The Dangerous Hard Drug And Side EffectsFebruary 1, 2022
Methamphetamine consumption in African has become a thing of concern as many youths gets wasted on daily basis due to addiction. It is a powerful brain stimulant that is used as a recreational drug. It is popularly called “mkpuru Mmiri” in southeastern part of Nigeria.
It is an illegal drug, having effects similar to those of cocaine which increases the natural levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. The ability of this drug to rapidly release dopamine in the reward areas of the brain strongly reinforces drug-taking behaviour, making the user want to try it again (addiction).
Physically mkpuru mmiri looks like glass fragments, shiny or pieced blue white rocks giving it many street names like cranks, chalk, ice, speed, mkpuru mmiri, meth and crystal. It can easily dissolve in water and alcohol making it injectable or ingested orally.
Methods Of Intake And Effects
Methamphetamine can be taken either of the following ways
- Swallowing (ingestion)
- Injection ( after dissolved in water or alcohol)
Smoking or injecting methamphetamine causes an immediate, intense “rush” or bliss that lasts for a few minutes.
Snorting does not produce the intense rush, but a euphoric high within 3 to 5 minutes of ingestion. The oral effects can be felt within 20 minutes.
Depending on how the drug is taken, the effects can last for 6 to 24 hours.
Side Effects Of Methamphetamine
The effects of methamphetamine are similar to those of cocaine and for the better understanding, I will discuss it under short-term and long-term effects.
- Increased wakefulness and physical activities
- Decreased appetite
- Faster breathing
- Rapid/irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure and body temperature
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased attention
- A feeling of power and self-control
- A pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria
- Extreme weight loss
- Severe dental problems (“meth mouth”)
- Intense itching, leading to skin sores from scratching
- Changes in brain structure and function
- Memory loss ( insomnia)
- Sleeping problems
- Violent behaviour (aggression)
- Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
- Hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they aren’t
Methamphetamine use can lead to the following health problems which includes;
- Heart problems and stroke
- Tooth decay
- Parkinson’s disease
People who inject methamphetamine are at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. These diseases are transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids that can remain on drug equipment.
Methamphetamine use can also alter judgment and decision-making leading to risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex, which also increases risk for infection.
Since the drug is illegally produced and sold, there are no controls over its contents. There is a risk of toxicity from unknown substances that may be present.
The individual’s overall health may deteriorate due to a lack of food or a poor diet. Severe weight loss may occur, It can also affect a person’s ability to think, learn, understand, and remember. They may feel confused and anxious.
Social consequences of long-term use include financial pressures, problems with work, and challenges with family relationships.
Some of these changes may be permanent.