Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a synthetic, neuro-toxic stimulant that is highly addictive.
Meth works by acting on certain neurotransmitters. The presence of methamphetamines in one’s system creates a surge of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that carries signals between brain cells) in one’s brain while simultaneously decreasing one’s serotonin (the key hormone responsible for maintaining one’s mood balance) levels. A decrease in one’s serotonin levels can produce extreme mood changes, such as impulsiveness, depression, and aggression. When simultaneously paired with a rapid and excessive release of dopamine, delirium and/ or a rush of euphoria may be experienced.
Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is defined as a substance “with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” Meth is an entirely man-made substance. Methamphetamine is an unregulated chemical, which allows each manufacturer full authority over its production. A person that manufactures meth extracts ingredients from certain pills and mixes them with other chemicals, such as lantern fuel, antifreeze, battery acid, drain cleaner, etc. Because meth is completely unregulated, consumers have no idea what they are ingesting. This puts those who use meth at risk of overdose every single time they use the drug. Ingesting the potential poison that is laced into meth can be equally dangerous and life-threatening.
The half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of meth is approximately ten hours. Additional studies have found that when taken orally, “concentrations of methamphetamine peak in the bloodstream between 2.6 and 3.6 hours, and the amphetamine metabolite peaks at 12 hours.” If, however, meth is taken intravenously, the elimination half-life is a bit longer at about 12.2 hours.
Further Information and Support
Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process.
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