A key to methamphetamine literature
Miami, FL (PRWEB) June 28, 2006
PRWEB) June 28, 2006 -- AddictionSearch.com offers the latest methamphetamine research and drug treatment options published by some of the top journals and government organizations.
The following compiles some of the latest research on methamphetamines.
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant. It is stronger and works faster than traditional amphetamine. Both drugs have limited clinical use in the treatment of obesity but today meth addiction and abuse is more prevalent than ever.
The most common form of methamphetamine or otherwise know as crystal meth is a powder. It is produced domestically and brought in from Mexico. It is also available in ice and tablet forms.
The action of methamphetamine is that of a mood and movement enhancer. Users report a “flash” or “rush” sensation of intense pleasure. Use causes the release of increased levels of dopamine and serotonin.
In 2004, more than 1 in 20 high school students reported having tried or used methamphetamine (6.2%) (MTF study). The increased domestic production of methamphetamine has led to an increased availability on the street. It has been reported that methamphetamine is replacing other drugs in the ‘club drug’ scene in some areas. Additional statistical information on methamphetamine follows:
- In 2004, an estimated 1.4 million persons aged 12 or older (0.6% of the population) had used methamphetamine in the past year, and 600,000 persons (0.2% of the population) had used methamphetamine in the past month.
- Although the number of past year and past month methamphetamine users did not change significantly between 2002 and 2004, the number of past month methamphetamine users who met criteria for abuse or dependence on one or more illicit drugs in the past year increased from 164,000 (27.5% of past month methamphetamine users) in 2002 to 346,000 (59.3%) in 2004.
- The average age of first use among new methamphetamine users was 18.9 years in 2002, 20.4 years in 2003, and 22.1 years of age in 2004.
(SOURCE: The NSDUH Report: Methamphetamine Use, Abuse, and Dependence: 2002, 2003, and 2004*)
Dopamine is an intermediate in the production of adrenaline needed for the fight/flight response and all the physiological effects related to this necessary adaptive reaction; such as increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased respiration and metabolic changes. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with learning and consciousness.
There is evidence of nuerotoxic effects related to brain cell damage caused by methamphetamine. The effects of methamphetamine on the Central Nervous System of the user include the following experiences for the user, even with only a small amount of methamphetamine:
- Increased wakefulness
- Decreased appetite
- Increased respiration (breathing rate)
- Hyperthermia (over-heating)
Over time, these effects may lead to the following conditions:
Other long term results include irreversible damage to the blood vessels in the brain which can cause strokes, respiratory problems, and cardiovascular (blood vessel and heart) damage which can lead to heart attacks and collapse.
Addiction to methamphetamine was first branded as untreatable in rural communities in the Midwest. These small hometowns were unaccustomed to treating substance abuse disorders that present with the intensity and severity of methamphetamine abuse. Larger, urban communities had their experiences with cocaine and heroine to guide them and perhaps even prepare them for the literal explosion in methamphetamine use that has occurred over the past 10-15 years.
The effects and chemistry of methamphetamine use are well documented; but there is very little solid research available to recommend efficacious treatment strategies. A majority of the treatment options are borrowed from cocaine and heroine use models, including the popular Matrix model of treatment. The treatment of methamphetamine use is difficult partly because users do not always experience immediate and severe withdrawals but rather may undergo a period characterized by the inability to experience anything pleasurable. This lack of pleasurable sensations, “ahedonia”, seems to correspond to the physiological recovery of the brain and often leads to relapse within the first year of abstinence.
Furthermore, there is no clinically significant pharmacological treatment to support the abstinence and recovery of methamphetamine users. There are pharmacological protocols currently being studied, however; and medication can be effective in the management of some symptoms in some methamphetamine users.
There are a number of components that the addiction treatment community agrees are integral to an effective treatment program for methamphetamine addiction:
- At least 3 months to a year in duration of intensive, comprehensive, and highly structured living;
- Long-term and intensive outpatient program focused on functional analysis including information, structure and life skills;
- Instruction and education on dealing with triggers and cravings;
- Relapse prevention components including providing education, vocational and employment opportunities; and
- Introduction and involvement in 12-step programs with the recommendation of life-time enrollment in such programs.
Addictionsearch.com offers articles, statistics, population studies, and links about addictions, prevention, treatment programs and harm reduction. For more information or live assistance go to addictionsearch.com or contact Jerry Goldfarb at 800-559-9503.
More addiction related resources can be found at:
DEA, “Drug Intelligence Brief: The Forms of Methamphetamine”, April 2002 retrieved 6/11/06 from http://www.streetdrugs.org.
Hammer, M.R. “A key to methamphetamine literature”. May 1, 2006. Retrieved 05/19/06 from http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/aids/harm_reduction/crystalmeth/docs/meth_literature_index.pdf
J.C. Maxwell. (2005). “Emerging research on methamphetamine”. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 18(3): 234-242. Retrieved 5/22/06 from
MTF data are from the 2003 Monitoring the Future Survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, and conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research in NIDA InfoFacts. The survey has tracked 12th-graders' illicit drug use and related attitudes since 1975; in 1991, 8th- and 10th-graders were added to the study. The latest data are online at http://www.drugabuse.gov.
Methamphetamine Treatment Project. (Updated May 7, 2001). “Treatment” retrieved 6/19/06 from http://www.methamphetamine.org/treatment.htm.
NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine (revised 5/05) retrieved 6/11/06 from http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofacts/methamphetamine.html.
Office of the Illinois State Attorney General.
Sommerville, Julie. (1/22/01). “Beating a Meth Addiction” retrieved 6/19/06 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com.
The NSDUH Report: Methamphetamine Use, Abuse, and Dependence: 2002, 2003, and 2004* retrieved 6/5/06 from http://drugabusestatistics.samhsa.gov/2k5/meth/meth.htm
US Department of Health and Human Services. Statement by Charles Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on Prevention and Treatment of Methamphetamine Abuse before Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, April 21, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2006 from http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t050425.html
*Methamphetamine use as recorded by SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health includes both prescription preparations (i.e., Desoxyn® and Methedrine) and non-prescription/illicit methamphetamine.