Free «Methamphetamine Abuse» Essay

Methamphetamine Abuse

Methamphetamine abuse presents substantial individual and social risks. The current paper deals with the examination of the patterns of methamphetamine abuse including the history and amphetamine psychosis. Methamphetamine refers to a neurotoxin of the amphetamine class that may fulfill the functions of a recreational drug. In some special cases, it may be even used for dealing with obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The characteristics of methamphetamine are such as its regular use inevitably leads to high tolerance to this drug. In the case of methamphetamine abuse, tolerance develops during a very short period of time. Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug, and the existing evidences do not show the ways of its effective treatment. There are almost no effective methods for the substantial reduction of methamphetamine dependence and abuse. Some positive effects may be achieved through the use of imipramine and fluoxetine; however, they cannot address all symptoms of abuse. Chronic withdrawal symptoms may emerge in especially difficult cases of methamphetamine abuse. They may persist for several weeks and threaten patients’ physical and mental states.

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Amphetamine was discovered in 1887 while methamphetamine was synthesized only six years later. During World War II, methamphetamine was widely used by different branches of the armed forces as an artificial stimulant for military purposes. During 1950s, it was used as a treatment for obesity. At the same period, the government became widely involved in the process of distribution of this drug. Nowadays, it is sold under the registered name of Desoxyn. Its current production and distribution are also highly regulated by the national government.

Amphetamine-induced psychosis is a very serious form of a psychotic disorder caused by the use of this stimulant drug. Some symptoms of psychosis may be very similar to those of schizophrenia psychosis. Not all relationships between amphetamine use and subsequent psychosis are properly investigated. Some scientists propose to use a stress-vulnerability model for clarifying this relationship in each particular case (Shoptaw, Kao, & Ling, 2009).

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Amphetamines are highly addictive drugs as they directly affect the mesolimbic “reward system” (El-Tantawy, Raya, Al-Yahya & El-Desoky, 2010). It may lead to the emergence of the euphoric state; after some time, addiction is developed as well. Many psychiatric patients experience these problems, and empirical tests demonstrate that they are caused by the use of amphetamines. Those patients that have schizophrenia or similar psychic disorders experience higher risks regarding their mental state if they use amphetamines.

Empirical observations clearly show a positive correlation between the use of amphetamines and the subsequent development of psychosis. Although statistical facts are significant, they are not properly explained from the analytical and medical point of view. During the first stages of psychosis, the majority of negative consequences may be effectively blocked by modern anti-psychotics. However, treatment becomes highly problematic in later stages. The main symptoms of psychosis include the lack of concentration, anxiety, high motor activity, suspicion, and even hallucinations. Thought disorders may also be often present as well as significant problems with abstract thinking.

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Stressful situations may decrease the effectiveness of treatment as they contribute to even higher anxiety and suspicion. The factors that increase the likelihood of such a psychosis include both personal experience of a given patient and his/her family history of psychosis. The traditional stress/vulnerability paradigm may be used for the adequate explanation of the amphetamine’s influence on the development of psychosis. In some cases, even high amounts of amphetamines do not lead to the emergence of psychosis while in others even small doses result in psychotic symptoms. Social and psychic characteristics of a given individual should be taken into account. Thus, there are some aspects regarding methamphetamine abuse that require further scientific investigation.

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