Methedrine, also known as meth, is the trade name for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a stimulant drug not unlike amphetamine. Methedrine is available by prescription, and is used to increase alertness, to help manage weight, and to help those with attention disorders such as ADHD maintain their focus. Because of its effects, Methedrine addiction and abuse has become a widespread epidemic across the US.
The drug works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), releasing dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals build up in the brain and in addition to helping control alertness and focus, they also create a short-lived sense of euphoria.
This high is in part why Methedrine is so addictive; those prescribed the drug tend to be closely monitored for signs of addiction or dependent behavior. It is common for those being prescribed Methedrine to develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring more and more of it in order to feel its effects. Patients often increase their dosage or their frequency of dosage without consulting a medical professional, resulting in Methedrine addiction and abuse.
Many users seek out Methedrine on the street out of a misguided sense that the drug is safer than street methamphetamine. This is incorrect, as there are significant health and personal risks associated with Methedrine.
Users may indulge in drug-seeking behavior such as forging prescriptions or visiting multiple pharmacies or doctors to obtain a prescription. The sale and diversion of Methedrine is a significant problem, particularly given the drug’s associations with methamphetamine, one of the most worrisome drug problems facing the US today.
Methedrine also goes by the street names:
- crystal meth
- rock candy
Methedrine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. While it has recognized medical benefits, it is considered to have high potential for abuse and high potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule II drugs are considered to be dangerous.
History and Trends in Methedrine Addiction and Abuse
Methedrine was first formulated in 1893, and was derived from amphetamine, which was first synthesized in 1887. The drug was widely used during WWII as a way of keeping pilots alert during long flights; later it became used as an anti-obesity drug, and then as a way to manage attention behaviors such as ADHD. Methedrine is at risk of being sold, diverted or used without prescription; addiction may also lead to the use of street methamphetamine, which is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the US today, and tends to have a young user base.
Side effects of Methedrine
Methedrine “speeds up” the body, with its most noticeable symptoms including fast speech and heightened activity, although in those with disorders such as ADHD, the opposite is true – the drug has the effect of managing these symptoms.
In addition to its prescribed effects, Methedrine also creates a sense of euphoria. It’s this that typically leads to addiction and craving, as users seek out more of the drug in order to maintain a high. Other side effects of Methedrine include those common to most stimulants, including elevated breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
When taken frequently and in large quantities, Methedrine may cause long-term effects such as psychosis, hallucinations and aggressive and erratic behavior. The drug may cause damage to a user’s cognitive skills and memory, and can also cause weight loss. Withdrawal symptoms may be suffered by addicted users.
Withdrawal symptoms of Methedrine
Withdrawing from Methedrine results in withdrawal symptoms that may begin as soon as 24 hours after an individual’s last dose, and which may last as long as a week. Common withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, dysphoria, increased appetite, anxiety, paranoia and thoughts of suicide. Pregnant or breastfeeding women who quit using Methedrine may find that their infant or fetus is affected by withdrawal symptoms.
Often the severity of these withdrawal symptoms is enough to encourage a user to begin using again.
Treatment for Methedrine Addiction and Abuse
Methedrine addiction is a serious problem with potentially deadly results. Addicts may find themselves facing difficulties at work, at home and with family and friends. They may find themselves in debt, engaged in criminal activity or seriously ill as a result of their addiction. Methedrine addiction may also lead to seeking out street methamphetamine or other similar drugs.
Methedrine drug abuse and treatment should not be overlooked. While there are currently no medications to help with the side effects of quitting Methedrine, detox programs can provide a structured, effective space in which users can manage all of the elements of their addiction.
Such programs include behavioral therapies, cognitive therapy, contingency management therapy and even motivational therapy. Patients will be weaned off their physical dependency on the drug, while helping to deal with the causes of their addiction in order to prevent the likelihood of relapse.
If you or someone you know is battling with Methedrine addiction, get help now. Contact us at White Sands Tampa about our detox programs today. 1-877-640-7820.