Methamphetamine is known as a psychomotor stimulant that can mimic neurotransmitters in the brain at the sites of dopamine and serotonin receptors. The neurotransmitters and receptors function like a lock (receptors) and a key (neurotransmitters). A receptor usually interacts only with a certain type of neurotransmitter where it would fit. Sympathomimetics (i.e. methamphetamine) can mimic certain neurotransmitters to an almost exactness that it is able to unlock neurotransmitters as well as the receptors.
The kind of neurotransmitters that methamphetamine usually mimics are called monoamines. Other monoamines include epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Methamphetamine stimulates the release of such neurotransmitters resulting in an overwhelming level of chemical messengers in our brain’s synapses or the gaps in between the neurons.
Moreover, methamphetamine can inhibit monoamine oxidase. This enzyme is known to destroy neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine that increase the levels of such in the brain. Among the functions of serotonin and dopamine include influence on defensiveness, aggressiveness, as well as sexual and social behaviors. That is the reason why meth users often show exaggerated behaviors in these areas.
- The high you can get from methamphetamine can last anywhere between 6-12 hours with only half of the drug can be eliminated from your body after 12 hours. Note that the high you can get from cocaine can last between 20-30 minutes and half of the drug is eliminated from the body in an hour.
- The street value of Methamphetamine is estimated to be around $3,000 USD a pound which is around the size of one brick. The price of cocaine, however, is around $11,000 USD a pound.
- The Office of National Drug Control Policy reveals that for every dollar spent on treatment, a loss of $7.46 in productivity and crime-related funds come as a result. However, such an estimate may not have factored in expenses of providing medical care.
Off the streets, methamphetamine is more popularly called meth, crystal meth or ice. Below you can find a list of the drug’s street names including what users call the drug. Some of them are relatively new terms:
- Red Rock
- Crystal meth
Snorters of meth are called:
- Snorters of fat rocks
- Railing down
- Train tracks
Injectors of meth are called:
- Hooking up
- Throwing darts
Methamphetamine is the known cause of 10,447 ER visits in the year 1999, whereas peak meth-related illnesses were reported in 1994 with 17,665 ER visits. The drug use even resulted in almost 500 deaths in the year 1998; unfortunately, it was the last year that showed data of meth-related issues in the medical setting.
An estimate of 8 percent of high school seniors has been surveyed in 2000 reporting the use of methamphetamine at least one time their whole life. Unknown numbers of adolescent meth users have also been known to drop out of school even before they reached their senior year.
Law enforcement personnel have seized labs of up to 577 percent nationally since the year 1994. Meth arrests have also risen to a staggering 300 percent nationally from the year 1993 onwards. The United States government has to spend around $2,000 each time a meth lab is seized and cleaned up.