Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that can cause increased alertness and increased physical activity with small doses by causing the release of high levels of the neu-rotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Abusers of metham-phetamine experience a brief "rush" by smoking or injecting methamphetamine. Oral ingestion or snorting methamphet-amine can produce a high that can last approximately half a day. Due to tolerance, chronic users of methamphetamine may take higher doses of the drug or binge for several days. Long-term use of methamphetamine can cause functional and molecular changes to the brain. Chronic metham-phetamine users may exhibit anxiety, violent behavior, and symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. Fortunately, the use of methamphetamine in the United States has been decreasing. In 2008, there were approximately 314,000 users of methamphetamine, or half the number of users as in 2006.

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