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Methamphetamine is a highly addictive narcotic that is seldom used for prescription purposes at this time, due to the dangers of addiction and its serious long-term effects on the brain.
Created in 1887 as amphetamine and later (1893) synthesized with ephedrine to create methamphetamine, this drug was historically used for weight loss and treatment of ADHD. Also used by the military of several nations during World War II, methamphetamine use and the side effects it produces are given wide berth in the medical community. Methamphetamine operates on the brain by producing a surge of dopamine production, giving the user a sense of euphoria, lasting up to 12 hours, depending on the method of use and the amount. The sense of well-being produced becomes a let-down when the effects of the drug wear off, creating the desire to repeat usage, and developing into habitual, then chronic use.
What it is, what does it look like, how is it taken, what happens with abuse?
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II narcotic by federal classification. Its chemical makeup is n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine, labeled methamphetamine, methyl amphetamine, or desoxyephedrine. Methamphetamine is a highly-addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, being similar in effect and creation to the drug amphetamine. Prescribed use of methamphetamine is limited to one fill, with a new prescription being necessary to obtain additional supplies. There are few medicinal uses of the drug, and it is infrequently prescribed, due to its many dangerous side effects, along with its tendency to become quickly addictive in the user. Most commonly, it is prescribed for treatment of ADHD, obesity and sometimes narcolepsy.
What it does, the physical and mental effects while high, what happens in the brain, aftereffects of using methamphetamine
The immediate effect of using methamphetamine by being snorted is a sensation of euphoria. The fast-acting effects produced when injected or smoked is an extreme pleasure sensation called a "rush" or "flash which lasts only a few minutes, but is highly pleasurable. This is created when intense levels of dopamine are released into the brain suddenly.
How much methamphetamine is in a dose? What is a lethal amount or overdose?
Doses of legal methamphetamine are normally 5 mg. for adults being treated for obesity. Doses for children, aged six years and older, are given at 5 mg. increments over several weeks, up to 20-25 mg. daily, which should be split into two doses daily. Doses used for other purposes are indeterminate and vary from user to user.
Risk of overdose, increased heart rates and high blood pressure, what are the long-term effects of use?
Small doses of methamphetamine will result in several symptoms, which may include; high levels of alertness, leading to inability to sleep, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, aggressive behavior and irritability, nervous behaviors, anxiety, faster breathing, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and hyperthermia. Chronic and long-term usage affects brain function, by increasing the brain chemical dopamine and its reuptake, which floods the brain with this chemical substance.
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