Methamphetamine is a controlled, stimulant drug that is available legally in prescription form. This drug…
5 Facts That Will Make You Never Want to Smoke Meth
You’ve probably heard a lot about methamphetamine in the news and on television shows, but do you know the facts about meth? Here are five facts that will make you never want to smoke meth.
- Meth Alters Your Brain and Changes Your Way of Thinking
According to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), studies have shown that methamphetamine can physically change the structures in your brain that are responsible for decision-making and suppressing habitual behaviors (like counterproductive activities, useless or harmful tics, or repeated substance use). Research is ongoing to find ways to reverse the brain damage caused by meth, but so far studies show that the harmful effects may be long-term.
- Meth Can Permanently Change the Way Your Brain Uses Dopamine
Dopamine, also referred to as the “pleasure chemical,” is responsible for a number of important processes, like sleep, memory, attention, learning, movement and mood. Meth has a similar chemical structure to dopamine and can essentially hijack many of the processes that dopamine affects. This is why meth causes people to feel alert, restless, agitated and aggressive. However, research shows that even after meth has left the body, the dopamine neurons with which meth interacts can be damaged irreversibly.
- Using Meth Can Result in Death, Even After One Use
There are numerous ways meth can kill, even when using it for the first time. Meth raises the body temperature and can cause a person’s body temperature to get so high that they lose consciousness. If the hyperthermia is not treated quickly, it can result in death. Meth can also cause heart attacks and strokes.
- Meth Can Destroy Your Ability to Experience Pleasure
After prolonged use, the brain stops producing dopamine naturally and relies on methamphetamine to create feelings of pleasure. Even after a person has stopped using meth for a long period of time, they can have difficulty experiencing any sort of pleasure from healthy activities, relationships and sensations.
- Meth Can Cause Psychosis
Individuals who use methamphetamine for longer periods of time can develop symptoms that mimic schizophrenia. In such cases, meth users may become psychotic and experience paranoia, delusions and visual or auditory hallucinations. These symptoms often persist after the person has stopped using meth, up to several years.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and lethal drug that can wreak havoc on your physical, mental and emotional health. Know the facts about meth and educate the people you care about who may be at risk of using or becoming addicted to methamphetamine.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013). What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse? https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-abuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Methamphetamine Alters Brain Structures, Impairs Mental Flexibility. https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2014/03/methamphetamine-alters-brain-structures-impairs-mental-flexibility
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Methamphetamine. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine
National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. (2017). Methamphetamine (Meth). https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/methamphetamine-meth