Methamphetamine Overdose: How Much Meth Can Kill?
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Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that closely resembles Amphetamine. Math users eat, inject, snort, or smoke it. This substance is also known for its high overdose risks. Methamphetamine overdose occurs when user takes too much of it.
Currently, it belongs to a class of powerful and highly addictive substances. We call them CNS stimulants. Naturally, it brings euphoria and relaxed feelings in the users. For this reason, they abuse it. At the same time, doctors also prescribe a less powerful form to treat ADHD. They also use to treat a sleep disorder which they call Narcolepsy. Notice, that the substance meth users got on streets is more powerful. In fact, it carries an increased risk of overdose even with a little quantity.
Synonyms: meth, crank, speed, crystal meth, and ice
Table of Contents
Methamphetamine Overdose Symptoms
If overdose happens, the effects are widespread and cover a number of body systems. With this in mind, There are some things that can determine the severity of the symptoms. One of them is the amount of the drug that reaches the brain. In addition, it also influences how long one will have to bear them.
Understandably, injecting it is more dangerous than eating or smoking.
- Loss of consciousness
- Mental confusion
- Hearing or listening things that are not there (hallucinations)
- Extreme fear or panic states
- Aggressive behavior
- Impaired memory and judgment
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Fast breathing
- Dark colored urine
- Damages to the kidneys that may lead to its failure
- Abnormal muscle contractions
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Extreme tiredness
Moreover, extremely high body temperature (hyperthermia) is another vital and potentially fatal effect.
Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment
Regrettably, there is no antidote. Nothing can directly counteract the toxic effects or reverse them. However, supportive treatments can restrict or relieve them.
The treatments include:
- Medications to normalize abnormal heart rhythms
- Benzos to control convulsions
- Injections of antipsychotic agents to mitigate severe restlessness
- Pressure-lowering medications to treat high blood pressure
- Fluid and electrolyte injections to stabilize the patient. As a result, it may decrease the risk of damage to the kidneys.
- Activated charcoal and laxative can be useful. That is if the user took the drug by mouth. In addition, it happens not so long before reaching the hospital. That way, it may help to restrict its absorption in the stomach and intestines.
- Artificial ventilation and oxygen supplementation to facilitate breathing.
- Supportive treatment to treat hyperthermia and prevent excessive dehydration.
How Methamphetamine Overdose Affects The Body And Brain?
First, the drug reaches the brain. Then, it starts to affect the activity of many of the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). Notably, it affects the “pleasure neurotransmitter.” Scientists call it dopamine. It is because both dopamine and Meth have similar chemical structures.
For this reason, it can cause euphoric feelings after a dose of the drug. But when it too much of it were taken, an exaggeration of dopamine activity occurs. This results in marked agitation, rapid breathing, aggression and other excitatory symptoms.
The symptoms reach their peak within a few hours after the take. Then, they start climbing down. Consequently, the symptoms of physical and mental depression start to act.
Methamphetamine Overdose Amount
The lethal dose varies depending on an individual’s previous exposure to the drug. For example, it can be the way they take it and their unique capacity to digest it.
In addition, in some cases, one might already have some diseases of the vital organs. Consequently, they might also affect how the body metabolizes the drug.
Scientists say a single oral dose of 150 mg is enough to produce a fatal situation. In the same way, 100 mg given by injection or 50 mg by smoking is extremely harmful.
Understandably, injecting or smoking can kill even with a low amount.
Methamphetamine Overdose Death
Methamphetamine abuse reached its pinnacle in 2005. At that time, they said that overdosing had caused almost 4.500 deaths in the US. This is according to a report by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In addition, Methamphetamine overdose also accounts for 100,000 emergency room visits. This is every year in the US.
What Makes Amphetamine A Drug Of Epidemic Abuse
- Low cost
- Long-lasting high
- Easy accessibility
How To Help Someone Having Methamphetamine Overdosу
Call local emergency number or 911. The call to the National toll-free Poison Help hotline can also save the life.
Looking for professional medical help for addictions? Talk with the experts nearby.
- Methamphetamine overdose, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007480.htm
- John R. Richards; Erik G. Laurin, Methamphetamine Toxicity, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430895/
- Kitanaka J, Kitanaka N, Hall FS, Uhl GR, Takemura M, Brain Histamine N-Methyltransferase As a Possible Target of Treatment for Methamphetamine Overdose, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26966348
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