Methamphetamine is an illegal synthetic (man-made) drug. It is not made from a plant or an herb. Methamphetamine varies in texture and purity depending on how it is made. It may be sold as a fine to coarse powder, crystals, or white chunks with grey or pink bits. It may be taken by mouth, smoked, snorted, or injected. 'Speed' is the injectable form of methamphetamine. Crystal methamphetamine (crystal meth) is the smokeable form of methamphetamine.
Also Known As: 222, chalk, crank, crystal, crystal meth, dirt, glass, hawaiian salt, fast, gak, gingo, grit, high speed chicken feed, ice, koolaid, kryptonite, ladies, peach, peanut butter, peanuts, pink, poor man's cocaine, rock candy, shabu, shards, sketch, soiks, speed (meth), spooch, stove top, tina, tweak, zip.
Category: Central Nervous System (CNS) Stimulants
Methamphetamine is absorbed into the bloodstream where it travels to the brain. The speed at which methamphetamine reaches the brain depends on how it is taken. The fastest effects are felt within seconds after injection and smoking. Snorting produces effects within 3 to 5 minutes. When taken by mouth, it may take up to 20 minutes to begin to work. Smoking methamphetamine may produce effects that last for 10 or 12 hours.
Methamphetamine acts primarily by causing the release of a chemical called dopamine in parts of the brain responsible for regulating pleasure.
The effects of methamphetamine are unpredictable. It is different for everyone. The way a person feels after taking methamphetamine depends on many factors:
There are many unwanted and dangerous effects associated with using methamphetamine. Its effects are unpredictable. Some people will experience anxiety and panic attacks. Methamphetamine may also make a person feel euphoric, energetic, and alert. A person may be talkative, have a rapid flow of ideas, and a sense of increased mental capacity and physical strength.
Short-term use of methamphetamine can produce many other effects:
In addition, a person could potentially experience:
People often mistakenly label methamphetamine users as 'tweakers'. 'Tweaking' is a stage which occurs as the effects of a high-dose methamphetamine binge begin to wear off. It is characterized by a dangerous combination of anxiety, irritability, aggression, paranoia and hallucinations. These individuals are at high risk for injury or violence. Indeed, deaths related to methamphetamine use often result from bizarre violent suicidal or accidental behaviour.
An overdose of methamphetamine can lead to death. Death can result from rupture of the blood vessels in the brain, heart failure, hyperthermia (extreme fever), seizures and coma. There is no specific antidote that can reverse the effects of the drug. If you think that a person has overdosed, contact emergency services immediately.
Sharing drug supplies, such as needles, pipes, straws and spoons can spread viruses. These include HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
People with diabetes, epilepsy, heart and liver problems, or mental disorders are most susceptible to the dangerous effects of methamphetamine.
Regular users of methamphetamine may:
Some people may develop paranoid thought patterns, severe agitation and psychosis. Their behaviour may be erratic, bizarre, or violent. In some cases, psychotic symptoms can linger for years after methamphetamine use. Methamphetamine users sometimes attempt suicide while using the drug or during withdrawal.
Some methamphetamine users have long-lasting memory problems and reduced motor skills. School and job performance may suffer in heavy users of methamphetamine.
Research studies have shown that methamphetamine can damage certain brain cells in animals and humans. While this does not mean that problems will occur in all users or after only one or two uses, the risk of long-term damage is evident.
Yes. Using methamphetamine during pregnancy can harm a developing fetus. Methamphetamine use during pregnancy may result in prenatal complications such as premature delivery. It is not clear whether the drug causes birth defects. Using methamphetamine also decreases the mother's appetite, which may slow the growth of the fetus in the womb and result in lower birth weight.
Methamphetamine is very addictive.
Tolerance to the mood elevating and sense of well-being effects of methamphetamine develops rapidly with regular use. Tolerance may also develop toward some of the physical effects of the drug, such as the effects on blood pressure and body temperature.
A regular user who stops using methamphetamine abruptly may experience: