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Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse - 1585

Methamphetamine abuse results in many damaging long-term effects, including addiction.

Addiction is the inability to complete a cycle of action without having a chemical substance.  In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic methamphetamine abusers exhibit symptoms that can include violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. They also can display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects creeping on the skin, which is called "formication"). The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts.

Long-term methamphetamine abuse will build tolerance for the drug.  In an effort to intensify the desired effects, users may take higher doses of methamphetamine, take it more frequently, or change their method of drug intake. In some cases, abusers forego food and sleep while indulging in a form of binging known as a "run," injecting as much as a gram of the drug every 2 to 3 hours over several days until the user runs out of the drug or is too disorganized to continue. Chronic methamphetamine abuse can lead to psychotic behavior, characterized by intense paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and out-of-control rages that can be coupled with extremely violent behavior.

There are several symptoms that occur when a chronic methamphetamine user stops taking the drug. These include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, and intense drug cravings.  These are a few of the long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse, which includees methamphetamine addiction. 

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