Metamfetamin (know as PERVITÍN)
What is meth?
In Slovakia, an illegal drug belonging to the group of drugs with stimulating effects. It acts mainly in the central nervous system, where it increases the number of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine or serotonin. Through dopamine, it affects movement, motivation or feelings of satisfaction after the executed activity. Noradrenaline, in turn, acts on oxygen supply, heart rate and blood pressure. By acting on serotonin, methamphetamine has an effect on mood, memory, learning and the reward system. Meth can cause you severe mental and physical dependence.
What are the effects of meth?
The most significant effect is a strong arousal, manifested by an increase in energy, which is much more pronounced than with other amphetamines, MDMA or cocaine. At higher doses, it is sometimes impossible to rest due to clenching of the teeth, muscle contraction and excessive shaking, which leads to reduced ability to control movement. There is also often a very short feeling of bodily euphoria, improved ability to concentrate, excessive self-esteem, pain relief, strong feelings of euphoria and a desire for sex. Meth also suppresses appetite and the need for sleep, which is a dangerous combination when used repeatedly during a single session. It causes a “thought jet”, i.e. an explosive emergence of many compulsive and impulsive thoughts, one also needs to talk quickly. Common side effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, fever and sweating, aggression, anxiety, paranoia, mood swings and seizures. During the retreat, you will experience a comedown, a state where you no longer feel the positive effects and anxiety and depression, irritability and paranoid states prevail. The contrast between the desired effects and the comedown forces people to take another dose. The more meth you use per night, the worse and longer the comedown will be. Inability to fall asleep is common after taking methamphetamine, and fatigue strengthens these negative effects. With higher doses of meth used overnight, the threat of paranoia and unpleasant hallucinations also increases. Never use meth during pregnancy. If you do not take meth, you will avoid all risks.
How do I reduce the risks associated with use?
Meth can be snorted, smoked, used orally and injected. The safe dose cannot be determined precisely due to the different purity of meth on the market, so it is recommended to take a small dose of unknown meth for the first time and wait more than two and a half hours before using it again. You will probably want to use meth again as soon as its effects start to wane, but each subsequent use will be less intense, leading to the urge to use meth again.
The usual dose for oral and nasal use is between 5-30 mg, for injection and smoking is between 5-20 mg. The safest route of use is oral – the effects appear after half an hour, last 7-12 hours, sometimes up to 24 hours for rare users, and are relatively weak. The effects of sniffing appear after 10 minutes and last 4-7 hours, sometimes less than 12 hours for rare users, but this method of use is very addictive. The most dangerous (highest risk of overdose, transmission of infectious diseases), and the most intensive use is the injectable method. The effects appear after a minute and last for 4-8 hours, for rare users sometimes up to 18 hours. Smoking is a safer alternative to injecting because of the lower risk of overdose. The effects of smoking start after a minute and last for 2-6 hours, for rare users sometimes up to 12 hours.
Do not sniff meth through banknotes or hard paper – if you injure your mucous membrane, you risk transmission of infections and hepatitis C. Use your own snuff or clean straw, the end of which you will tan with a lighter and it will not be sharp. Never share a needle for injection. The most dangerous way of use is continuous use for several days in a row. If you want to take meth, make sure that you will be able to sleep long enough before and after use. Before (ideally also during) use, eat and replenish fluids at all times, ideally 0.3 liters of water per hour. Lack of sleep, food and fluids are a common cause of negative effects from paranoia to overdose.
When using meth, you also risk developing toxic psychosis. Any amount of drug can cause this, but the combination of higher doses with dehydration, lack of food and lack of sleep increases this probability. Continuous use over several days (“trips”), long-term use and combination with alcohol also increase the likelihood of occurrence. Toxic psychosis is characterized by feelings of fear, paranoia, delusions, and feelings of persecution. Its symptoms can last from several hours to 2 weeks, but hallucinations always disappear within 48 hours. It is ideal to have a sober person with you who can provide you with help if you have problems during or after use.
Meth is neurotoxic to dopamine and serotonin receptors, so do not use it more than once every 3 months, because with more frequent use you risk development of Parkinson’s disease, depression or other diseases. Definitely never use meth to cover the “comedown”, precisely because of the high toxicity and high probability of developing addiction. If you or someone in your family has heart problems, you are at risk of a heart attack, so you should avoid using it. Equally, avoid it if you or someone in your family has a mental illness, because using meth can trigger, for example, temporary or permanent psychosis or schizophrenia.
Combination of meth and other psychoactive substances – what to avoid?
Meth with alcohol is a difficult to predict and dangerous combination due to the stimulating effects of methamphetamine and, conversely, the depressant effects of alcohol.
The combination of methamphetamine with heroin (speedball or powerball) is a risk mainly for the heart, as methamphetamine increases heart rate, pressure and body temperature, and heroin suppresses heart rate, respiration and pressure. Such conflicting information for the heart can cause heart attack or death.
The combination of any stimulants, cocaine, caffeine, other amphetamines, increases the risk of overdose. There is no safe level of drug use. You can only minimize the risks if you decide to use the drug despite the information about the drug.
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