Crystal meth affects the limbic system

Image Caption : Translucent Brain Revealing Limbic System : Three-dimensional visualization reconstructed from scanned human data. Superior view of brain, with limbic system highlighted: fornix (pink), hippocampus (blue), amygdala (orange), thalamus (yellow), and hypothalamus (white). Crystal meth affects the limbic system, this area of the brain is responsible for emotional processing. Methamphetamine use is dangerous, and users risk numerous health issues, including stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, paranoia, hallucinations, and structural changes to the brain.

Limbic System

A set of forebrain structures common to all mammals that is defined functionally and anatomically. It is implicated in the higher integration of visceral, olfactory, and somatic information as well as homeostatic responses including fundamental survival behaviors (feeding, mating, emotion). For most authors, it includes the AMYGDALA; EPITHALAMUS; GYRUS CINGULI; hippocampal formation (see HIPPOCAMPUS); HYPOTHALAMUS; PARAHIPPOCAMPAL GYRUS; SEPTAL NUCLEI; anterior nuclear group of thalamus, and portions of the basal ganglia.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

The limbic system, which contains the brain's reward circuit. It links together a number of brain structures that control and regulate our ability to feel pleasure. Feeling pleasure motivates us to repeat behaviors that are critical to our existence. The limbic system is activated by healthy, life-sustaining activities such as eating and socializing-but it is also activated by drugs of abuse. In addition, the limbic system is responsible for our perception of other emotions, both positive and negative, which explains the mood-altering properties of many drugs.

National Institute on Drug Abuse / NIH


Also called: Chalk, Crystal, Glass, Ice, Meth, Speed, Tina

Methamphetamine - meth for short - is a very addictive stimulant drug. It is a powder that can be made into a pill or a shiny rock (called a crystal). The powder can be eaten or snorted up the nose. It can also be mixed with liquid and injected into your body with a needle. Crystal meth is smoked in a small glass pipe.

Meth at first causes a rush of good feelings, but then users feel edgy, overly excited, angry, or afraid. Meth use can quickly lead to addiction. It causes medical problems including

  • Making your body temperature so high that you pass out
  • Severe itching
  • "Meth mouth" - broken teeth and dry mouth
  • Thinking and emotional problems

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse

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