The mechanism behind the highly addictive nature of methamphetamine has been identified, according to a study funded in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Like many addictive drugs, methamphetamine stimulates the release of dopamine, which triggers pleasurable sensations. But the precise neurological changes caused by chronic use that underlie the intense craving and tendency to relapse were not well understood.
Kuehn BM. Methamphetamine Addiction. JAMA. 2008;299(20):2379. doi:10.1001/jama.299.20.2379-d