The abuse of methamphetamine - a potent psycho-stimulant - is an extremely serious and growing problem. Although use of methamphetamine initially was limited to a few urban areas in the Southwest, several major Western cities and Hawaii have seen dramatic increases in its use, and rural areas throughout the country are becoming more affected by the drug. In addition, methamphetamine use among significantly diverse populations has been documented.

Street methamphetamine is referred to by many names, such as “speed,” “meth,” and “chalk.” Methamphetamine hydrochloride, clear chunky crystals resembling ice, which can be inhaled by smoking, is referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” and “glass.”

Methamphetamine is a powerfully addictive stimulant associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior, and potential heart and brain damage. In addition, due to its strong effect on libido and sexual activity, it also contributes to transmission of HIV/AIDS and in intravenous users has been linked to the spread of hepatitis C.

Methamphetamine releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. It also appears to have a neurotoxic effect, damaging brain cells that contain dopamine and serotonin (another neurotransmitter). Over time, methamphetamine appears to cause reduced levels of dopamine, which can result in symptoms like those of Parkinson’s disease.

The central nervous system (CNS) actions that result from taking even small amounts of methamphetamine include increased wakefulness, physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, hyperthermia, and euphoria. Other CNS effects include irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Hyperthermia and convulsions can result in death.

Methamphetamine causes increased heart rate and blood pressure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes. Other effects of methamphetamine include respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat, extreme anorexia, psychotic behavior and visual and auditory hallucinations. Its use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death.

Sobriety Works has a proven track record in treating methamphetamine addiction effectively. If you think you, or someone you care about, may have a problem with methamphetamine, we encourage you to contact us. All correspondence is caring, confidential, and respectful. Remember, there is hope for a substance free future.