Methamphetamine Overdose

An overdose or “OD” is the body’s reaction to dangerously high levels of a medication or street drug. ODs vary in severity from general discomfort to death, depending on the drug, the dosage, and other factors.

Meth OD | Methamphetamine Overdose
Overdosing is not inevitable for people who abuse substances, but several factors associated with addiction make it a genuine risk. Let’s take methamphetamine as an example. This chemical is used as a bona fide medication, but has much greater notoriety as a recreational drug. When ingested, meth stimulates the central nervous system, leading to higher levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is one of the “feel good” chemicals, promoting feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Dopamine effects us in many ways. It helps us start moving, reinforces what we enjoy, supports learning, provides motivation, and sends all those happy feelings throughout the brain. The rush that results from methamphetamine overuse is intense but short-lived, leading to repeated use, and the energy and feeling of wellness do nothing to discourage continued use –resulting in dependence and addiction. With chronic use, the body becomes tolerant, or adjusted, to the drug and needs higher doses to get the same effect. People using meth increase their dosage and take the pills more frequently or progress to snorting or injecting the drug in order to get the fastest and most intense experience. These levels of the drug take their toll on the body. People who use the drug experience mood swings and unpredictable behavior. For some people, the feelings of euphoria are supplanted by darker mental states, like the disturbing sensations of insects crawling over the body. Though these are hallucinations, they can be maddening and cause sufferers to pick at their skin until sores are created. A general lack of hygiene at this stage of addiction almost ensures poor skin health and resulting infection. The distraction of addiction and related decrease in the appetite further weakens the body. Internally, the chemical increases blood temperature and pressure and speeds up breathing and the heartbeat. When the body enters the toxic zone, having ingested a large amount of the drug, several dangerous side effects emerge: chest pain, stroke, irregularities in the heartbeat and breathing, kidney failure, and seizures. Mental balance becomes tenuous, with anxiety, irritability and psychosis. Depression and suicidal thoughts often pervade the consciousness. Deaths resulting from meth use can be related to more than a simply high-dose “poisoning.” They can also result from disease, stemming from chronic drug use, or from accidental circumstances that are directly related to poor judgment. Making it through an overdose does not mean the survivor is “home free.” There are challenges related to a potentially damaged heart and kidneys, as well as diseases and deterioration caused by addiction. Beyond the relatively rapid period that it takes for the drug to leave the body are the months, years or even a lifetime of depression, mental disturbance, and addiction that individuals have to manage and overcome.
Methamphetamine Overdose
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