Describing the powerful addictive stimulant methamphetamine

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The body also gradually becomes tolerant to crystal meth, reducing the weight-loss effect over time. For example, researchers have used magnetic resonance imaging MRI and spectroscopy to see how brain structures change as substances produce their effects. The drug was outlawed as a part of the U. Aarde, P. This is a much longer duration than cocaine, a drug with similar effects. With increasing use, the user may develop tolerance to the effects of stimulants and may need to keep increasing the amount taken to produce the desired psychological effects. High relapse rates are common in cocaine addiction even after physical withdrawal and abstinence have been achieved. Some people prefer crystal meth to other illicit drugs because the sense of euphoria it gives can last for up to 12 hours. It is taken for its euphoric effects. Stimulants also reduce food intake, reduce sleep time, and may increase socialization activities. Furthermore, methamphetamine can be extremely addictive.

Positive reinforcement is believed to be controlled by various neurotransmitter systems, whereas negative reinforcement is believed to be the result of adaptations produced by chronic use within the same neurotransmitter systems. When the nucleus accumbens is functioning normally, communication among its neurons occurs in a consistent and predictable manner.

As is typical for addictive stimulants, the rats maintained a steady self-administration of each drug whenever they could. At that point, the individual will usually continue her use even when faced with continuing adverse consequences--the hallmark of substance dependence. But if the activity is repeated, then dopamine is again released, and more feelings of pleasure and euphoria are produced.

Inthe estimate was 3. In addition, regular users build up a tolerance to the drug's effects, needing more of the drug to feel the original effect.

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Repeated use can have some psychological effects. But at higher -- albeit still modest -- doses, it produced repetitive behaviors similar to the tooth-grinding and compulsive skin-picking seen in human meth and MDPV users. The higher the substance dose, the greater the feelings of elation, euphoria, and satisfaction, and as the dopamine levels and pleasurable feeling subside, there is an intense desire to replicate the feelings of pleasure by administering another dose of the substance.

The smoke is odorless, leaves a residue that can be resmoked, and produces effects that may continue for 12 hours or more. Stimulants are also known to cause sensitization i. Some people prefer crystal meth to other illicit drugs because the sense of euphoria it gives can last for up to 12 hours.

Abrupt discontinuation of the psychoactive substance following chronic use generally results in discomfort, dysphoria, and behaviors consistent with craving.

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In a comparison of oral ingestion versus smoking, Cook measured plasma levels of MA after oral administration and after smoking see Figure Cook, Some researchers propose that the changes may come from dopamine depletion, changes in neurotransmitter receptors or other structures, or changes in other brain messenger pathways that could cause the changes in mood, behavior, and cognitive function associated with chronic stimulant abuse Self and Nestler, Methamphetamine has been classified by the U. Among a range of physiological responses, stimulants are known to raise both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, increase heart rate, increase respiration rate, increase body temperature, cause pupillary dilation, heighten alertness, and increase motor activity CSAT, There was a statistically significant decrease in methamphetamine-related episodes between 16, and 10, Other researchers combined electroencephalograms EEGs and MRI to produce a topographic brain map showing increased electrical activity in the form of beta waves during stimulant withdrawal Herning et al. However, at its core, it involves a biological process: the effects of repeated exposure to a biological agent a substance on a biological substrate the brain over time Nestler and Aghajanian, Substances of abuse also affect the nucleus accumbens by increasing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps to regulate the feelings of pleasure euphoria and satisfaction. For example, Childress developed treatment strategies to help clients reduce craving and arousal during encounters with substance-related stimuli Childress, See Chapter 4 for a full discussion on the practical applications of treatment strategies. It increases dopamine production in the brain and has similar effects to cocaine.
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