History has shown that stimulant epidemics follow opioid epidemics. In recent years…Methamphetamine poses its own set of risks: addiction, damage to the body and brain, overdose, and increasing contamination with fentanyl and other toxic adulterants. Like cocaine, methamphetamine is highly reinforcing. Administration fuels binge use and often leads to major health problems in addition to craving and substance use disorder. The treatment for methamphetamine overdose has not advanced very much in the last 50 years and life-saving options remain limited. Because of these factors, prevention is the more important intervention while more effective treatments are developed for those with methamphetamine use disorder.

Methamphetamine use has both short- and long-term effects on the brain and body. Methamphetamine is toxic to the brain — studies have found that methamphetamine can cause similar damage to brain tissue as traumatic brain injuries. Acute use can cause short-term psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, hyper ability, disturbed speech patterns, and aggression. For some people these symptoms are not temporary. Long-term use can cause methamphetamine-induced psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia that can persist after long periods of abstinence. This methamphetamine-induced psychosis has similar symptoms to naturally occurring psychosis but does not respond as well to standard treatments.

In terms of its effects on the body, methamphetamine is rapidly absorbed by many organs and chronic use can harm the heart, lungs, and kidneys, among other organs. Intravenously injecting methamphetamine increases one’s risk of contracting infections such as Hepatitis C and HIV which are spread through shared injection supplies like needles.

For more Understanding Methamphetamine (addictionpolicy.org)

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