Effects of Methamphetamine on the Human Body

Topics: Eating Disorder

The following sample essay on Effects of Methamphetamine on the Human Body talks about how crystal meth affects the human brain and the harmful effects of its use.

Methamphetamine, most famously recognized in its street name as “Crystal Meth”, is a silent killer among long-term users. The effects vary widely and depend on the amount taken, time of exposure with the drug, methods of consumption, user’s weight, age, and lifestyle. It is a powerful stimulant that even small doses can have an immediate effect and last longer in the brain than most of the common street drugs.

In 2006, 1. 9 million Americans age 12 and older had abused the drug at least once (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2008).

Instead of creating a rush sensation, Crystal Meth provides a longer-lasting high of up to 12 hours just from an initial intake. This sudden high is believed to have resulted from the high-level of neurotransmitter dopamine exposure. Dopamine is responsible for the pleasurable sensations in the brain that creates a “sense of well being”.

Aside from the high, users also experience increased alertness, rapid talking, and eye wiggles. Long-term Crystal Meth abuse produces permanent and damaging effects, both physically and psychologically.

Addiction is the most documented psychological side-effect of prolonged methamphetamine usage. It is a continual, degenerating disease, described by compulsive drug-seeking and drug abuse. It is triggered by the functional and molecular changes in the brain. Tolerance on the drug will only heighten the addiction level because users will need a larger dosage to achieve the same desired effects.

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Chronic abuse can lead to psychotic behavior, characterized by intense paranoia, mood disorders brought by visual and auditory hallucinations, out of control rages illustrated by a sudden burst of anger and shouting.

Low Dose Meth

Interviews from patients in rehabilitation areas around Toronto showed that they continue to feel a tingling sensation of insects creeping on their skin. This irritating feeling made them scratch and pick at their skin that results to open sores and infection. These psychological effects are intensified when the user suddenly stops taking the drug. Temporary physiological effects include hyperactivity, decrease in appetite, increase in stamina and energy, involuntary body movements, nausea, skin irritations and headaches.

There is also a problem known as “Meth mouth” where users have rotted teeth because of reduced blood flow. Cardiovascular problems found are increased in heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and irreversible, stroke-producing damage to small blood vessels that will eventually lead to stroke and heart failures. Extended dependency or overdose effects can include a change in the sleeping pattern, restlessness, gastrointestinal narrowing from lengthening eating disorders, tremor and weakened immunity. Prolonged use of up to several years can lead to erectile dysfunction, liver, kidney and lung damage.

Scientific studies on animals with long-term methamphetamine exposure have confirmed that it has toxic effects on the dopamine-containing areas of the brain. The toxic effect of the drug has been the leading cause of death in Honolulu, Hawaii. According to Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kanthi De Alwis, this deadly drug could be the liable for 80 fatalities in the region within the year. An increase in stroke, bronchial asthma and heart attacks can point to Crystal Meth dependency. Even only in the early month of August, 44 deaths have been listed as methamphetamine-related.

It has been alarming for her to discover that these natural deaths like stroke can now be caused by using Crystal Meth on a long-term basis (Gordon, 2004). Stopping the danger of overdose and long-exposure from methamphetamines may already be too late for those patients that have received permanent damage. Proper awareness of the effects of this drug can save thousands of lives in the United States alone. Contacting a medical professional is advisable. Institutions like the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto can give advice to those family members who want to rehabilitate their love ones who are Crystal Meth dependent.


  1. Methamphetamine – NIDA Drugs of Abuse and Related Topics (2008). Retrieved September 29, 2008, from http://www.nida.nih.gov/DrugPages/Methamphetamine. html
  2. Information About Crytsal Meth. (2006). Center for Addiction and Mental Health. Toronto. Retrieved September 29, 2008, from http://www.camh.net/About_Addiction_ Mental_Health/Drug_and_Addiction_Information/crystal_meth_information.html
  3. Gordon, Mike. (2004). Crytsal Meth Kills in Unexpected Ways. Retrieved September 29, 2008, from http://the.honoluluadvertiser. com/article/2004/Sep/05/ln/ln03a. html

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Effects of Methamphetamine on the Human Body. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-the-danger-of-long-term-exposure-with-crystal-meth/

Effects of Methamphetamine on the Human Body
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