Essay on Methamphetaime And Crystal Meth

Submitted By trobb1987
Words: 1524
Pages: 7

The University of south alabama
Methamphetamine and Crystal Meth

Thomas Robb

Methamphetamine: Crystal Meth A natural or synthetic substance that is used to produce physiological or psychological effects in humans defines the broad term, drug. Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine associated with the synthetic psychological portion of a drug and is cooked in a clandestine lab, usually a house or trailer. The drug classification of methamphetamine is a stimulant, sometimes referred to as an upper or speed. Crystal meth is a highly dangerous drug when taken, not to mention the highly risky and dangerous process of cooking the drug. Methamphetamine is the sister drug of amphetamine, both often injected intravenously causing the initial rush of intense pleasure. Following is the downhill stage, coming down from the feeling of pleasure and going into a feeling of exhaustion and prolonged period of depression. Methamphetamine is a psychoactive drug, commonly referred to on the streets as crystal meth along with many other names such as meth, crystal, ice, p, shabu, speed, glass, and many others. Crystal meth, increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high doses may induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem and increase libido. This drug has a high potential for abuse and addiction activating the psychological reward system by triggering a cascading release of dopamine in the brain, and is classified as a “Schedule II drug and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled” (NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine). In addition to psychological harm, physical harm consisting of cardiovascular damage may occur with chronic use or acute overdose. However, methamphetamine is FDA approved for the treatment of ADHD and exogenous obesity. Although methamphetamine can be obtained through a prescription, the medical uses are limited and the doses prescribed are much lower than what can cause harm and entice abuse. “Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and is taken orally, intranasally, by needle injection, or by smoking” (NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine). Methamphetamine affects the brain by increasing the release of dopamine, a common mechanism of action associated with most drugs of abuse. Dopamine is involved in reward, motivation, the increase of pleasure, and motor functions. When methamphetamine is administered by smoking, injecting, or snorting, the rapid release of dopamine produces the rapid intense euphoria, or rush. Chronic abuse significantly changes how the brain functions, by alterations in the activity of the dopamine system associated with reduced motor skills and impaired verbal learning. “Recent studies in chronic methamphetamine abusers have also revealed severe structural and functional changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory, which may account for many of the emotional and cognitive problems observed in chronic methamphetamine abusers” (NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine). Methamphetamine taken in even small amounts, still results in physical effects such as wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hyperthermia. Adding to the dangerousness of abusing methamphetamine includes potential transmission of HIV, hepatitis B and C. Among abusers who inject the drug, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases can be spread through contaminated needles, syringes, and any other source used for injection with more than one person. “Methamphetamine abuse may also worsen the progression of HIV/AIDS and its consequences” (NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine). In addition, prenatal exposure to methamphetamines can lead to cognitive and behavioral problems in children. Commonly known, any dangerous drug taken during the pregnancy can have potential effects on the newborn. More