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Ask Michelle - Questions & Answers about Meth Addiction and Recovery

  • Mar

    Brain Cells

    How does methamphetamine work on the brain and does it damage the cells?

    When methamphetamines are used they trigger our brain cells to release high levels of the chemical (neurotransmitter) dopamine. When dopamine is released brain cells become stimulated, this is why a meth user is overly happy, extremely euphoric and experiences tons of energy. Continued meth use eventually reduces the levels of dopamine in the brain and causes damage to the brain cells.

    Unfortunately over time, meth use causes serious damage including physical problems. When a person uses methamphetamine in high levels it damages the brain cells that contain serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitters. These brain cells affect our moods and body movement. As time goes on, using meth reduces the levels of dopamine in our brains, when this happens the symptoms resemble Parkinson's disease. This is very serious because the user experiences severe movement problems.

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