Methamphetamine is a powerfully, addictive synthetic stimulant drug that contains toxic household chemicals.
What does it look like?
Regular meth is a pill or powder. Crystal meth resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white “rocks” of various sizes. (United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse 2015 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide.)
How is it abused?
Meth is swallowed, snorted, injected or smoked.
What is its effect on the mind and body?
Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system stimulant properties. Those who smoke or inject it report a brief, intense sensation or rush. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as a day. (United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse 2015 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide.)
Chronic meth abusers can exhibit:
- violent behavior
- paranoia that can result in homocidal or suicidal thoughts
- visual and auditory hallucinations
- mood disturbances
- delusions such as the sensation of insects creeping on or under the skin
Taking even small amounts of meth can result in:
- increased wakefulness
- increased physical activity
- decreased appetite
- rapid breathing and heart rate
- irregular heartbeat
- increased blood pressure
- hyperthermia (overheating)
High doses can elevate body temperature to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels and cause convulsions and even cardiovascular collapse and death. Meth abuse may also cause extreme anorexia, memory loss and severe dental problems. (United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse 2015 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide.)
How can I recognize someone who may be using meth?
Signs and symptoms of meth use may include dilated pupils, rapid speech, hyperactivity, irritability, aggression, restlessness, inability to sleep, decreased attention span, sexual promiscuity, and violent behavior. Meth users may lose their teeth, experience body tremors, and have visible body sores from picking at imaginary bugs.
What are its overdose effects?
High doses may result in death from stroke, heart attack or multiple organ problems caused by overheating. (United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse 2015 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide.)
Which drugs cause similar effects?
Just the Facts: Meth Informational Rack Card
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All About Methamphetamine (Medline Plus)
National Institute on Drug Abuse
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