Methamphetamine and Clandestine Drugs Testing
Methamphetamine / Clandestine Drugs
Methamphetamine, what is it?
It is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of methamphetamine are worse. Both drugs have some medical uses, primarily in the treatment of obesity, but their therapeutic use is limited.
Street methamphetamine has many different names such as "speed," "meth," and "chalk." Clear chunky crystals resembling ice that can be inhaled by smoking is called Methamphetamine hydrochloride. This also has many different names such as “ice”, “crystal”, and “glass”.
Methamphetamine Health Hazards
Methamphetamine releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This neurotransmitter dopamine stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. It also has a neurotoxic effect, damaging brain cells that contain dopamine and serotonin, another neurotransmitter. Methamphetamine appears to cause reduced levels of dopamine, over time, which can result in symptoms like those of Parkinson's disease, a severe movement disorder.
Methamphetamines are taken orally or intranasally (snorting the powder), by intravenous injection, and by smoking. The user experiences an intense sensation called a "rush" or "flash,” immediately after smoking or intravenous injection which lasts only a few minutes. If the user takes it orally or intranasally, they receive a different sensation called a high. Users that use Methamphetamines with increased frequency and increased doses may become addicted quickly.
Some short-term effects of using Methamphetamines causes:
· Increased wakefulness and increased physical activity of the central nervous system
· Decreased appetite
· Increased respiration
· Hyperthermia and convulsions can result in death
Some long-term effects of using Methamphetamines include:
· Increased heart rate and blood pressure causing irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain producing strokes
· Respiratory problems like irregular heartbeats and extreme anorexia
· Cardiovascular collapse and death