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Health Tip: The Dangers of Meth

Be sure your kids understand them

(HealthDayNews) -- Methamphetamine abuse is a dangerous, yet growing practice. So it's important for parents to discuss the problem with their children, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says.

Methamphetamine -- also known as chalk, crank and crystal -- is a highly addictive stimulant. After smoking or injecting it, the user experiences an intense sensation, called a "rush" or "flash," that lasts only a few minutes.

After the initial rush, users can become very agitated and violent. Other side effects can include insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability, anxiety, nervousness, convulsions and heart attack.

Meth is addictive, and users develop a tolerance quickly, so they need progressively larger amounts to get high. Chronic use can cause paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior and delusions of insects crawling under the skin. Long-term abuse can also cause strokes and death.

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