Of all the drugs that alter a person’s looks, methamphetamine (meth) causes the most overt visible signs of abuse. Meth abuse wreaks havoc on the entire body, destroying tissues and blood vessels and inhibiting the body’s ability to repair itself. The effects of meth include a decrease in appetite, resulting in muscle degradation, unhealthy loss of body mass, atrophy and a skeletal appearance. Meth abuse also causes the facial structure to undergo a horrific transformation due to serious skin issues and tooth loss.
Substance use addictions became intricately interwoven with sex at an early age for Lewis, a man who was starved for attention by his parents. Such co-occurring addictions do complicate recovery, but they can be overcome.
A new study, one of the first to examine the geographical patterns of drug distribution and purity across a country, found that voluntary admissions to treatment facilities for methamphetamine abuse within the coterminous United States and Mexico had decreased in recent years. Although the other illicit substances examined did not reveal a similar decline (including cocaine and heroin), researchers are attributing the decline in methamphetamine admissions to the Mexican government’s effort to combat the manufacture of methamphetamine within the country.
Although researchers have long known that prenatal exposure to drug abuse can be very harmful to the development of the fetal brain, a new study has found that prenatal exposure to methamphetamine can damage the fetal brain more severely than prenatal alcohol exposure. The study, published in the March 17 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that identifying vulnerable brain structures may help predict learning and behavioral problems in children who were exposed to meth.
The nation’s drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, recently visited St. Louis, Missouri, to launch a new anti-methamphetamine campaign. Some describe St. Louis as “the heart of meth country.” State officials discussed a plan to require prescriptions for over-the-counter medications that contain pseudoephedrine, the core ingredient of meth.
A new study shows that it takes at least one year for brain functions to improve in methamphetamine users. These findings should help recovering abusers and their families understand that it can take an extended period of time for the brain to regain impulse control.
Although NASCAR has not officially revealed the drug racer Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for last month, ESPN reports that that drug was methamphetamine, citing two anonymous sources. NASCAR chairman Brian France described the violation as “serious,” but Mayfield denied using an illegal drug the next day.
New research shows that more pregnant women in rehab programs are there because of methamphetamine use than any other drug. In 1994, 8 percent of all admissions of pregnant women were for methamphetamines; by 2006, that percentage increased to 24 percent. “Methamphetamine is the primary drug that compels treatment admission,” said Dr. Mishka Terplan, author of the study and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago Medical Center. “It’s the most common drug, including alcohol.”
Scientists have found a potential link between Parkinson’s and methamphetamine use. According to a Science Daily report a protein has been identified that is not only central to the process that causes Parkinson’s disease, it could also play a role in muting the high that is achieved when using methamphetamine and other addictive drugs.