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    Methamphetamine Medical Terminology Questions and Answers

    In this section we will give answers to some methamphetamine medical terminology questions people have regarding some of the terms used when talking about methamphetamines and its effects on addicts, communities and the environment. Meth is an extremely dangerous drug and is very harmful to the addict's body and can be deadly especially if one mistake is made while trying to manufacture the drug.

    Meth Affects the Neurotransmitters in Your Brain, What are Neurotransmitters?

    Neurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain that converse or communicate messages throughout the brain and body. Some of these chemicals (neurotransmitters) are responsible for our moods and the feelings we experience. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for our feelings of pleasure. Dopamine also affects our brain process that controls our movement and the way we respond emotionally. Methamphetamine causes the dopamine to surge when it's misused which is responsible for the rush of euphoria experienced when abusing these drugs.

    Meth was Used to Treat Narcolepsy and Obesity, What are They?

    Narcolepsy causes sleeping problems, an individual who suffers from narcolepsy experiences severe sleepiness during the day. There are different symptoms; some have trouble sleeping at night. During the day some people fall asleep without warning. This can happen right in the middle of talking, eating or any other activity. Some people who suffer with narcolepsy also experience weakened muscles.

    Obesity simply means having too much body fat which is a health risk. Obesity takes place when you consume more calories than you physically burn off.

    Babies That are Born to Women Who Used Meth Can Suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, Behavior Disorders and Tremors. What are they?

    Attention Deficit Disorder is a neuro-behavioral disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood. The symptoms usually affect a child's performance in school, causes difficulty with friends and relationships, and problems at home. When a person suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder they don't grow out of it. They need to learn positive and successful ways of managing their symptoms. Medications may be prescribed by a physician to help treat some of the symptoms. These symptoms include problems with:

    1. Paying attention
    2. Remembering things
    3. Listening
    4. Staying quiet
    5. Following through with tasks
    6. Distraction
    7. Organization

    Behavior Disorders that are a result from mothers who used methamphetamines during pregnancy include fits of anger when unnecessary. Many of these children tend to become irritable quite easily for no apparent reason.

    Tremors are usually caused by a problem in the part of the brain that controls our muscles throughout our body. A tremor is shaking in the legs, head, arms, hands, or trunk of the body. Amphetamines use during pregnancy can cause these symptoms in babies when they're born.

    Antidepressant Medications can be Used to Help Meth Addicts' Who Struggle with Depression When They're Going Through Treatment, What are Antidepressants?

    Antidepressants are medications that treat depression. Antidepressants are psychiatric medications that are used to balance a person's mood by stimulating neurotransmitters or also known as chemicals in the brain. The chemicals responsible for balancing moods within our brain are serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. There are many different kinds of antidepressants and each one is designed to affect these chemicals in a similar way. Increasing the levels of the chemicals listed above can raise mood levels to a healthy balance.

    What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

    Cognitive behavioral therapy is also referred to as CBT. This is a combination of two forms of therapy, cognitive and behavioral. A person's thoughts and beliefs have a great deal of influence on our moods and actions which is where cognitive therapy comes in. Cognitive therapy helps the person change their unhealthy thinking to a much healthier and positive way of thinking. Behavioral therapy focuses on the actions of a person, this form of therapy helps to change these behaviors into healthier more positive behavior. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps a person recognize unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns in themselves while teaching more positive and beneficial patterns of behavior. In drug use, CBT helps the user recognize triggers that may cause them to use drugs, how to avoid these triggers and how to cope with them better.

    Smoking Meth can cause Bronchitis and Laryngitis, What Are They?

    Bronchitis - Is a medical condition that occurs when the main air passages in the lungs become inflamed. When a person has acute bronchitis it lasts for long periods of time and comes back quite often. Smoking crystal meth can cause bronchitis and many chronic users suffer from the acute form.

    Laryngitis - Occurs when there is inflammation and swelling of the larynx, which is the voice box. The toxic dangerous chemicals in meth when smoked can cause the inflammation and swelling of the voice box.

    Can Meth cause Nystagmus?

    Nystagmus is the involuntary movement of the eyes. This rapid movement can be side to side, up and down or rotary. The eyeball bounces and uncontrollably moves. This is caused from unusual function in brain area that controls your eye movements. Certain central nervous system depressants, methamphetamine and inhalants can hinder the brain from controlling the eye muscles. Nystagmus is one of the negative effects associated with meth misuse.

    Crystal Meth has been known to cause Palpitations, Hyperthermia, and Insomnia. What Are These?

    Palpitations - IS when a person experiences heart palpitations, they are experiencing unpleasant feelings of their heart beating. Sometimes these sensations are strong and irregular feelings of the heart racing. Meth users especially chronic users tend to experience palpitations of the heart due to the effects of the drug. There are so many toxic and dangerous chemicals in crystal meth that cardiac arrest can occur due to chronic use.

    Hyperthermia - Takes place when the body overheats, this can be brought on by abusing drugs like methamphetamines. Meth induced hyperthermia is very dangerous because of changes that take place in the brain when using the drug. Early medical attention is crucial if the individual is suffering from hyperthermia.

    Insomnia - People suffering with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Some people have severe insomnia and need medication to help them sleep. Methamphetamine use can cause insomnia especially for chronic users of meth. Some people are unable to sleep for days due to insomnia brought on through the abuse of methamphetamines.

    Some Chronic Meth Users Experience Toxic Psychosis, What Is It?

    Prolonged meth abuse seriously changes brain function, this toxic chemical interferes with dopamine and serotonin which is associated with mood changes. Chronic use of methamphetamine can cause psychotic behavior, toxic psychosis, and aggressiveness. Toxic psychosis effects are paranoia and hallucinations. The delusions experienced with toxic psychosis is extremely serious, the user experiences the feeling of bugs and insects crawling under their skin. This is why chronic meth users have sores and major abrasions on their legs, arms, face and other parts of their body. They are constantly picking at the skin because of the imaginary delusional insects they think are in and under the skin. When toxic psychosis becomes extreme, the user displays intense violent and aggressive behavior also.

    Drug Addicts Use Methamphetamines because They Want the Euphoria, What Is It?

    Euphoria is experienced by drug users in different levels depending on the drug and how it's administered. Crystal meth produces intense euphoria which is a feeling of happiness and pleasure to the extreme. The meth user feels energized, alert, confident and powerful. During the beginning of any form of drug abuse, the user is seeking extreme euphoria but after addiction takes place, they abuse the drugs to feel better.

    When a Person Uses Methamphetamine it Affects the Nucleus Accumbens, What Is That?

    The nucleus accumbens is a group of nerve cells inside the striatum in the brain. The striatum is part of the forebrain which is in the front portion of the brain in adults. The nucleus accumbens is associated with emotional feelings like fear, aggression, happiness, and addiction. Meth use affects the nucleus accumbens which then affects euphoria and other emotions associated with meth abuse.

    Dopamine and Serotonin are Produced in Large Amounts When a User Abuses Meth, What Are They?

    Dopamine is a chemical (neurotransmitter) in the brain that regulates our brain's reward system, feelings of happiness and well being. Dopamine when released automatically lifts a person mood and we experience pleasure. When meth is misused, instead of our normal balance of dopamine being released, surges of dopamine are released. These intense quick surges of dopamine are responsible for the intense rush or high's experienced during meth use.

    Serotonin is also a neurotransmitter (chemical) in the brain sends messages throughout the brain that alters our moods. Believe it or not serotonin is produced in the brain but the majority of the chemical is found in our digestive tract and in our blood platelets. Serotonin may play a much larger role in our overall mental and physical health than we realize.

    Meth Addicts that Heavily Abuse Methamphetamines can Experience Secondary Parkinsonism, What Is It?

    Secondary Parkinsonism is very similar to Parkinson's disease but isn't caused by the same nervous system illness. Secondary Parkinsonism is caused by certain kinds of medicines including meth. This is a chemically induced disorder possibly due to decreased dopamine levels in the meth user over time. Once the intense rush is experienced when the meth user abuses this drug there is a sudden crash. Dopamine is now decreased much lower than normal healthy levels. Eventually with chronic use of meth our normal automatic dopamine levels in the brain stop working unless abusing the drug. These severe decreased levels of dopamine may be responsible for secondary Parkinsonism that some chronic meth users suffer from.

    When a Person Begins to Misuse Meth they can Experience Intense Happiness and Then is Followed by Depression and Sometimes Neurotic Behavior. This Behavior is Sometimes Mistaken for Bipolar Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, What Are They?

    Bipolar Disorder - Is a brain disorder also referred to as manic depression. When a person is suffering from Bipolar disorder they experience mood swings that go from mania to depression. This can take place quite suddenly and can last for sometimes days or even months. The level of bipolar disorder isn't always the same for every person. Their levels of mania and depression may be different, some severe and others less intense. The cause of bipolar disorder is unknown but it generally shows up between the ages of 15 and 25 years old. Medications are prescribed in order for the individual to manage their symptoms and lead a normal healthy life.

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Is an anxiety disorder that can be quite debilitating for the individual suffering from this illness. Due to the compulsive thoughts and feelings that become obsessive to the individual, they are obsessed to carry out their thoughts and actions in order to get relief. Some people suffering from OCD continuously wash their hands because of germs and bacteria. Unfortunately these obsessive and compulsive feelings and behaviors don't go away which affects the individual with everything they do. Cleanliness, worry, and constant checking on situations are some of the other symptoms of behavior some people experience with their OCD. Without proper treatment obsessive compulsive disorder can ruin a person's life.

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