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The Effects Of Methamphetamine On Development

2454 words - 10 pages

The Effects of Methamphetamine on Development
Anna Lenaya Robb
Western Oregon University

Methamphetamine use has been increasing significantly in the United States as well as other countries around the world. Although there are various forms, processes used to make it, and different names for it, the popularity of stimulant abuse is on a steady incline. Most individuals who try methamphetamine may not think about the consequences that go along with the abuse of this extremely powerful drug. It is important to understand the risk being taken when introducing such chemicals into the body. There is research examining the effects of methamphetamine during use, ...view middle of the document...

These results would show if there were patterns in how they made decisions, if they were more prone to instant gratification or looked at the overall process, and the time they took to answer. The data collected was used to measure behaviors associated with decision-making strategies. While the decision-making task was being done, participants were also undergoing an fMRI at the same time to take images of their brain functions during their decision-making processes. All of the results were compared to a control group with no methamphetamine dependence (Paulus et. al. 2002).
The results showed that methamphetamine users rely more on outcome-dependent strategy during the two choice prediction tasks. There were also behavioral differences between the methamphetamine-dependent subjects and the control group; however, the degree of difference decreased as the clean time of the methamphetamine users increased. This shows that over time those behavioral problems begin to heal. Both groups showed task-related activation in the bilateral prefrontal, parietal, and insula cortex, but methamphetamine users exhibited less activation in the inferior prefrontal during the decision-making process. Methamphetamine-dependent subjects did not show activation in the left prefrontal cortex, bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and right orbitofrontal cortex throughout the testing. The right orbitofrontal cortex activation during the decision-making process was shown to predict the duration of methamphetamine use by the subjects. The methamphetamine-dependent subjects made choices that gave them more immediate rewards and did not appear to think as soundly about future consequences (Paulus et. al. 2002).
Paulus et. al. (2002) found some interesting results, although it also suggests that future research should be done. There were only men used in the experiment, therefore future research could look at the decision-making processes of women methamphetamine users as well. Due to the fact that the participants were only 6-46 days into their recovery, it would also be beneficial to look at subjects at stages further on into their recovery to explore how the behavioral and decision-making characteristics may change with further abstinence.
The next study looked at statistics with methamphetamine being present in the system of drivers during fatal car accidents (Silber, Croft, Papafotiou & Stough 2006). This lead to an experiment to examine the effects of methamphetamine in several aspects associated with skills required while driving, including psychomotor function, perceptual speed, and attention processing. Silber et. al. (2006) hypothesized that there are effects of amphetamine and methamphetamine use that potentially cause car accidents and road fatalities.
Silber et. al. (2006) divided their study into 3 studies to look at the differences between d-amphetamine (dexamphetamine) in Study 1, d,l-methamphetamine in Study 2, and...

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