Methadrine is a brand name for a form of methamphetamine that was produced in the 60s and 70s. Even now that the drug has been discontinued, the name persists as a general slang term used to refer to any form of methamphetamine, and sometimes amphetamine.
When taken legally according to prescribing directions, stimulants like methamphetamine can be safely used to treat conditions such as narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, when a user calls a drug methadrine, they are most likely referring to illicit drug use.
Understanding Methadrine Abuse
Methadrine, or methamphetamine, usually comes in pill or powder form. Crystal meth is an illegal, crystalized form of the drug that resembles fragments of glass or shiny blue-white rocks.
Street names for the drug include:
- Bikers Coffee
- Black Beauties
- Chicken Feed
- Meth, Methlies
- Poor Man’s Cocaine
- Stove Top
- Yellow Bam
When you smoke or inject methadrine, you experience a brief, intense rush of euphoria. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a longer-lasting high that can continue for half a day. Both experiences are thought to be the result of unnaturally high levels of dopamine being released into areas of the brain that regulate pleasure, motivation and movement. This process is very dangerous, as it literally trains you to keep using drugs.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “our brains are wired to ensure that we will repeat life-sustaining activities by associating those activities with pleasure or reward. Whenever this reward circuit is activated, the brain notes that something important is happening that needs to be remembered, and teaches us to do it again and again without thinking about it.”
Signs and Symptoms of Methadrine Abuse
Drug users have a tendency to try and hide their addictive behaviors, but there are some signs that you can notice if you know what to look out for. The Mayo Clinic lists the following indications of stimulant abuse:
- feeling of exhilaration and excess confidence
- increased alertness
- increased energy and restlessness
- behavior changes or aggression
- rapid or rambling speech
- dilated pupils
- delusions and hallucinations
- irritability or changes in mood
- changes in heart rate and blood pressure
- nausea or vomiting with weight loss
- impaired judgment
- nasal congestion and damage to the mucous membrane of the nose (if snorting drugs)
- depression as the drug wears off
Dangers of Methadrine Abuse
The Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drugs of Abuse publication discusses a wide array of effects caused by methamphetamine/methadrine abuse. These include:
- rapid breathing
- rapid heart rate
- irregular heartbeat
- extreme anorexia
- memory loss
- severe dental problems
- increased blood pressure
- hyperthermia (overheating) that can elevate body temperature to dangerous levels, causing convulsions, organ failure, cardiovascular collapse, and death.
Chronic meth abusers can exhibit:
- violent behavior
- psychotic features including: paranoia, aggression, visual and auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions such as the sensation of insects creeping on or under the skin.
Long-Term Cognitive and Emotional Damage
The psychotic symptoms of long term methadrine addiction can last for months or years after you stop abusing the drug. This is due to serious changes in brain function caused by methamphetamine.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated alterations in the activity of the dopamine system that are associated with reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning. Studies in chronic methamphetamine abusers have also revealed severe structural and functional changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory, which may account for many of the emotional and cognitive problems observed in chronic methamphetamine abusers.”
Much of this brain damage can be gradually healed if you get clean and take good care of your health, but in heavy meth users, some cognitive dysfunction can be permanent. That is why it is crucial to seek help as soon as possible.
Who Abuses Methadrine?
You may take meth to get high, to lose weight, or to accomplish certain tasks without having to sleep. While your reasons matter when it comes to addiction treatment, they have very little impact on whether or not you become an addict.
People with pre-existing mental health issues are more vulnerable to drug addiction, and substance abuse does tend to run in families. This can be due to environment, and/or genetics. Some people are simply born with a brain and body chemistry that makes them highly susceptible to addiction, and you aren’t likely to discover whether you are such a person until it is too late.
One of the dangers of methadrine addiction is that you develop a tolerance. This will force you to steadily raise your dosage, chasing the kind of high you experienced the first few times you used. This cycle of abuse can easily lead to overdose.
MedlinePlus explains that symptoms of methadrine overdose include:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
- fast breathing
- aggressive behavior
- irregular heartbeat
- stomach cramps
- coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
Am I Addicted to Methadrine?
The 12-step program Narcotics Anonymous lists the following questions in their publication, Am I an Addict? Honestly consider each one to figure out if you might be addicted to methadrine.
- Do you ever use alone?
- Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem?
- Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs?
- Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs?
- Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed?
- Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another?
- Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs?
- Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
- Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use?
- Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs?
- Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?
- Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities?
- Have you ever tried to stop or control your using?
- Have you ever been in a jail, hospital, or drug rehabilitation center because of your using?
- Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating?
- Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?
- Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs?
- Do you ever question your own sanity?
- Is your drug use making life at home unhappy?
- Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without drugs?
- Have you ever felt defensive, guilty, or ashamed about your using?
- Do you think a lot about drugs?
- Have you had irrational or indefinable fears?
- Has using affected your sexual relationships?
- Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer?
- Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress?
- Have you ever overdosed on any drugs?
- Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?
- Do you think you might have a drug problem?
The number of questions you answer yes to isn’t as important as how you feel while considering your response. Deep down, you know if you have a problem.
Methadrine Addiction Treatment
The brain damage caused by long-term methadrine abuse can amplify the usual difficulties addicts experience when it comes to getting sober. Luckily, you do not have to go through recovery alone, and there are a multitude of addiction specialists who are trained in how to help people like you overcome methadrine abuse.
With help, you can start fresh, and learn how to build a healthier, happier future.
There are no government-approved drugs that can counteract or alleviate the symptoms caused by methadrine withdrawal, but having professional help as you undergo detoxification will give you the safest, most comfortable experience possible.
Some therapies you may encounter in substance abuse treatment will include:
- Fitness, nutrition, and overall health interventions to heal the damage methadrine has inflicted on your body and brain.
- Talk therapy, including individual, group and family counseling.
- Relapse prevention to support long-term sobriety.