Methamphetamine is a classical stimulant substance of the amphetamine class. It is structurally related to amphetamine; however, it crosses the blood-brain barrier more rapidly, due to its relatively high lipid solubility. It produces its effects by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain.

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Subjective effects include motivation enhancement, stamina enhancement, appetite suppression, increased libido, and euphoria. Chronic high-dose use can induce states of anxiety & paranoia, delusions, thought disorganization, psychosis, and violent behavior. It is associated with compulsive redosing, especially when it is vaporized (“smoked”) or injected, due to the overwhelming euphoric rush it produces in the user upon initial administration.

Methamphetamine was first synthesized from ephedrine in 1893 by Japanese chemist Nagayoshi Nagai. During World War II, methamphetamine was used extensively by both the Allied and Axis forces for its stimulant and performance-enhancing effects. Eventually, as the addictive properties of the drugs became known, governments began to place strict controls on the sale of the drugs, and methamphetamine became a Schedule II controlled substance in 1970 in the United States. Methamphetamine hydrochloride is approved by the FDA under the trade name “Desoxyn”. However, it is rarely prescribed due to its abuse potential, typically being reserved for cases of severe obesity or ADHD in which all other treatment options have been exhausted.

Oral, Smoked