Methamphetamine (also called crystal meth or just meth) is a man-made stimulant drug. Many people use it illegally, but it is occasionally used legally by prescription to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or obesity as "Desoxyn".
Methamphetamine has two isomers, "left-handed" and "right-handed". Left-handed methamphetamine helps fight stuffy nose and is legal. Right-handed methamphetamine makes people feel high and is mostly illegal. This page is mostly about the right-handed form.
Methamphetamine can be in powder or crystal form, and can be snorted, smoked, injected, or eaten. In its smoked form, methamphetamine is known as "ice," "crystal," "crank," "batu," "barang," "cerita," or "glass".
Ways of using methamphetamineEdit
When meth is snorted, the methamphetamine crystals are ground up and made into little lines (also called rails). Then they are inhaled through the nose with rolled-up paper, rolled-up dollar bills, empty plastic pen tubes, short plastic straws, or other things that can be made into a small "tube" shape.
When meth is snorted, its effects last longer than when it is smoked or injected. The effects can last as long as twelve hours. However, it takes longer to feel the effects, and there is not as strong of a "rush" (a very happy feeling called euphoria).
When meth is smoked, the crystals are placed into a glass pipe (called a "meth pipe") or a hollowed-out lightbulb. The crystals are warmed up from underneath by a flame (like from a lighter or matches). The methamphetamine is not actually "smoked" this way; it is heated up until it melts. When it melts, it turns into a gas that the user then breathes in.
Methamphetamine can be mixed with water, then put into a needle and injected. Meth can be injected under the skin (this is called "skin-popping); into a muscle; or into a vein. Injecting meth into a vein causes the quickest, strongest euphoria.
If methamphetamine is eaten, it gets absorbed into the body from the digestive system. The effects take longer to start, but they last longer.
Desired effects are the things people want to feel when they take methamphetamine. These include:
- Having a lot of energy
- Being able to stay awake for a long time
- Losing weight
Adverse effects are the bad things that using methamphetamine can cause. Meth has many adverse effects. For example:
One of the reasons meth is so addictive is that people feel very bad when the effect begins to wear off. Many users claim to have an uncontrollable urge to get more of the drug after using it.
When people are addicted to meth, they will have withdrawal symptoms when they do not take meth. This means they will feel sick when they do not have the drug. For example, without meth, people will feel anhedonia. This means they cannot feel good without taking meth.
Overdosing on meth (taking too much) can make a person very sick. Some of the symptoms of methamphetamine overdose are very dangerous, and can even kill a person. For example, overdosing on meth can cause:
- Very high heart rate
- Heart attack (or, in the worst cases, the heart can stop beating)
- Very high blood pressure, which can cause a stroke
- Trouble breathing
- Kidney damage or kidney failure
- Coma (in the worst cases)
"Meth Mouth" is a term used to describe destroyed teeth in people that use methamphetamine. Meth mouth can happen very quickly. A new addict can go from having healthy teeth to losing all of their teeth in as little as one year. The decay (rotting teeth) is not caused by methamphetamine itself, but by meth users not brushing their teeth, having a lot of sugary drinks, and having dry mouth.
The life expectancy of a meth addict is 5-10 years.
Other effects on the bodyEdit
Methamphetamine's effects on the body can include:
- Rhabdomyolysis (the muscles in the body break down)
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Sweating a lot
- Loss of appetite (not wanting to eat) and losing a lot of weight
- Bruxism (clenching the jaw very tightly; the person cannot control this)
- Increased libido (wanting to have sex)
Effects on feelings and behaviorEdit
- Taking risks (doing dangerous things) without thinking things through (like having unprotected sex, which can spread sexually transmitted diseases)
- Doing things over and over again (like tapping a pencil for hours at a time); this is called "punding"
- Feeling paranoid
- Psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions (for example, a person may feel like there are insects crawling under their skin)
- Feeling irritable (easily annoyed)
- Panic attacks
People who take meth over a long time often have serious psychological problems, like:
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