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J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2006 Sep;31(5):301-13.

The need for speed: an update on methamphetamine addiction.

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Centre for Complex Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


The psychostimulant methamphetamine (MA) is a highly addictive drug that has surged in popularity over the last decade in North America. A burgeoning number of clandestine drug laboratories has led to dramatic increases in MA production, which have resulted in significant public health, legal and environmental problems. Current evidence indicates that exposure to MA is neurotoxic, and neuroimaging studies confirm that long-term use in humans may lead to extensive neural damage. These physiological changes are commonly associated with persistent forms of cognitive impairment, including deficits in attention, memory and executive function. In the present review, we provide a comprehensive description of the factors relating to MA use and the major health-related consequences, with an emphasis on MA-induced psychosis. It is hoped that increased knowledge of MA abuse will provide the basis for future treatment strategies.

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