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Methamphetamines
Effects
by Erowid
DURATION #
Caution :   Reactions and experiences may vary dramatically from person to person. [see below]
EFFECTS LIST #
POSITIVE
  • increased energy and alertness
  • decreased need for sleep
  • increased sociability
  • mild to extreme mood lift, euphoria
  • increased sexuality
NEUTRAL
  • excessive talking
  • decreased appetite, weight loss
  • sweating
NEGATIVE
  • disturbed sleep patterns
  • tightened jaw muscles, grinding teeth (trismus and bruxia)
  • loss of appetite (anorexia), leading to poor nutrition and weight loss with heavy use
  • visual & auditory hallucinations, hearing voices (from sleep deprivation)
  • reduced enjoyment of eating
  • loss of interest in sex, over time
  • itching, welts on skin
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • dry mouth, leading to serious tooth decay with chronic use
  • excessive excitation, hyperactivity
  • shortness of breath
  • moodiness & irritability
  • anxiousness & nervousness
  • aggressiveness
  • panic, suspiciousness, and paranoia
  • involuntary body movements (uncontrollable movement and/or twitches of fingers, facial & body muscles, lip-smaking, tongue protrusion, grimacing, etc.)
  • ego inflation, false sense of confidence and power, ego-inflation
  • aggressive and violent behavior
  • severe depression, suicidal tendencies


  • Effects of Habitual Use
  • fatal kidney and lung disorders
  • possible brain damage
  • permanent psychological problems
  • lowered resistance to illnesses
  • liver damage
  • stroke
  • cardiovascular crises, chest pains, heart attacks
  • Damage to gums, teeth, and can lead to tooth loss
DESCRIPTION #
General Effects Notes
When methamphetamine is first used, the effects can often feel somewhat more like MDMA (Ecstasy) than a simple stimulant including a sense of euphoria, openness, and intellectual expansion. There can be a mild psychedelic component as the new user feels they see the world a little differently. The sensation of 'mind-expansion' and openness quickly fade after the first few uses and physical and mental stimulation dominate the experiential effects.

Routes of Administration
As with other psychoactives, different routes of administration have different profiles of effects. Oral methamphetamine ingestion tends to lack rushing, has less euphoric effects, and tends to cause far less of a feeling of wanting to do it again than the other methods. Smoking and injecting methamphetamine are associated with stronger, more euphoric effects and these are more associated with compulsive / addictive user patterns.

Addiction and Withdrawal
Users of large amount of amphetamines over a long period of time can develop an amphetamine psychosis, which is a mental disorder similar to paranoid schizophrenia. The psychosis is manifested by hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. Bizarre, sometime violent, behavior is exhibited by those with amphetamine psychosis. Symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks after drug use stops.

Withdrawal Symptoms
Amphetamines have the potential to produce tolerance, which means that increased amounts of the drug are needed to achieve the desired effects. Withdrawal symptoms can occur when use of amphetamines is stopped abruptly. Users may experience fatigue; long, disturbed periods of sleep; irritability; intense hunger, and moderate to severe depression. The length and severity of the depression is related to how much and how often amphetamines were used.

  • craving
  • exhaustion
  • depression
  • mental confusion
  • restlessness and insomnia
  • deep or disturbed sleep lasting up to 48 hours
  • extreme hunger
  • psychotic reaction
  • anxiety reactions
Treatment (from FADAA)
Medical treatments include the use of antidepressant agents such as imipramine, desipramine, amitriptyline, dosepin, trazodone, or fluoxetine (Prozac). These affect serotonin, the neurotransmitter in the brain that deals with both depression and drug craving.

Sedatives such as Dalmane, chloral hydrate, Librium, phenobarbital, or even Valium are used, very carefully, on a short-term basis to treat anxiety or sleep disturbance problems. Antipsychotic medications such as Haldol, Thorazine, and others are also used to buffer the effects of unbalanced dopamine, the neurotransmitter that moderates paranoia and pleasurable sensation.

In addition to treating the physical and psychological aspects of craving, treatment providers should stress group counseling and peer pressure for compulsive amphetamine users, as these forms of therapy work well for this population.

Effects of use During Pregnancy
It is possible for babies of mothers who use amphetamines to be born with:

  • cardiac defects
  • cleft palate
  • birth defects
  • addiction and withdrawal
CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid's effects information is a summary of data gathered from users, research, and other resources. This information is intended to describe the range of effects people report experiencing. Effects may vary dramatically from one person to another or one experience to another based on a variety of factors such as body chemistry, age, gender, physical health, dose, form of material, etc.