Meth: a deadly euphoric drug

SCIENCE FOR YOUTH

By Hiya Islam

science

Smoke it, snort it or inject it. However you do it, the result is the same. An upsurge of happiness and positivity begins to engulf you. You are suddenly so full of confidence and at the same time you don’t feel the need to sleep, even better, right? With exams just around the corner, it only buys you time to get more work done. But in the long run, is meth really worth it? Find it out in the next few minutes.

Methamphetamine or N-methyl-1-phenylpropan-2-amine (C10H15N) is a central nervous system stimulant. The CNS is a part of the total nervous system of the body and comprises the brain and the spinal cord. The spine passes signals to and from the brain. And to pass these messages chemicals called neurotransmitters come into play. When meth is taken into the body, it increases the production of such a neurotransmitter, dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is associated with feelings of pleasure and happiness. As a result, the user experiences euphoria or a ‘high’ that can last up to 12 hours. Once the effect of the drug wears off, users take it again to create the same feelings of euphoria. Eventually the dopamine reserve is exhausted and its production impaired. They increase the dose, but the feeling does not return. So once what they had used to be happy becomes the reason of suffering in the end.

Other than making you happy, it has a number of effects in the body. And they are not as good. Meth is an acidic compound and helps in eating away your teeth. It makes the mouth dry which means that saliva will not be able to neutralise the mouth’s pH and kill germs. This leads to ‘meth mouth’, a condition where the teeth decay and get broken and black-simply put, ugly. The compound also narrows the blood vessels in the skin restricting blood flow. This produces an itchy feeling making users itch and prick their skin to get relief. They end up opening fresh wounds. No wonder why drug addicts are so full of sores. Then, there is aging to make the appearance even worse. When photos of meth addicts are compared over the years, they look much older than they are. Meth use also causes weight loss. The appetite is decreased and energy reserves, like fat in the body are used up.

Meth, commonly known as yaba (less purified and cheap version), ice, crystal, glass and so on, and its variants are dangerously addictive. Users sleep for days at a stretch neglecting responsibility causing a negative impact on their lives and the people dependent on them. While trying to find a solution for life problems in drugs, they trap themselves in a bigger trouble. Moreover, an overdose or seemingly normal side-effects can cause death. Curiosity leads to experimentation and a single try can lead to addiction without realising. It is not worth the risk. It’s best to get the facts right and stay the fish out of it.

 

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