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What is Methamphetamine?   PDF  Print  Email 
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What is Methamphetamine?
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The Brain - Dopamine plays an important role in the regulation of pleasure. In addition to other regions, dopamine is manufactured in nerve cells within the ventral tegmental area and is released in the nucleus accumbens and the frontal cortex.

What are the immediate (short-term) effects of methamphetamine use?

As a powerful stimulant, methamphetamine, even in small doses, can increase wakefulness and physical activity and decrease appetite. A brief, intense sensation, or rush, is reported by those who smoke or inject methamphetamine. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day. Both the rush and the high are believed to result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine into areas of the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure.

Short-term effects of methamphetamine

  • increased attention
  • decreased fatigue
  • increased activity
  • decreased appetite
  • euphoria and rush
  • increased respiration
  • hyperthermia

Methamphetamine has toxic effects. In animals, a single high dose of the drug has been shown to damage nerve terminals in the dopamine-containing regions of the brain. The large release of dopamine produced by methamphetamine is thought to contribute to the drug's toxic effects on nerve terminals in the brain. High doses can elevate body temperature to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels, as well as cause convulsions.



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