Slang or Street
Names: Speed, Ice, Chalk, Meth, Crystal,
Crank, Fire, Glass
Methamphetamine is a toxic, addictive stimulant
that affects many areas of the central nervous system. The drug is
often made in clandestine laboratories from relatively inexpensive
over-the-counter ingredients. It is being used by diverse groups,
including young adults who attend raves, in many regions of the country.
Available in many forms, methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted, injected,
or orally ingested. Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting
crystalline powder that easily dissolves in beverages.
Methamphetamine is not sold in
the same way as many other illicit drugs; it is typically sold through
networks, not on the street. Methamphetamine use is associated with
serious health consequences, including memory loss, aggression,
violence, psychotic behavior, and potential cardiac and neurological
damage. Methamphetamine abusers typically display signs of agitation,
excited speech, decreased appetite, and increased physical activity
Methamphetamine is neurotoxic. Methamphetamine abusers may have
significant reductions in dopamine transporters. Methamphetamine
use can contribute to higher rates of transmission of infectious
diseases, especially hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates
certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is closely related
chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects
of methamphetamine are greater. Both drugs have some medical uses,
primarily in the treatment of obesity, but their therapeutic use
is limited. Methamphetamine is made in illegal laboratories and has a high
for abuse and dependence. Street methamphetamine is referred to
by many names, such as "speed," "meth," and
"chalk." Methamphetamine hydrochloride, clear chunky crystals
resembling ice, which can be inhaled by smoking, is referred to
as "ice," "crystal," and "glass."
Methamphetamine releases high levels of
the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells,
enhancing mood and body movement. It also appears to have a
neurotoxic effect, damaging brain cells that contain dopamine
and serotonin, another neurotransmitter. Over time, methamphetamine
appears to cause reduced levels of dopamine, which can result
in symptoms like those of Parkinson's disease, a severe movement
Methamphetamine is taken orally or intranasally (snorting
the powder), by intravenous injection, and by smoking. Immediately
after smoking or intravenous injection, the methamphetamine 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.
Users may become addicted quickly, and use it with increasing frequency
and in increasing doses.
Animal research going back more than 20 years shows
that high doses of methamphetamine damage neuron cell-endings. Dopamine-
and serotonin-containing neurons do not die after methamphetamine
use, but their nerve endings ("terminals") are cut back
and re-growth appears to be limited.
The central nervous system (CNS) actions that result
from taking even small amounts of methamphetamine include increased
wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased
respiration, hyperthermia, and euphoria. Other CNS effects include
irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety,
paranoia, and aggressiveness. Hyperthermia and convulsions can result
Methamphetamine causes increased heart rate and blood
pressure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the
brain, producing strokes. Other effects of methamphetamine include
respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat, and extreme anorexia.
Its use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death.
A study in Seattle confirmed that methamphetamine
use was widespread among the city's homosexual and bisexual populations.
Of these groups, members using methamphetamine reported they practice
sexual and needle-use behaviors that place them at risk of contracting
and transmitting HIV and AIDS.
Methamphetamine use is associated with serious health
consequences, including memory loss, aggression, violence, psychotic
behavior, and potential cardiac and neurological damage.
If you have a loved one using Meth in any form
get help now.