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Methamphetamines are synthetic amphetamines or stimulants that are produced and sold illegally in pill form, capsules, powder and chunks
Amphetamine is a chemical that has stimulant properties similar to adrenaline. Like adrenaline, methamphetamines stimulate the central nervous system, and are extremely addictive. After the effects of crystal meth wears off, it can cause severe withdrawal that is more intense and longer lasting than both speed and cocaine. Methamphetamines may be known as crystal meth, crank, glass, speed, crystal, ice, batu, chalk, shabu, or zip
Rush - The rush is the initial response the abuser feels when smoking or injecting methamphetamine and is the aspect of the drug that low-intensity abusers do not experience when snorting or swallowing the drug. During the rush, the abuser's heartbeat races and metabolism, blood pressure, and pulse soar. Meanwhile, the abuser can experience feelings equivalent to ten orgasms. Unlike the rush associated with crack cocaine, which lasts for approximately 2 - 5 minutes, the methamphetamine rush can continue for 5-30 minutes.
The reason for the methamphetamine rush is that the drug, when smoked or injected, triggers the adrenal gland to release a hormone called epinephrine (adrenaline), which puts the body in a battle mode, fight or flight. In addition, the physical sensation that the rush gives the abuser most likely results from the explosive release of dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain.
High - The rush is followed by the high, sometimes called the shoulder. During the high, the abuser often feels aggressively smarter and becomes argumentative, often interrupting other people and finishing their sentences. The high can last 4-16 hours.
Binge - The binge is the continuation of the high. The abuser maintains the high by smoking or injecting more methamphetamine. Each time the abuser smokes or injects more of the drug, a smaller euphoric rush than the initial rush is experienced until, finally, there is no rush and no high. During the binge, the abuser becomes hyperactive both mentally and physically. The binge can last 3-15 days.
Tweaking - Tweaking occurs at the end of the binge when nothing the abuser does will take away the feeling of emptiness and dysphoria, including taking more methamphetamine. Tweaking is very uncomfortable, and the abuser often takes a depressant to ease the bad feelings. The most popular depressant is alcohol, with heroin a close second.
Tweaking is the most dangerous stage of the methamphetamine abuse cycle to law enforcement officers and other individuals near the abuser. If the abuser is using alcohol to ease the discomfort, the threat to law enforcement officers intensifies. During this stage, law enforcement officers must clearly identify the underlying dangers of the situation and avoid the assumption that the tweaker is just a cocky drunk.
Crash - To a binge abuser, the crash means an incredible amount of sleep. The body's epinephrine has been depleted, and the body uses the crash to replenish its supply. Even the meanest, most violent abuser becomes almost lifeless during the crash and poses a threat to no one. The crash can last 1-3 days.
Normal - After the crash, the abuser returns to normal -- a state that is slightly deteriorated from the normal state before he used methamphetamine. This stage ordinarily lasts between 2 and 14 days. However, as the frequency of binging increases, the duration of the normal stage decreases.
Withdrawal - No acute, immediate symptoms of physical distress are evident with methamphetamine withdrawal, a stage that the abuser may slowly enter. Often 30-90 days must pass after the last drug use before the abuser realizes that he is in withdrawal. First, without really noticing, the individual becomes depressed and loses the ability to experience pleasure. The individual becomes lethargic; he has no energy. Then the craving for more methamphetamine hits, and the abuser often becomes suicidal. If the abuser, however, takes more methamphetamine at any point during the withdrawal, the unpleasant feelings will end. Consequently, the success rate for traditional methamphetamine rehabilitation is very low. Ninety-three percent of those in traditional treatment return to abuse methamphetamine.
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