Methamphetamine is a stimulant of the amphetamine class that affects the central nervous system. Meth is typically found in the form of a fine, white powder, and white crystals. Like other amphetamines, Meth is a stimulant that results in an increased heart rate, hyperactivity and increased mental acuity and euphoria in lower doses. Methamphetamine is particularly dangerous when compared to other amphetamines because it is so much more potent. This means that a lower dose will result in a far greater rush and euphoria than a comparable dose of another amphetamine. This is also one of the many factors that make methamphetamine unsuitable in a clinical setting when compared to other amphetamines that are often prescribed.
In the United States Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant substance as listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration acting under the aegis of The United States Controlled Substances Act. The Schedule II classification is dominated by opiates and stimulants. The criteria the Drug Enforcement Administration uses, as delineated by The United States Controlled Substances Act, is that the drug must:
- The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
- The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
- Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Should a drug meet this criteria, they will be included in the Schedule II classification.
There are many negative health outcomes associated with long term Methamphetamine usage. Among them are psychosis (paranoia and hallucinations), memory loss, aggressiveness , dental problems, and drastic weight loss.
Like all stimulants, Methamphetamine can induce a great many cardiovascular complications ranging from rapid heart rate, an irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure and a decreased appetite. This symptoms may occur in the short term, but in the long term it is virtually guaranteed that the drug will gradually wear down the cardiovascular system, paving the path for more severe complications like cardiac arrest.