Methamphetamine, or meth for short, use and addiction is one of the leading addictions of the 21st century. With the high concentration of "meth labs" throughout the United States and the ability for these labs to obtain the raw products needed for their chemical processes, meth has proven to be one of the most profitable illicit drugs on the streets today.
Methamphetamine excites the central nervous system and produces an artificial overall sense of well being for four to eight hours, followed by an agitated feeling that can lead to delusions, psychosis and/or violent outbreaks. The continued use of methamphetamine will lead to a physical and psychological tolerance, which means that the user needs to increase the amount of the drug and the frequency that it is taken to achieve the desired effects. Classic signs of meth addiction or connected with methamphetamine use and abuse and this addiction can take hold of someone in as few as seven to ten days, depending on the amount taken.
Methamphetamine use will cause decreased appetite, decreased fatigue, usually a feeling of euphoria, hyperthermia, which causes increased sweating, increased mental and physical activity with rapid and continuous talking, usually about insignificant details that would have never been important to the person before methamphetamine use. There is also short term memory loss, but this will return when the drug and/or its metabolites are removed from the body.
Methamphetamine addiction causes decreased appetite and weight loss and loved ones should be aware that if they see these signs along with a disregard for one's behaviors and their consequences, and feelings of isolation, which may border on paranoia that there is a high likelihood that methamphetamine is being used and/or abused or that the person may be using cocaine or crack. Other telltale signs are feelings of well-being, rapid speech, and recurrent failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home, hallucinations, irritability with a roller coaster of mood swings, legal problems, periodic ravenous appetite, sleep disorders, headaches, muscle and stomach cramps, tremors and staying awake for long periods of time followed by long periods of sleep that may last up to days without staying awake for any sustained periods of time.
Methamphetamine addiction is found in persons of almost all ages from twelve on up. Long-term abuse of methamphetamine can cause changes in the brain that interfere with memory and coordination, and a higher incident of stroke and heart problems. It must be remembered that any use of this drug will exacerbate any physical weaknesses and should be considered very dangerous. This addiction is considered life threatening and one should seek professional help as soon as possible.
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