Methamphetamine is a drug, which is considered to be an addictive stimulant. It stimulates some specific areas of the human brain. The drug methamphetamine, as the name suggests, has some commonalities with amphetamine, although the effect on the central nervous system is stronger with methamphetamine. Both drugs were used successfully in medicine, mostly to aid weight loss, but they have only limited therapeutic use.
Methamphetamine is manufactured illegally, and poses a serious threat because it is a substance, that is easy to abuse. It also creates dependence of the user. Some slang words for methamphetamine include "chalk", "meth" and "speed". A variation, called methamphetamine hydrochloride is also called "glass", "crystal" or "ice". The reason being, that this particular drug actually resembels ice.
Methamphetamine stimulates the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which enhances mood. It stimulates brain cells in order to achieve that effect, damaging them in the process. With time, continuous use can reduce levels of dopamine and increase the chances for acquiring Parkinson's disease.
Methamphetamine is usually either inhaled, taken orally, smoked or injected into the blood stream.The latter two ways give immediate results - an intense, pleasurable sensation, which lasts only a few minutes. The former two approaches produce euphoria. Addiction may happen fast, and users usually tend to increase doses and their frequency.
Animal testing from more than 20 years ago has shown, that methamphetamine damages neurons in the brain. Especially those containing serotonine and dopamine.
The central nervious system reacts to taking methamphetamine in several distinctive ways - users experience decreased appetite, increased respiration and physical activity, increased wakefulness, euphoria and hyperthermia.
Usage of methamphetamine causes increased blood pressure and heart rate, which can cause damage to blood vessels, located in the brain. Methamphetamine can also cause respiratory problems, anorexia and irregular heartbeat.
Methamphetamine users, who inject the substance in their bloodstream, are also more prone to contracting AIDS.