Methamphetamines Effects on The Body

Breaking Bad, the critically acclaimed TV series, endeavored to present scientifically accurate information about methamphetamines; here is a summary of the facts.
Jared Rosenthal
Published on

If you’re a fan of the show “Breaking Bad”, you’ve likely just wrapped up five years of gripping, often grisly drama and a few lessons in organic chemistry with the show’s finale on September 29. The highly critically acclaimed series endeavored to present scientifically accurate information about methamphetamines; here is a summary of the facts:

Meth has recognized medicinal purposes

Believe it or not, methamphetamines are legally prescribed in the United States to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults and “exogenous” obesity in adults; that is, obesity caused by factors outside the patient’s control. Prescriptions for the drug are written for much lower doses than is typically found in the street version of it, and it cannot be refilled (a new prescription has to be written each month).

Meth is a Schedule II drug

Methamphetamines (also known by street names such as “meth” and “crystal meth”) are a central nervous system stimulant that have a high potential for abuse. Under the United States Controlled Substances Act, methamphetamine is listed under Schedule II, along with cocaine and heroin. The difference between a Schedule I and a Schedule II drug is that Schedule II drugs have some currently accepted medical use(s).

How users take meth

A person can smoke, snort or inject methamphetamine, releasing a significant amount of dopamine into the brain. This leads to what users call the “rush” that makes meth so addictive and is followed by euphoria and increased energy. According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), chronic use of meth leads to “structural and functional changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory.”

Horrifying effects of meth on the users

Anti-meth campaigns often feature “before and after” photos of users that are typically quite shocking; the “after” photos depicting persons with sores covering their faces and missing or severely decayed teeth. This is due to meth users’ tendency to pick at their faces (sometimes hallucinating that there are insects under their skin) and a condition known as “meth mouth”. Meth mouth is caused by a combination of decreased salivary production; teeth grinding and poor nutrition.

Addiction potential and side effects of meth

Methamphetamines are highly addictive and cause multiple side effects that include excessive weight loss due to foregoing food, hallucinations, repetitive movements and paranoia. High doses or long term use can result in toxic psychosis, which is often responsible for violent and aggressive behavior. Additionally, meth causes high body temperature, strokes and death.

If you suspect meth usage in your home, family, or workplace, call us to schedule drug testing immediately. 888-378-2499.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

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Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.