How Meth Affects the Body

Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive substances that can be found, and it affects both the body and the brain. The addictive properties of Meth make it one of the most targeted drugs in the United States today. Meth is classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substance Act.

How Meth Works In The Body

Meth is a stimulant affecting the brain, spinal cord and the central nervous system. The way Meth works is by changing the way the body processes neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. When an individual uses Meth, it releases large quantities of dopamine thus giving them a sense of euphoria, also known as a ‘rush’. During this rush the individual experiences increased heart rate, blood pressure and libido, thus providing them with an intense feeling of well being.

Meth’s effects on the brain can be long lasting. Individuals who use Meth chronically can find that it has permanently altered how their brain processes memories and emotions. They can experience disturbances in mood, paranoia, violent behavior and symptoms of psychosis. Motor skills can also be damaged as a result of long term abuse of the drug.

How Quickly Does Meth Work?

If an individual smokes or injects Meth, they feel it’s effects pretty much immediately. If Meth is taken orally, it takes effect slower, but the effects tend to last longer. Generally speaking, Meth effects can last from 4 to 8 hours, with residual effects lasting up to 12 hours. However, the after effects of using Meth can last for several days and give rise to cravings.

How Long Does Meth Stay In The Body?

The answer to that depends on what the individual is taking, but generally, the effects of Meth wear out in a day or so. When an individual binges on Meth, a post rush phase known as ‘tweaking’ occurs. Tweaking means that the euphoria that accompanies Meth is replaced by paranoia, irritability, delusions and hallucinations. The body’s dopamine levels are low, and the individual can experience a ‘crash’ which is often comprised of depression and fatigue.

It is possible to get addicted to Meth, like any substance used recreationally, and especially because the drug has high addictive potential. Long term Meth abuse takes a significant toll on the body and the individual addicted to Meth can suffer from skin lesions, tooth decay and even strokes or heart attacks.

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