NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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  • Methamphetamine

    Methamphetamine

    Question 1

    Methamphetamine is able to act in the brain because it has a structure similar to which brain chemical?

    No. Endorphins are the brain's own pain fighting system, but they have no similarity to Methamphetamine.

    No. The amygdala isn't a chemical. It's an important brain region that helps you feel pleasure.

    No. Although chocolate can make your brain feel good, there are no chocolate chemicals in the brain.

    Yes! Dopamine, which is sometimes called the pleasure chemical, has a shape and chemical structure that is similar to Methamphetamine. This is part of why Methamphetamine is able to cause its many effects in the brain.

    Question 2

    Which of the following is part of a neuron?

    Correct! Axons are the long processes that neurons use to communicate with each other. Drugs like Methamphetamine can change the way neurons communicate.

    No! Crystal is another name for Methamphetamine.

    Serotonin is actually a neurotransmitter that is found within neurons. Methamphetamine can change the way neurons that contain serotonin work.

    Positron Emission Tomography, or PET for short, is a fancy technique for looking inside the brain to see how it works.

    Question 3

    Which of the following are effects of Methamphetamine?

    Although this is correct, there are also many things Methamphetamine does to the body.

    This is correct, but there are also many other effects from Methamphetamine.

    This is only one of many things the Methamphetamine can cause.

    Correct! Methamphetamine can also cause certain types of hallucinations, loss of appetite and even strokes.

    Question 4

    Methamphetamine can cause long term damage to neurons that contain the neurotransmitter dopamine.

    Correct! Researchers have found that even years after Methamphetamine users have stopped using the drug, their dopamine neurons are still damaged.

    Methamphetamine can not only damage neurons that contain dopamine, but it can also cause damage to neurons with another neurotransmitter, serotonin.