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What is Meth and How Does it Affect the Brain?

What is Meth and How Does it Affect the Brain?

Meth (Methamphetamine) is one of the most popular and addicting stimulant drugs created. Short but intense bursts of energy and euphoria describe the effects meth has. However, it can also induce hallucinations, paranoia, and violent behavior. Meth usually comes in the form of crystals, or shards. These shards are usually shiny and are shades of translucent white or blue. It can also come in the form of a fine powder. The versatility of its consumption and the intensity of its effects make it very dangerous.

Who Created Meth? 

Amphetamine was first manufactured in Germany, 1887. Japan then created methamphetamine in 1919. It was much easier to manufacture and had stronger effects than the original drug amphetamine. It became widely utilized for its energizing effects during World War II. Soldiers would mix the crystalline powder with water and inject it into themselves. This drug kept both sides’ troops awake for days on end.

After the end of World War II, meth was prescribed as a diet aid. It was very readily available at many clinics around the U.S. Abuse became rampant because of the easy accessibility and wide consumption of the drug. In 1970, it became illegal to prescribe for most of the “conditions” it was previously prescribed for. Powerful black market demands for meth were created from this. Meth is still one of the most sought-after drugs to this day. 

Why Do People Use Meth?

Today, many people begin using meth under the guise of trying to increase their productivity. This demographic usually includes working professionals, college students, and truck drivers. The combination of having more energy and not having to sleep enables people to work beyond their usual levels of productivity. Another common reason people use meth is that they originally became addicted to amphetamine salts. The intense highs that its consumption produces are very addicting, regardless of the intentions people have before they begin using.

Side Effects of Meth Use

Use eventually becomes habitual and tolerance for the drug rises. Meaning people have to consume more quantities of the drug even more frequently. Stimulants also make sleeping near impossible, which means that hallucinations and meth-induced psychosis begin to set in after not sleeping for days on end. These effects can be permanent depending on age, frequency of use, and overall health of the user. Stimulants also hinder the production of saliva. This lack of saliva leads to accelerated tooth decay and rot.

Solutions and Treatments

If you or someone you know is struggling with a meth addiction, Harm Reduction Center is here to empower and support each individual recovery journey. Our highly individualized service to our clients, offering Integrated Medication-Assisted Treatment and all outpatient levels of care. Contact us today for more information.