What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug and less commonly as a second-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity. Methamphetamine was discovered in 1893 and exists as two enantiomers: levo-methamphetamine and dextro-methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine properly refers to a specific chemical substance, the racemic free base, which is an equal mixture of levomethamphetamine and dextromethamphetamine in their pure amine forms. It is rarely prescribed over concerns involving human neurotoxicity and potential for recreational use as an aphrodisiac and euphoriant, among other concerns, as well as the availability of safer substitute drugs with comparable treatment efficacy such as Adderall and Vyvanse. Dextromethamphetamine is a stronger CNS stimulant than levomethamphetamine.
Both racemic methamphetamine and dextromethamphetamine are illicitly trafficked and sold owing to their potential for recreational use.
The highest prevalence of illegal methamphetamine use occurs in parts of Asia and Oceania, and in the United States, where racemic methamphetamine and dextromethamphetamine are classified as schedule II controlled substances.
Levomethamphetamine is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug for use as an inhaled nasal decongestant in the United States.Internationally, the production, distribution, sale, and possession of methamphetamine is restricted or banned in many countries, owing to its placement in schedule II of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty.
While dextromethamphetamine is a more potent drug, racemic methamphetamine is illicitly produced more often, owing to the relative ease of synthesis and regulatory limits of chemical precursor availability.
What Else Is Methamphetamine (Meth) Called?
speed, uppers, meth, crystal meth, chalk, ice, glass, Christmas tree, crank (especially when injected)
How Is Methamphetamine (Meth) Used?
Methamphetamines are swallowed, inhaled, smoked, or injected into a vein.
What Does Methamphetamine (Meth) Do?
Swallowed or snorted (also called bumping) meth give the user an intense high. Injections create a quick but strong intense high, called a rush or a flash.
People who abuse methamphetamines feel high and full of energy. They think the drug will allow their bodies to keep going and going. But meth is very damaging to the body and brain, especially with repeated use.
Side effects include rapid breathing, an irregular heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Users also complain of sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth, hot flashes, and dizziness. Because the drug often decreases or even eliminates appetite, it has been used as a dangerous dieting strategy for people trying to lose weight quickly.
“Meth mouth” is another risk. This severe tooth decay and gum disease often causes teeth to break or fall out.
Long-term use can bring on brain damage that causes problems with memory and body movements, and can cause mood swings and violent behavior.
When used in larger doses, meth can cause dangerously high body temperature, confusion, convulsions (uncontrollable jerking body movements), and even death.