WHAT IS METHAMPHETAMINE?
Methamphetamine, Meth, is an addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. Meth releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. Methamphetamine is made in illegal laboratories referred to as “Meth Labs”.
WHAT DOES METH LOOK LIKE?
Meth comes in a powder form that resembles granulated crystals and in a rock form knows as “ice”.
HOW IS METH CONSUMED?
Meth can be smoked, snorted, orally ingested, or injected intravenous.
WHAT DOES METH DO TO ME?
Immediately after smoking or intravenous
injection, the meth user experiences an intense sensation, called a “rush” or “flash” that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Oral or intranasal use produces euphoria, a high, but not a rush. Meth use increases energy and alertness and
decreases appetite. The effects of meth can last up to 12 hours.
Chronic use of methamphetamine can result in a tolerance for the drug. Users may become addicted quickly, and use it with increasing frequency and in increasing doses. Some abusers, white refraining from eating and sleeping, will binge, also knows as “run” on meth. During these binges, users will inject as much as a gram of meth every 2 or 3 hours over several days until they run out of the drug or are too dazed to continue use.
After methamphetamine use is stopped, several withdrawal symptoms can occur, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, and an intense craving for the drug.
Medical consequences of methamphetamine use can include cardiovascular problems such as rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and stroke-producing damage to small blood vessels in the brain. Hyperthermia and convulsions can occur when a user overdoses and, if not treated immediately, can result in death.
The central nervous system actions that result from taking even small amounts of meth include increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, and euphoria. Also effects include irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness.
Chronic methamphetamine abuse can lead to psychotic behavior including intense paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and out of control rages that can result in violent episodes. Also, users develop sores on their bodies from scratching at “crank bugs” which describes the common delusion that bugs are crawling under the skin.
Meth is often referred to these names on the street:
Speed, meth, crank, crystal, ice, fire, croak, crypto, white cross, and glass.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse