The purpose of this report is to educate people on the effects of Methamphetamine and its effects on a user’s physical health.

Physical health is important within society because it has many positive effects such as increased life span, reduced chances of developing depression, stronger muscles and better sleep patterns. Methamphetamine will stop these positive effects and will provide many negative ones.  This report will explain how Methamphetamine is produced and will show Methamphetamine’s chemical properties. This report will also explain how Methamphetamine enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain.

It will also show how the brain reacts to Methamphetamine and what parts of the brain Methamphetamine interacts with. The report will then explain what Methamphetamine does to a user’s physical health in short term and long term. The report will then end with a conclusion which will summarise the report then restate what Methamphetamine’s physical effects are.


One of the most common ways of manufacturing Methamphetamine is the reduction of ephedrine with hydrochloric acid and red phosphorus. The reduction of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine will yield Methamphetamine.
A mixture of ephedrine, red phosphorus and hydrochloric acid are heated, and made into a base. It is then crystallised as the hydrochloride salt

Figure 1: The chemical pathway of methamphetamine retrieved from:

Methamphetamine is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug. It has many names such as Meth, Ice, and Chalk among many other terms. Its chemical formula is C10H15N and its molecular weight is 149.24 g/mol. Methamphetamine has a melting point of 170°C and a boiling point of 212°C. It is insoluble in water and is colourless. At room temperature, Methamphetamine comes in solid form which has the appearance of crystals or glass.

Figure 2: Methamphetamine chemical structure retrieved from:

Figure 3: Amphetamine chemical structure retrieved from:

When Methamphetamine (figure 2) is consumed, it is broken down into amphetamine (Figure 3).

When Methamphetamine first enters the body, a rush occurs. During this time, heart rate and blood pressure increase to create an intense feeling of well-being. The rush begins when Methamphetamine has first entered the bloodstream through the lungs and has traveled to the brain via the circulatory system. Methamphetamine can also be injected directly into the bloodstream. As soon as Methamphetamine enters the bloodstream, a neurotransmitter called Epinephrine is released. When Epinephrine is released, the heart will pump more blood around the body at a faster rate. 
Once Methamphetamine has reached the brain, a large amount of damage is done. 
Methamphetamine targets the dopamine neurotransmitter, this causes dopamine to be released in large quantities when Methamphetamine is consumed the drug blocks dopamine and other chemicals from transporting back into the dopamine neuron causing long periods of euphoria. The effects of the rush can last up to thirty minutes.
 The rush is then followed by a high.  During the high, the user’s heart rate increases, and respiration increases. The user will experience hallucinations that resemble insects under the skin, causing the user to damage their skin.
The Methamphetamine consumer also  feels more intelligent and will argue about something insignificant. The user will also become intensely focused on something little such as cleaning a window for several hours. After this, the dopamine within the neurons become depleted and the brain’s receptors become damaged. The high can last up to sixteen hours.
 The high is sometimes then followed by a crash. A crash is when your body shuts down because it is unable to cope with the effects of the drug. The user can fall into a deep sleep, lasting up to three days. 


People that regularly use Methamphetamine are highly likely to get addicted to it because of the high amounts of dopamine that gets released because of it. (Dopamine is the chemical that is responsible for pleasure and reward, increased releases of dopamine causes periods of euphoria). There are many negative long term effects of Methamphetamine including: damage to blood vessels due to increased blood flow, liver damage caused by hepatocellular toxicity, lung damage caused by blocked blood vessels, cardiovascular problems caused by increased heart beat, malnutrition due to a decreased appetite for food and an increased appetite for methamphetamine, severe tooth decay caused by continued grinding of the teeth, depression and brain damage.

When taken, Methamphetamine creates a false sense of well-being so a person will push their body further than it is meant to go. Continued use of the drug will cause loss in appetite thus causing dangerous weight loss.

Tolerance to Methamphetamine’s pleasurable effects develops when the drug is regularly used and addiction is starting. Users after a while will have to consume larger doses of the drug to achieve the same amount of dopamine release causing more damage to the body. Chronic Methamphetamine users develop difficulty feeling pleasure from anything that is not the drug, causing the user to return to the drug frequently and become addicted.

Methamphetamine withdrawal occurs when a user stops consuming Methamphetamine, symptoms of Methamphetamine withdrawal include: depression, fatigue and Methamphetamine cravings. Regular Methamphetamine users may also experience visual hallucinations and delusions such as insects crawling underneath their skin. These hallucinations can occur months after someone has stopped consuming Methamphetamine.

 Neuroimaging studies have shown that alterations in the activity of the dopamine system occur within Methamphetamine users. This is linked to impaired ability to learn within users. Neuroimaging has also shown that regular Methamphetamine users experience drastic changes within areas of the brain that are associated with emotion and memory, this may be the cause of violent behaviour within Methamphetamine abusers.

The large amount of dopamine and serotonin can keep the user awake for up to three days. This was taken advantage of in WWII by Nazi soldiers who used Methamphetamine to avoid fatigue and fight for days without sleep. The Germans were encouraged to consume the drug before battle to increase motivation and morale. The soldiers would often march for three days without rest and would collapse of exhaustion. The allied forces did not know how this was possible but eventually found out about Methamphetamine. They decided not to use it due to its negative effects. Methamphetamine was also sold to the public within Germany under the name of Pervitin. Any citizen could buy the drug within stores Soon many citizens became addicted to the drug and sales of the drug were skyrocketing.

Later in the war, a lot of the soldiers became addicted to the drug and demanded more supplies of the drug in the letters they sent home. Soldiers would become sleepy and depressed unless they were under the effects of Methamphetamine. Some soldiers even shot themselves during their psychotic phases. During the invasion of Russia, Germans who were under the effects of the drug sometimes died of hypothermia while fighting because they could not feel that their body temperature had dropped.

The Germans did not know what pervitin was made of but they knew that it was boosting their stamina and morale. They did not know why they were becoming addicted to the drug. At the beginning of the war, they were fed the drug without their permission and soon became addicted.

The Nazi Party promoted physical well being and good personal health. It is ironic that the Nazi soldiers, leaders and ultimately the general population ended up living in such an unhealthy way. 


In conclusion, Methamphetamine is manufactured in many different ways, one of the most common methods is the reduction of ephedrine using hydrochloric acid and red phosphorus. This is achieved by creating a mixture with ephedrine, red phosphorus and hydrochloric acid which is then heated, and formed into a base. The product is then crystallized as a hydrochloride salt which is the methamphetamine yield. Methamphetamine’s chemical formula is C10H15N and its molecular weight is 149.24 g/mol. Methamphetamine has a melting point of 170°C and a boiling point of 212°C. 
Dopamine is a chemical that is associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. When Methamphetamine is consumed, the amount of dopamine that is released spikes. This sudden increase in dopamine release is called a rush. During this time, heart rate and blood pressure increase to create an intense feeling of well being. This is caused because the Methamphetamine has entered the bloodstream and has traveled to the brain. 
After the rush, the high begins. During this time, the user will feel more intelligent and will argue about small things. The abuser will also experience hallucinations which can lead to the user damaging themselves or nearby objects. After some time, the dopamine within the neurons will become depleted, repeated depletion of the dopamine neurons can lead to them becoming damaged. 
After the high is over the user may experience a crash. A crash occurs when the abuser’s body shuts down because it cannot cope with the effects of Methamphetamine. 
It is extremely easy to become addicted to Methamphetamine due to the large amounts of dopamine that gets released. The user will seek for more dopamine to be released and will rely on Methamphetamine. 
Repeated abuse of Methamphetamine can lead to many negative side effects such as: damaged blood vessels, liver damage, lung damage, cardiovascular damage, decreased appetite leading to dangerous weight loss, tooth decay due to a dry mouth and grinding of the teeth, depression and brain damage.

Public Education Piece

My public education piece is a brochure to advise the public about the dangers of methamphetamine and where you can get help.


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