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Methamphetamine

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Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine.png200px-Methamphetamine-3d-CPK.png
General
Systematic name N-methyl-1-phenylpropan-2-amine
Other names

N-methylamphetamine
1-phenyl-2-methylaminopropane

Molecular formula C10H15N
SMILES eMolecules and Pubchem
Molar mass Molar mass::149.233 g/mol
Appearance white powder and crystalline structure
CAS number CAS number::CAS-537-46-2
Properties
Density and phase Density::78 g/mL, solid
Solubility in water 100 mg/mL (20 °C)
Melting point Melting point::134°C
Boiling point Boiling point::215.5 °C
Hazards
MSDS Material safety data sheet
Main hazards Habit forming drug
Flash point 86.8 °C
Related Amines Amphetamine
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Methamphetamine is a crystalline white powder used as a medical drug. It is a derivative of amphetamine, and originally used in the 1950's and 1960's as a medication for depression and obesity. In modern society methamphetamine is sold as a prescription drug for obesity and Attention Deficit Disorder. Over 4.7 million Americans alone have been users of this drug, and not just for its medical benefits. Many people with drug-addiction use methamphetamine for properties as a central nervous system stimulant. On the streets, methamphetamine is refereed to as meth, crystal, or speed. The most common ways for drug addicts to use it are by injection, smoking, snorting, or ingesting orally. There are many health risks in the abuse of methamphetamine that can make a person wind up in a hospital or in the morgue. People can be treated for their addiction to this drug, but results take three to five visits per week of comprehensive counseling for at least the first three months. It is not an easy process, but it is beneficial to the individual's health. However there are many who do not receive the help they need, and end up in jail from committing crimes to pay for their addiction, or die from an overdose. [1]

Properties

pure methamphetamine

Methamphetamine appears in both a white powder and a crystalline form. The compound is odorless, bitter tasting, neutral and slightly acide to litmus. [2] It is soluble in water, alcohol, chloroform, and slightly soluble in ether. The list of ingredients for Methamphetamine include the following: alcohol, gasoline additives, rubbing alcohol, ether (starting fluid), benzene, paint thinner, freon, acetone, chloroform, camp stove fuel, anhydrous ammonia, white gasoline, pheynl-2-Propane, phenylacetone, phenylpropanolamine, rock table, epsom salt, red phosphorous, toluene (found in brake cleaner), red devil lye, drain cleaner, muraitic acid, battery acid, lithium from batteries, sodium metal, ephedrine, cold tablets, diet aids, iodine, bronchodialators, energy boosters, and iodine crystals. [3] There are also a vast variety of equipment that goes into making meth. The list icludes: aluminum foil, blenders, cheesecloth, clamps, coffee filters, funnels, gas cans, ice chests, jugs and bottles, measuring cups, pails and pals, paper towles, plastic storage containers, propane cylinders, rubber gloves, rubber tubbing, strainers, tape, tempered glassware, thermometer, and towels and bed sheets. [4]

Occurrences

meth lab

Methamphetamine sold on the streets is an illegal drug. It is made in illegal labs, and is altered to give consumers more of a "buzz". The process of making crystal meth usually involves reducing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. The process is deadly to both the maker and the neighborhood it is made in. The red phosphorus can be overheated, and the white phosphorus can autoignite and blow up the meth lab. In addition their supplier inhales the hazardous vapor fumes chloroform, ether, acetone, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, methylamine, iodine, hydroiodic acid, lithium or sodium, mercury, and hydrogen gas. [5] The increase in the meth lab industry is due to the fact that meth ingredients are available almost anywhere. [3] Methamphetamine can also be found in nature. Dr. Alexander Shulgin, a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company, received two papers on the West Texas Acacia trees, Acacia berlandieri and Acacia rigidula, containing the Schedule II drugs, Amphetamine and Methamphetamine. The interesting fact was that none of the plants had been documented as natural or man-made. The discovery of these drugs, and mescaline, nicotine, dimethyltryptamine and β-phenethylamine in the Acacia trees reveals the possibility that methamphetamine is also a natural occurrence, not only a human-synthesized compound. [6]

Uses

Methamphetamine, also called metamfetamine, methylamphetamine, N-methylamphetamine, 1-phenyl-2-methylaminopropane, phenyliospropylmethylamine, and desoxyephedrine, is most often used as a drug. On the streets its more commonly referred to as speed, crystal meth, pervitin, yaba, and shabu. Methamphetamine's original purpose designed it to work as a treatment for obesity, narcolepsy, and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

There are a multiple illegal uses of this drug. Professional and amateur athletes, including influence from their coaches, use methamphetamine to enhance the performance levels. Some drivers use the drug in oder to stay awake on long drives. Students and people with extremely busy jobs feel the need to take the drug in order to enhance their concentration and stay awake. This practices are illegal and often lead to meth addiction or death. [7]

Health Risks

Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine is a prescribed Schedule II drug because of it continual drug abuse. The compound easily dissolves in water or alcohol and can be taken orally, intranasally (snorting), injected by needle, or by smoking. Meth is one of the most abused drugs due to the effects on the brain. When meth enters the body, it increases the release and blocks the reuptake of the neurotransmitter dopamine, leading to high levels of the chemical in the brain. [8] The side effects of taking Methamphetamine include: drug cravings, violence, hallucination, heart failure or stroke, twitching, depression, psychosis, decreased inhibition, mental, social and occupational deterioration, and mood disturbances. [9]

Other effects include increased energy and alertness, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, increased blood pressure, irritability, panic, violence, and confusion. An overdose cause brain damage, hallucinations, delusions, death due to stroke, cardiac arrest or hyperthermia. [5] Meth is commonly smoked in a glass pipe, but it is more popular to inject or snort meth into the body. Injection can cause loose teeth, shin infection and a risk of grave blood-borne diseases such as HIV or hepatitis from sharing an unsterilized needle. Despite the harmful side effects, injection is continually used due to the intense sensation, or "rush" or "flash," the meth user receives. Other side effects of involve the user becoming violent after becoming highly agitated. [10]

References

  1. History of the methamphetamine problem UCLA/Matrix Coordinating Center for the CSAT Methamphetamine Treatment Project, Publisher, May 22, 2011.
  2. Methamphetamine (PIM 334) Author, Publisher, May 18, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ingredients in Meth Author, Publisher, May 17, 2011.
  4. Methamphetamine Laboratory Identification and Hazards Fast Facts Author, Publisher, May 19, 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Crystal Meth Facts Methamphetamine Informatione Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., Publisher, May 5, 2011.
  6. Ask Dr. Shulgin Online:Acacias and Natural Amphetamine Dr. Alexander Shulgin, Publisher, May 17, 2011.
  7. Methamphetamine 85 Author, Publisher, May 18, 2011.
  8. NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine Author, Publisher, April 19, 2011.
  9. | Methamphetamine 85 BeatsMe, Publisher, May 18, 2011.
  10. | Drugs Information UK Author, Publisher, May 16, 2011.