What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of Methamphetamine are greater. Methamphetamine is made in illegal laboratories and has a high potential for abuse and dependence. The drug can be taken orally, injected, or inhaled. Acute higher doses lead to enhanced stimulation of the central nervous system and induce euphoria, alertness, reduced appetite, and a sense of increased energy and power. Cardiovascular responses to Methamphetamine include increased blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias. More acute responses produce anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, and eventually, depression and exhaustion. The effects of Methamphetamine generally last 2-4 hours and the drug has a half-life of 9-24 hours in the body. Methamphetamine is excreted in the urine as amphetamine and oxidized and delaminated derivatives. However, 10-20% of Methamphetamine is excreted unchanged. Thus, the presence of the parent compound in the urine indicates Methamphetamine use.
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