Methamphetamine stimulates the central nervous system and is similar in chemical structure to amphetamine. It is labeled a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. That means that it has a high potential for being abused, but also may be prescribed on a limited basis by a doctor to treat conditions such as attention deficit disorder, narcolepsy, and obesity.
The drug is illegal when used, manufactured, or distributed without a physician's prescription. It is both a federal and a state crime.
If you have been charged for the illegal use, manufacturing or distribution of methamphetamine, you should contact an attorney with experience in defending people facing these charges as soon as possible. David M. Dudley is a federal and state criminal defense attorney with decades of experience defending against serious drug prosecutions involving excessive amounts of methamphetamine. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Dudley, contact our law office today.
Methamphetamine is a white, bitter, crystalline powder that is abused by snorting, needle injection, oral use, or by smoking. It dissolves easily in water. Because methamphetamine blocks dopamine from being reabsorbed by brain cells, it leads to high levels of the chemical in the brain outside of the cells. The drug's ability to release dopamine rapidly results in intense euphoria or the "rush" that abusers feel after taking the drug.
According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health, methamphetamine has a significant effect on how the brain works. Researchers who have conducted noninvasive human brain imaging studies have found that the drug impairs and affects:
- Motor skills
- Verbal learning
The NIDA reports these effects are related to functional and structural changes in the brain. The institute also says that addiction, brought about by repeated abuse, produces a "chronic relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use which is accompanied by chemical and molecular alterations in brain tissue." These changes can remain for a long time after the abuser stops using methamphetamine.
Taking even small quantities of methamphetamine can cause the following physical reactions:
- Increased wakefulness
- Increased physical activity
- Loss of appetite
- Increased respiration, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature
- Irregular heartbeats
Abuse of the drug over an extended period of time can cause dangerous health problems such as:
- Extreme weight loss
- Severe problems with teeth
- Mood disturbances
- Psychoses such as paranoia, hallucinations and delusions (one example is the feeling that insects are crawling under the skin)
- Harmful effects on persons who are HIV positive or have AIDS
If you are facing charges involving methamphetamine, contact Mr. Dudley to discuss your case.