Motivation and emotion/Book/2019/Methamphetamine and emotion

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Methamphetamine and emotion:
What is the effect of methamphetamine on emotion?

Overview[edit | edit source]

This chapter will explore the relationship between methamphetamine and emotion. Firstly, it explores the history of methamphetamine, what methamphetamine is, and how methamphetamine works. It then discusses the effect methamphetamine has on the human body, including physical effects, emotional effect, and in particular its effect on negative emotions. methamphetamine is detrimental to the physical and emotional wellbeing of its users, so it is important to act against meth amphetamine use.

History of methamphetamine.[edit | edit source]

Methamphetamine (MA) is a derivative of amphetamine, which was widely prescribed in the 1950s and 1960s as a medication for depression and obesity. Reaching a peak of 31 million prescriptions in the United States in 1967 (Anglin, Burke, Perrochet, Stamper & Dawud-Noursi, 2000). Because low levels of things such as norepinephrine and serotonin have been linked to depression, Methamphetamine was prescribed as a type of anti-depressant, as it seemed to reduce the depressive symptoms (Hamamoto & Rhodus, 2009). Because of this it was prescribed in to so many different individuals before many substantial tests had looked at the potential side effects.

What is Methamphetamine?[edit | edit source]

Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug that is used recreationally by millions of people every day[factual?]. The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey showed that about 1.3 million Australians (7% of the population) have used methamphetamine in their past, and over 400,000 (2%) Australians have used methamphetamine in the last 12 months. Methamphetamine more commonly referred to as meth or crystal can be ingested either orally, by injection, smoking or snorting. Methamphetamine is a synthetic n-methyl homologue of amphetamine that has little medicinal purposes (Lineberry & Bostwick, 2006). As it is a drug that effects the central nervous system and effects the neurons in the brain, it creates the feeling of euphoria[factual?]. Because of the chemical reaction this drug causes in the central nervous system, it can become very addictive which caused an influx of addiction problems in methamphetamine users (Darke, Kaye, McKetin & Duflou, 2008).

How does Methamphetamine work?[edit | edit source]

Methamphetamine when ingested eventually makes its way into the bloodstream and thus eventually making its way through the brain[grammar?]. Because Methamphetamine has similar characteristics to dopamine, neurons mistake it for dopamine and take it in. Once methamphetamine is inside a neuron it forces the neuron to release large quantities of dopamine to release where it then attaches to receptors on dendrites of neighbouring neurons and passes on the message (Homer et al., 2008). This gives someone the feeling of euphoria that because of the chemical effects of methamphetamine on dopamine, can last for extensive periods of time. Because of its similarities to dopamine, Methamphetamine can also affect neurons that contain two other neurotransmitters called serotonin and norepinephrine (McKetin, McLaren, Lubman & Hides, 2006).

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps focus attention, regulate emotional responses and normalize movement. Because dopamine is a drug that contributes to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction it also plays a key role in addiction.

Serotonin is a chemical that nerve cells produce which is thought to regulate anxiety, happiness and overall mood. Having low levels of serotonin has been linked with depression and depression like symptoms thus having high levels have been linked to feelings of euphoria.

Norepinephrine is also a neurotransmitter which when it is activated, increases alertness and arousal and speeds up reaction time. Low levels of Norepinephrine have been linked to disorders such as depression, hypotension and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Scott et al., 2007).

What affect does methamphetamine have on the body?[edit | edit source]

Methamphetamine has a range of physiological and psychological effects.

Physical effects.[edit | edit source]

Methamphetamine causes a lot of different physical effects on the body. These include, elevated heart rate, dilated pupils, weak feeling legs, nausea, increased productiveness and alertness and an increase in energy levels[grammar?]. Because of these symptoms people often go through a period of heightened sexual arousal and a feeling of euphoria (Krasnova & Cadet, 2009). Once the euphoria symptoms pass and they begin to ’come down’ they can be met with;

·      Anxiety

·      cold shivers

·      Aches and pains

·      Low energy

·      Confusion

·      Intense drug cravings

·      Agitation

·      Restlessness

·      Depression

·      Suicidal ideation

Because of these intense come down symptoms, users often find themselves seeking ‘another hit’ so that they can avoid these symptoms as much as possible.

Figure 1. This is an example of an image with an APA style caption.

Emotional effects[edit | edit source]

Emotion has been described as feelings, mental wellbeing and how we feel about relationships and encounters we share with others[factual?]. Since methamphetamine activates those neurons and tricks them into releasing excess amounts of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, it changes the feelings that we experience as well as the intensity that we feel them (Krasnova & Cadet, 2009). Because of these changes in the central nervous system, methamphetamine users experience a feeling of euphoria because of the rush of dopamine and serotonin. Because they are flooded with these chemical reactions they can also have the feeling of extreme sexual arousal, the feeling of being unstoppable as well as extreme emotional awareness (McKetin, McLaren, Lubman & Hides, 2006). Because of this feeling of Euphoria and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin, this is why doctors believed it was such a good fix for major depression and  anxiety when it was initially created[factual?]. However the more it was used, the more emotional side effects they noticed once the drug wore off. These included extreme levels of anxiety, exhaustion, severe low moods and depression and overall emotional exhaustion(Scott et al., 2007).  

Effects on negative emotions[edit | edit source]

Various studies have been conducted to show the neurological issues associated with the use of methamphetamine. The research ‘The differences in neural network activity between methamphetamine abusers and healthy subjects performing an emotion‐matching task: functional MRI study’[factual?] does exactly that, by using complex visual scenes depicting fear or threat, we are able to see the biological differences between the groups and make conclusions from these findings. Various differences were found in the neural correlates of negative emotional experiences. “Methamphetamine abusers showed to have a reduced activation in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and insula, increased activation in the fusiform gyrus, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and posterior cingulate cortex”(Kim, Song, Seo, Lee & Lee, 2011). This indicates that individual’s ability to have an emotional response to threatening scenes and empathy for another’s pain is damaged through the use of methamphetamine use (Kim, Song, Seo, Lee & Lee, 2011). From this research, we are able to see the impact methamphetamine abuse has on an individual’s ability to express negative emotions.  

Quiz[edit | edit source]

Here are some simple example quiz questions:

Choose the correct answers and click "Submit":

1 What is the most commonly used form of Methamphetamine?


2 In the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household surgery, how many Australians listed having sed[spelling?] methamphetamine?

2.1 Million
1.3 Million
1.9 Million

What can we do to help?[edit | edit source]

Health practitioners have argued that the best method to fix the methamphetamine problem in the world is to introduce preventative methods form an early age to all students and adults[factual?]. These preventative methods can include educational campaigns and talks, informative books and videos, tv adds, posters, etc.

These methods should include factual information about the medical and physical side effects of extensive methamphetamine abuse as well as the risks associated with injecting the substance, for example AIDS from sharing used needles.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Methamphetamine is an addictive substance that severly affects the psycholoigcal states of its users. Methamphetamine acts simarly to the pleasure neurotransmitter dopamine, and can therefore increase positive emotions such as euphoria in its users. However, when withdrawing from methamphetamine, negative emotions, such as anxiety, are extremely prevelant. Methamphetamine has dangerous consequences for its users, so preventing methamphetamine addiction is an important area of research.

References[edit | edit source]

Anglin, M., Burke, C., Perrochet, B., Stamper, E., & Dawud-Noursi, S. (2000). History of the Methamphetamine Problem. Journal Of Psychoactive Drugs, 32(2), 137-141. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2000.10400221

Darke, S., Kaye, S., McKetin, R., & Duflou, J. (2008). Major physical and psychological harms of methamphetamine use. Drug And Alcohol Review, 27(3), 253-262. doi: 10.1080/09595230801923702

Hamamoto, D., & Rhodus, N. (2009). Methamphetamine abuse and dentistry. Oral Diseases, 15(1), 27-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2008.01459.x

Homer, B., Solomon, T., Moeller, R., Mascia, A., DeRaleau, L., & Halkitis, P. (2008). Methamphetamine abuse and impairment of social functioning: A review of the underlying neurophysiological causes and behavioral implications. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 301-310. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.134.2.301

Kim, Y., Song, H., Seo, J., Lee, J., & Lee, J. (2011). The differences in neural network activity between methamphetamine abusers and healthy subjects performing an emotion‐matching task: functional MRI study. NMR In Biomedicine, 24(10), 1392-1400.

Krasnova, I., & Cadet, J. (2009). Methamphetamine toxicity and messengers of death. Brain Research Reviews, 60(2), 379-407. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2009.03.002

Lineberry, T., & Bostwick, J. (2006). Methamphetamine Abuse: A Perfect Storm of Complications. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 81(1), 77-84. doi: 10.4065/81.1.77

McKetin, R. (2018). Methamphetamine psychosis: insights from the past. Addiction, 113(8), 1522-1527. doi: 10.1111/add.14170

McKetin, R., McLaren, J., Lubman, D., & Hides, L. (2006). The prevalence of psychotic symptoms among methamphetamine users. Addiction, 101(10), 1473-1478. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01496.x

Scott, J., Woods, S., Matt, G., Meyer, R., Heaton, R., Atkinson, J., & Grant, I. (2007). Neurocognitive Effects of Methamphetamine: A Critical Review and Meta-analysis. Neuropsychology Review, 17(3), 275-297. doi: 10.1007/s11065-007-9031-0

Sommers, I., Baskin, D., & Baskin-Sommers, A. (2006). Methamphetamine use among young adults: Health and social consequences. Addictive Behaviors, 31(8), 1469-1476. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.10.004

External links[edit | edit source]