In South Africa Methamphetamine is more frequently called “Tik”, “Speed” or “Crystal Meth” the drug comes most frequently in a white powder format that can be smoked, snorted and even injected.
The more typical ways to ingest amphetamines is by snorting the drug up the nose ingesting or smoking. Here it passes lightly over the nasal mucosa and into the users bloodstream.
After a few minutes, amphetamine been reached to the brain, where it increases the release of transmitter substances dopamine and to a lesser extent serotonin from the synaptic clefts. In addition, large doses of amphetamine block the reuptake of dopamine and serotonin. The result is a long-term stimulation of the postsynaptic neuron.
In lower concentrations, methamphetamine can increase mood, alertness in the user, general concentration and short term energy gains in fatigued individuals. The drug further reduces appetite which is why it was initially used in weight loss medications. In elevated doses, tik can induce psychosis and psychotic disorders, break-down of skeletal muscle, full seizures and dangerous bleeding in the brain.
Methamphetamine is a easier to produce, longer lasting and cheaper drug than cocaine which is why it is so readily available and frequently abused.
- Increased energy and alertness
- Decreased need for sleep
- Increased sexual desire
- Visual and auditory hallucinations (voices)
There are a variety of side effects from taking the drug:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Tension in the jaws
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced interest in sex (after some time)
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
- Mood swings and irritability
- Nervousness and anxiety
- Panic and paranoia
- Involuntary movements and ticks
- False sense of being invincible
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
Long-term side effects of regular use
- Fatal kidney and lung diseases
- Possible brain damage
- Permanent mental problems
- Reduced immune function
- Liver Damage
- Heart attack
- Severe itching