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What Are the Effects of Methamphetamine?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that causes an individual to feel a sense of euphoria. His or her heart rate will speed up, appetite will decrease, and physical activity and ability will increase. After prolonged use of the drug, effects will change into mood swings, paranoia, convulsions, and a tendency for violent behavior.

When first taking the drug, a user will feel the effects of methamphetamine as long periods of alertness, happiness, and overwhelming joy. He or she will experience an elevated heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure as well as heightened respiration and awareness, giving an impression of invincibility. As the drug also suppresses appetite, it will generally result in weight loss.

These effects of methamphetamine are typically enough to get an individual addicted. Once the habitual use of the drug become an addiction, methamphetamine effects will generally change as the drug begins to damage the mind and the body. Physical and mental deterioration will start to occur, in many cases begun by prolonged exposure to the stimulating effects of methamphetamine. Heightened heart rate, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular symptoms will eventually cause permanent damage.

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Weight loss can become extreme, and an individual can begin to take on a wasted appearance enhanced by rotting teeth and damage to the skin from the repeated use of needles. In some cases, individuals may begin to hurt themselves as they hallucinate. Some of the most extreme hallucinations, such as implants under the skin or snakes and insects crawling over the body, can cause an individual to scratch or tear to try to get rid of the foreign bodies.

The addict may suffer from memory loss and confusion aggravated by difficulty sleeping and disturbed dreams. One of the only things that matters to the long-time addict is getting more of the drug, and this will typically lead to negative social effects of methamphetamine, such as alienation of friends and family as well as criminal activity. The longer the addiction, the more severe the effects of methamphetamine, and withdrawal can soon develop into other mental problems. Feelings of paranoia and anxiety are common, along with violent tendencies.

The chronic use of methamphetamine can also cause severe, permanent damage to the respiratory and cardiovascular system. Many of the deaths caused by methamphetamine result from strokes or heart disease that develops in the damaged tissues. Continued weight loss can further weaken the body, and mental damage resulting in convulsions and seizures is also not uncommon in addicts.

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