Methamphetamine - Get the facts
Methamphetamine (meth) is a powerful stimulant drug. It is similar to a family of drugs called amphetamines. Meth has more prolonged effects on the central nervous system and brain than simulants such as cocaine or amphetamines.
Methamphetamine is a synthetic (or man-made) drug. The meth that is used illegally is made from dangerous chemicals, and sold in the form of pills, powder, or chunks. It is manufactured in makeshift laboratories within homes, vehicles, motels, and many other locations.
Methamphetamine can be swallowed, inhaled (snorted), smoked or injected in its various forms. Meth may appear as an odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. In may range in colour from white to brown, pink to red, or appear in various yellow shades, depending on the ingredients used to make it.
Methamphetamine affects your brain
In the short term, meth causes mind and mood changes such as anxiety, euphoria, and depression. Long-term effects can include chronic fatigue, paranoid or delusional thinking, and permanent psychological damage.
Slang terms for methamphetamine include
Speed, Meth, Crystal, Crank, Tweak, Go-fast, Ice, Glass, Uppers, and Black Beauties.
Methamphetamine affects your body
Over "amping" on any type of speed is pretty risky. Creating a false sense of energy, these drugs push the body faster and further than it's meant to go. It increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke.
Methamphetamine affects your self-control
Meth is a powerfully addictive drug that can cause aggression and violent or psychotic behaviour.
Methamphetamine is not what it seems
Even speed drugs are not always safe. Giga jolts of the well-known stimulants caffeine or ephedrine can cause stroke or cardiac arrest when overused or used by people with a sensitivity to them.
Methamphetamine can kill you
An overdose of meth can result in heart failure. Long-term physical effects such as liver, kidney, and lung damage may also kill you.
Before you risk it…
Know the law
Methamphetamine is illegal in all states and highly dangerous.
Get the facts
The ignitable, corrosive, and toxic nature of the chemicals used to produce meth can cause fires, produce toxic vapours, and damage the environment.
In 2001, methamphetamine use sent more people to the emergency room than use of any other club drug. Over half of these cases involved meth in combination with another drug, such as alcohol, heroin, or cocaine.
Know the risks
There are a lot of risks associated with using methamphetamine, including:
- Meth can cause a severe "crash" after the effects wear off.
- Meth use can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain.
- Meth users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.
Look around you
Not everyone is using methamphetamine. In 2003, only 3.2 percent of 12th graders reported having used methamphetamine.
Know the signs
How can you tell if a friend is using meth? It may not be easy to tell. But there are signs you can look for.
Symptoms of methamphetamine use may include:
- Inability to sleep
- Increased sensitivity to noise
- Nervous physical activity, like scratching
- Irritability, dizziness, or confusion
- Extreme anorexia
- Tremors or even convulsions
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke
- Presence of inhaling paraphernalia, such as razor blades, mirrors, and straws
- Presence of injecting paraphernalia, such as syringes, heated spoons, or surgical tubing
What can you do to help a friend who is using meth?
Be a real friend. You might even save a life. Encourage your friend to stop or seek professional help.