What is Methamphetamine

What is Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine (N-methyl-alpha-methylphenylethylamine) is a drug with a strong stimulating effect of the Central nervous system. Pharmacologically similar to amphetamine, but more active and toxic. A methamphetamine molecule consists of an amphetamine molecule and a methyl group attached to nitrogen. It was found that when a methyl group is added to the molecule of a psychotropic substance, the effects, duration and strength of the drug's action change slightly. In particular, methamphetamine has a slightly higher solubility (compared to amphetamine) due to the presence of a methyl group, so it penetrates the brain faster. The chemical formula is C10H15N.

Synonyms of methamphetamine: deoxin, methphenamine, screw, pervitin, methamphetamine hydrochloride, amphedroxine, gerovit, deamine, methedrine, neodrine, premodrine, sondrox, tonedron, (meth), ice, ice, crystals, glass, metampha, gunpowder, carbide, speed, salt, pink Panther, sneakers, Hawaiian salt, Batu, Tina, crank, cristy, crissy, chalk, go-fast.

It is distributed in tablet form, in the form of powder and crystals having a sour-bitter taste, well soluble in water. Methamphetamine, which is sold by modern dealers, in its composition has very little in common with the drug that was previously used for medicinal purposes. It is made underground. Often - in unsanitary conditions. In its composition, in addition to a dangerous drug, you can find very toxic impurities and toxic products. For example, such as antifreeze or drain cleaner. Since no one can say with certainty what the "manufacturers" have mixed in order to reduce the cost of the drug, it is impossible to predict the possible consequences of taking it.

Methamphetamine synthesis methods are similar to amphetamine synthesis methods, but methylamine is used instead of ammonia. Illegal methamphetamine is most often made by reducing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.

Methamphetamine is chemically (structurally) similar to adrenaline, so it has a strong adrenomimetic effect on the peripheral nervous system — it narrows peripheral vessels, increases blood pressure, accelerates the heartbeat, causes pupil dilation, increases the functional activity of skeletal muscles, especially when tired. This effect is associated with the activation of the sympathetic system. Methamphetamine differs from epinephrine in the absence of hydroxyl groups, which makes it lipophilic and easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier to the brain. For the same reason, it, unlike adrenaline, does not undergo rapid destruction.

The main neurochemical mechanism of action of methamphetamine is associated with its ability to cause the release of natural neurotransmitters from neurons (norepinephrine and dopamine), which leads to increased excitation of the corresponding systems, especially dopaminergic. In addition, it blocks the reuptake of released mediators (including serotonin), similar to tricyclic antidepressants.

Most often, addicts taking the substance through inhalation through the nose, also his smoke, use they orally and intravenously. The state of drug intoxication lasts up to 12-16 hours, then the mood background decreases, weakness, lethargy and drowsiness appear. The subjective effects of methamphetamine include: a sense of pleasure, bliss, increased energy, increased mental and physical activity, a sense of strength, strong sexual arousal (sometimes with loss of control over sexual impulses), decreased appetite, no fatigue, eliminated the need for sleep. It is characterized by an increase in visual and light perception: colors become more bright and saturated.

External signs of taking methamphetamine
Immediately after taking the drug, a person is excited, agitated, restless, sweats a lot, his eyes are dull, tired, dark circles around them, his pupils are dilated, and they do not respond to light, he seems more sociable and confident, is unreasonably cheerful, does not need sleep, refuses to eat.
With prolonged use, there are traces of injections, sallow complexion, eczema and ulcers affected areas of the skin, unhealed wounds, bad breath and body odor, haggard appearance and General exhaustion. The teeth are rotten and the gums are inflamed. It is assumed that the destruction of teeth in methamphetamine users is caused by a combination of factors: suppression of saliva secretion by a psychostimulant and, accordingly, xerostomia (dry mouth), as well as the use of sweet carbonated beverages and long periods of poor oral hygiene.
By long-term methamphetamine use possible personality changes: marked ethical decline (for example, a negative attitude to the norms of morality), emotional, callous, psychopathic disorder (occurrence of changes in character and behavior, as in personality disorder, i.e., pathological development of personality), reduced capacity to work.

Consequences of methamphetamine use
Frequent use of methamphetamine leads to the development of tolerance to the drug. A dependent person, in order to get the same euphoric effect, must resort to higher doses of the substance. If there is no access to the drug, withdrawal symptoms appear: anxiety, depression, apathy, decreased muscle tension, headaches, drowsiness, depression, suicidal thoughts. Withdrawal syndrome does not occur in all users of the drug, but only after 2-3 weeks from the start of regular use, in some-after 2-4 months.
Methamphetamine contributes to strokes. Methamphetamine use significantly increases the risk of brain hemorrhage and stroke in young adults. In the study, researchers analyzed data from 77 previously published papers on methamphetamine-related strokes and found that so – called hemorrhagic strokes are most common-a less common type of stroke caused by a rupture in the brain's blood vessels. Usually, the more common cause of strokes is blockage of the blood arteries that deliver blood to the brain. So-called ischemic strokes can occur at any age, but they are much more common in the elderly. The reason for strokes, scientists associate with a jump in blood pressure due to drug use, which increases the likelihood of a stroke. In addition, methamphetamine use can weaken the walls of blood vessels, thus increasing the likelihood of their rupture.

Tolerance to methamphetamine develops very quickly. Addicts maintain clear consciousness and orientation, there is no formal disorder of thinking. Therefore, each time a person will feel the need to increase the dose to achieve euphoric sensations. Frequent episodes of stimulant use for the most part steadily lead to an expansion of the drug "menu" and a deterioration in the quality of life. But this addiction is treatable, although it does not happen instantly.

After a short time (the account goes for months), the body's resources run out, and the young man turns into a decrepit old man: the heart that worked literally to wear out does not withstand the load, arrhythmia begins, hypertension, heart failure, vascular damage, which is fraught with a heart attack or stroke, kidneys and liver fail, exhaustion, skin regeneration processes deteriorate: wrinkles appear, ulcers, wounds do not heal, immunity decreases, saliva production is difficult, which leads to the destruction and loss of teeth. Irreversible consequences for the Central nervous system caused by the rapid release of the hormones dopamine and norepinephrine after taking the drug, which destroys nerve cells that do not recover, lead to large – scale disorders of the brain. Add to this list problems with the Central nervous system, such as insomnia, impaired coordination of movements, accompanied by severe tremors, confusion, depression, hallucinations that become constant companions and are accompanied by paranoid delusions, psychoses close to schizophrenia and the picture of destruction caused by taking methamphetamine, will be almost complete.

From the history of methamphetamine:
It was first synthesized from ephedrine in 1893 by the Japanese chemist Nagai Nagayoshi.
In 1919, the Japanese chemist Akira Ogata! crystal meth was first synthesized.
In the 1930s, the pharmacists of the firm Temmler Werke in Berlin used it as a stimulant, which received the commercial name "pervitin".
Starting in 1938, pervitin was used systematically and in large doses, both in the army and in the defense industry. Pervitin tablets were officially included in the" combat diet " of pilots and tankers called tank chocolate.
Pervitin was also popular with the leaders of the Third Reich, along with cocaine. In particular, Hitler received pervitin injections from his personal physician, Theodor Morell, starting in 1936, and several times a day after 1943.
During world war II, methamphetamine was widely distributed among the military of the Imperial Japanese army. Known users of methamphetamine were Japanese kamikazes.
After world war II, manufacturers of pervitin were taken to the United States, where they created "PEP pills" for troops in Korea and Vietnam. In 1966-1969, the US army used 225 million tablets of dextroamphetamine and pervitin.
In the USSR, industrial synthesis of methamphetamine was established in 1946, and in 1948 pervitin was mentioned in the Mashkovsky reference book.
Pervitin was used in psychiatric practice as a psychostimulant, for the treatment of narcolepsy and depression of various origins. Subsequently, by order of the Ministry of health of the USSR dated February 11, 1954, it was classified as a drug, and in 1975 its production was discontinued, and it was excluded from the Pharmacopoeia.
And only in the 70s of the 20th century, doctors sounded the alarm: the drug caused too rapid addiction and very destructive, as shown by clinical studies, for the body were the consequences of taking it.
Currently, the sale and use of methamphetamine in Russia is prohibited. In the US it is used in medical practice under the trade name "desoxyn".

The manufacture of methamphetamine is reflected in the American television series "breaking bad". The series became famous both in the United States and abroad, and received many major film awards.

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