Methamphetamine (meth) is a synthetic stimulant that is addictive and can cause considerable health adversities that can sometimes result in death.
Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally and is often used with other substances.
Someone using meth may experience a temporary sense of heightened euphoria, alertness, and energy. This is because meth increases the amount of dopamine, a natural chemical, in the brain. Dopamine is involved in body movement, motivation, and reinforcing rewarding behaviors. Meth rapidly releases high levels of dopamine into reward areas of the brain, making people want to continue to use meth.
Meth not only changes how the brain works, but also speeds up the body’s systems to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels—increasing blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates. People who repeatedly use meth may also experience anxiety, paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, and mood disturbances.
Through evidence-based treatment and support, it is possible to live life free from meth. While there are currently no Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to treat meth addiction, behavioral therapies can be effective. One example is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people cope with situations that may prompt drug use. Another example uses motivational incentives in the form of vouchers or rewards that the person can earn as encouragement for not using meth or other substances.
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This information is brought to you by SAMSHA, for more information on Meth and its effects, visit SAMHSA online at https://www.samhsa.gov/meth