphetamine, please contact us immidiately.

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