Methamphetamine also known as: Chalk, Meth, Speed, and Tina; or for crystal meth, Crank, Fire, Glass, Go fast, and Ice. Methamphetamine is a manmade, white, bitter-tasting powder.
Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant drug. Stimulants are a class of drugs that can boost mood, increase feelings of well-being, increase energy, and make you more alert. However, they also have dangerous effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure, and use can lead to addiction.
Methamphetamine is swallowed, snorted, injected with a needle, or smoked. “Crystal meth” is a large, usually clear crystal that is smoked in a glass pipe. Smoking or injecting the drug delivers it very quickly to the brain, where it produces an immediate and intense high. Because the feeling doesn’t last long, users often take the drug repeatedly, in a “binge and crash” pattern.
- feeling very awake and active
- fast heart rate and irregular heartbeat
- high blood pressure
- high body temperature
- increased risk for HIV/AIDS or hepatitis (a liver disease) from unsafe sex and shared needles
Continued methamphetamine use may cause effects that last for a long time, even after a person quits using the drug. These effects include:
- anxiety and confusion
- problems sleeping
- mood swings
- violent behavior
- psychosis (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there)
- skin sores caused by scratching
- severe weight loss
- severe dental problems, known as “meth mouth”
- problems with thinking, emotion, and memory
There has been a significant decrease in the production of methamphetamine in the United States in recent years. Most of the methamphetamine abused in the United States is manufactured in “superlabs” in Mexico. However, the drug can be produced with common household cleaning products and over-the-counter medications, such as pseudoephedrine, which is a common ingredient in cold medicines. Pharmacies are required by law to keep track of all products that are purchased containing pseudoephedrine, to help decrease the production of methamphetamine in the United States.
The production of methamphetamine involves a variety of many other, very hazardous chemicals. The toxicity from these chemicals can remain present in the environment long after the lab has been shut down, causing a wide range of health concerns for adults and youth living in the area.