What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine or "Meth" is an addictive stimulant of the central nervous system. Related to amphetamine, methamphetamine is manufactured in illegal laboratories using a combination of common over-the-counter ingredients and a variety of corrosive, poisonous, and carcinogenic chemicals such as acetone, battery acid, bleach, lead and red phosphorous.
What are the Dangers of Meth Abuse?
In addition to the risk of injury or death as a result of accidents, violence, or overdose, meth abuse can cause or worsen many physical and mental disorders. Negative effects include:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Elevated body temperature
- Skin ulceration and infection
- Increased blood pressure, headaches, chest pain, or irregular heartbeat stroke or heart attack
- Irritability, anxiety, paranoia
- Loss of short-term memory
- Lack of self-control
- Permanent damage to brain cells caused by injury to small blood vessels serving the brain
The brain of a teenager is wired to seek out and encourage new experiences. This helps teens learn important new skills, like driving a car. Meth, because it initially causes pleasure, is reinforced by the brain. This means experimentation is highly likely to cause addiction.
Teens in general are impulsive, which means they act without thinking and without regard for the consequences of their actions. Meth makes that tendency much more severe. This means that meth users can easily become aggressive or violent. Meth affects the part of the brain that regulates negative behaviors, including fear, anger, and suspicion.
Meth use can affect a teen's short-term memory for a long time. This can cause problems at school and in the home. A lot of family arguments begin because teens forget their requests or promises.
If you are concerned you or a friend may have a problem with alcohol or other drugs , get help from a counselor, doctor, or other professional. Contact a counselor or campus security at 488-2663 or 471-6911.