Figure 4.2 Methamphetamine users experience higher levels of dopamine in their brains, but when methamphetamine use is stopped, they often experience a decrease below normal levels. © Courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory activity, racing heart, increased sexual libido, increased rate of breathing, tremors, elevated blood pressure and body temperature, dilation of pupils (meth users might wear sunglasses due to a sensitivity to light, whether indoors or outside), convulsions, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.7, 16
Psychological effects include euphoria, alertness, obsession with details, anxiety, irritability, rage, aggressiveness, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, and anhedonia. Remember, these psychological and physical effects can last anywhere from six to 14 hours or more, depending on the route of exposure, dose, and purity of the meth used.7, 16
Teens report feeling uninhibited, in control, confident, and energetic after taking meth.1 Yet the high that meth brings is temporary. When meth users come down from their high, the negative effects are so intense that this experience is called crashing. The paradox of meth is that the sought-after euphoric effects of the meth high quickly turn into their opposite. Users need more and more meth to achieve and maintain the same high they felt when they first used meth. Research indicates that this can happen after using meth only one or two times.7, 9 Eventually, users need meth just to feel any type of pleasure whatsoever. Some meth users try to alleviate the negative effects of crashing by taking other drugs such as cocaine or heroin. This vicious cycle of chasing after a meth high to feel normal and to escape meth's crushing aftereffects is what makes meth an extremely addictive drug compared to any other stimulants.9, 16
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Being addicted to drugs is a complicated matter condition that's been specified as a disorder that evidences in the obsessional thinking about and utilization of drugs. It's a matter that might continue to get worse and become disastrous and deadly if left untreated.