|

Teens and Meth Use

Teenagers encounter peer pressure every day. Wanting to fit in and feel like they belong, many teens are tempted by drugs and alcohol, which are readily available to them. These kids may think their experiments with drugs can be an occasional or a one-time thing. The truth is, many drugs are highly addictive, even with only one use. Methamphetamine (also known as "speed," "meth," "chalk," "tina," and "ice") is a dangerous, habit-forming drug, and its use is on the rise among teenagers.

In the U.S., methamphetamine is especially popular among 18- to 26-year-olds. Unfortunately, it's a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 10.4 million Americans — some as young as age 12 — have tried meth at least once. NSDUH also reported that, overall, meth use decreased among 8th- and 12th-graders between 2006 and 2007. But meth is still popular in small or non-metropolitan areas, predominately in the Midwest and West.

How Meth Works
When methamphetamine is swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected, it releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, the chemical in the brain responsible for euphoric, happy feelings. Smoking meth produces an immediate, intense sensation, while snorting it provides a longer but less powerful "high." Meth use and abuse cause dopamine receptors to decrease, so that the user needs larger doses more often to experience the same pleasure.

When high, methamphetamine users become more energetic, talkative, and anxious, and the drug increases their heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. When it is overused, or used by someone with increased sensitivity, meth can cause stroke, cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, and even death. Over time, meth abuse can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions.



|


what’s hot

  1. VIEW ALL

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks