What are the
immediate (short-term) effects of methamphetamine abuse?
As a powerful stimulant, methamphetamine, even in small doses,
can increase wakefulness and physical activity and decrease appetite.
A brief, intense sensation, or rush, is reported by those who smoke
or inject methamphetamine. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a
long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue
for as long as half a day. Both the rush and the high are believed
to result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter
dopamine into areas of the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure.
Methamphetamine has toxic effects. In animals, a single high dose
of the drug has been shown to damage nerve terminals in the dopamine-containing
regions of the brain. The large release of dopamine produced by
methamphetamine is thought to contribute to the drug's toxic effects
on nerve terminals in the brain. High doses can elevate body temperature
to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels, as well as cause convulsions.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
NIH Publication Number 97-3859