Methyl dopamine is usually ranked in the group of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). It is a psychostimulant drug used primarily for recreational purposes but sometimes it is prescribed for medical reasons. It is a colorless crystalline solid often adulterated with chemicals that are used to synthesize it (Schifano, Corkery& Cuffolo, 2007, p.1). Crystal meth is the commonest form of Methyl dopamine which is in its purified form otherwise known as Methyl dopamine hydrochloride.
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Methyl dopamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant; it causes both the noradrenalin and the dopamine transporters to reverse their direction of action, causing increased stimulation of post-synaptic receptors. It also indirectly prevents the reuptake of these neurotransmitters, causing them to remain in the synaptic cleft for a prolonged period (Schifano et al., 2007, p.2).“The acute effects of the drug closely resemble the physiological and psychological effects of an adrenaline-provoked fight or flight response including increased heart rate and blood pressure, vasoconstriction, bronchodilation and hyperglycemia” (Schifano et al., 2007, p.2).
Effects of the drug on the juveniles
Methyl dopamine appears to cause cardiomyopathy, pulmonary oedema, myocardial infarction, and ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Its use can also be associated with schizophrenia-like acute psychotic episodes probably due to its actions on the mesolimbic and neocortical dopaminergic pathways. Users with a high family vulnerability for schizophrenia are more likely to experience psychotic episodes than others (Schifano et al., 2007, p.5). In lay-man’s language, it causes hallucinations, disorganized lifestyle, violent and aggressive behavior, permanent psychological problems, paranoid schizophrenia, poor coping abilities, disturbance of personality development, lowered resistance to illnesses, and possible brain damage (KCI The Anti Meth Site, 1995).
How is it used or administered
For medical use, it is usually swallowed. When used leisurely, it is administered through smoking, when dissolved in water it is injected, swallowing, snorting, and smoking or inserted through the anus. In general, both injecting and smoking are the fastest way of assimilation into the blood followed by snorting, anal insertion then swallowing.
How it works in the body and in the Mind
Methyl dopamine acts on dopamine neurons in the brain; this is the neuron that makes us feel pleasure. Once the drug has entered the brain, it triggers the production of more dopamine, therefore, bringing about the feeling of pleasure for longer hours but the feeling ends producing a ‘crash’ effect and therefore brings bad effects such as irritability and aggression.
Symptoms of addiction: methamphetamine can cause the following symptoms to the uses; anxiety, nervous breakdown, irritability and excessive aggression, sleeping disorders like insomnia, a false sense of internal confidence and power, and all this can finally lead to depression.
Effects of Methyl dopamine do not have a cure to reverse them. However, Antidepressant medication is sometimes used to cool down the depressive symptoms of withdrawing. The other treatment is Cognitive behavioral therapy this treatment is used in assisting a patient in changing his thinking, attitude, mannerisms and future expectations.
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Latest research findings
The Methyl dopamine epidemic to grow imminently, becoming a common drug used in many parts of the globe and signifying an increasing need for its effective management. In addition to the already observed physical effects of methyl dopamine, the documented evidence suggests that its dependence may bring about long-term damage to neurons and therefore slowed response to stimuli.
Recently, continuous users have been observed to have poor neurocognitive especially in the tests of attention and motor skills. Both of these factors can adversely affect treatment outcomes. Methyl dopamine use is also seen in aggression and violent crime and therefore necessitating the increase of emergency rooms. It affects the development of the fetus in the womb and consequently after delivery. Most outpatient programs for example the Matrix Model improve the physical and emotional well-being of patients and they especially show good improvement in their treatment and performance. Case management was found to be an effective way of treating methyl dopamine users.
Effects of methyl dopamine on children brought up in families that abuse it
Parents using methyl dopamine are at risk of developing aggression toward their children and consequently abusing them. This can bring about loss of control, impairment in judging and attention.
The children suffer from being neglect in regards to their physical, emotional and cognitive well-being.
Parents using methyl dopamine are more prone to depression, anxiety and paranoia. This can pose a great risk to the children in that they may be constantly abused in order to relieve the depression.
Chaotic home life
Children brought up in families that parents use methyl dopamine are prone to unclean houses. Parents using methyl dopamine are likely to suffer from financial problems as most of the money they get they tend to use it on the drugs and therefore not able to fulfill their financial obligations such as paying the bills and feeding and clothing the children (Sheridan, 2009).
Children with parents using drugs may suffer in schools. The concentration can be very low and hence low ability to work hard in their studies this is due to the fact that their home lifestyle is one con summing issue. They may find it difficult to interact with their friends in school or their communities and they may easily pick fights or engage in other risky behaviors (Sheridan, 2009). They may exhibit little respect for authority and a lot of violence. The effects of drugs on an unborn child may begin before delivery. Mothers who use methyl dopamine are at risk of giving birth to children with birth defects such as mental retardation, physical deformities, emotional or mental disorders that are lifetime (Sheridan, 2009). Many Methyl dopamine users are at high risk of sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases.
Risk of H.I.V transmission and therefore leaving orphaned children: A study of 139 HIV-negative heterosexuals who had become dependent on Methyl dopamine found that they used the drug to get high, to get more energy, and to party. They reused syringes; shared needles drank alcohol daily, used other drugs, had unprotected sex, had multiple sexual partners, and engaged in marathon sex. Ice appears to be especially sexually arousing and disinhibitory and is strongly associated with sexual behaviors that put people at risk from HIV infection (Maxwell, 2005, p.235). In some cases, the child is forced to behave like a responsible adult and this makes a child behave mature for their age and therefore does not have time to enjoy their childhood. Often the child feels painfully responsible for their parent’s addiction. They try to please their parents who in most cases are hard to please and can never enjoy their lives fully. They give up their feelings believing that they should be strong for their parents which leads to them feeling so guilty for their parent’s addiction.
KCI the Anti Meth Site, (1995). Methamphetamine Frequently Asked Questions. Web.
Maxwell, J., C. (2005). Emerging research on methamphetamine: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 0951-7367. Web.
Schifano, F., Corkery, J., & Cuffolo, G., (2007). Smokable (“ice”, “crystal meth”) and non Smokable amphetamine-type stimulants: clinical pharmacological and epidemiological issues, with special reference to the UK. Ann IST Super Sanità, 43(1), 110-115. Web.
Sheridan, Glyn. (2009). How Does Parental Drug Abuse Affect Children & Teens? Web.