Methamphetamine is a white or light brown substance made in sophisticated labs or in peoples’ homes that is snorted, smoked, injected, or injected. Meth is highly addictive and produces a false feeling of energy. Meth affects the brain by activating a naturally occurring chemical called dopamine. Your brain releases natural dopamine when you eat, have success, or exercise. Dopamine is a chemical released from the stem of the brain. Chemicals released from the brain stem are connected to the brain’s need to survive. After one use, several uses, or long-term use, the brain begins to think survival is dependent on the use of meth, hence addiction. Meth damages brain cells, can cause heart attacks, damage teeth, damage nerves and tissue, and other vital organs (SAMSHA).
- According to the Nevada 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Nevada High School Survey Decade Trend Analysis Report 2001-2009 results, the percentage of students who used methamphetamines one or more times during their life has shown a significant drop 2001 -15.6%, 2003 – 12.5%, 2005 – 11.7%, 2007 – 6.3%, 2009 – 5.9%.
- In 2001 Nevada was leading the nation in methamphetamine use, statewide efforts and efforts of local coalitions have contributed to this drop through awareness, education, and environmental strategies.