Drug Treatment Resource Center
Methamphetamine is a class of powerfully addictive stimulants that affect the central nervous system. Given the availability of relatively inexpensive and readily available ingredients, the drug is easily made in hidden laboratories – which contribute to its high potential for widespread abuse.
You may have heard about methamphetamines as "speed," "meth," or "chalk." In its smoked form, it is often referred to as "ice," "crank," "glass," and “crystal” – or “crystal meth.” It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. The drug can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed to deliver the high.
Developed from its parent drug, amphetamine, methamphetamine was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. Methamphetamine's chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine, but it has more pronounced effects on the central nervous system. The effects of methamphetamine abuse can last 6 to 8 hours. The initial “rush” can lead to increased activity, decreased appetite, and a general sense of well-being. Afterwards, there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes other serious health conditions associated with use of methamphetamines, including memory loss, psychotic behavior, potential heart and brain damage, and its contributions to increased transmission of hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.
Those who abuse methamphetamines develop an instant tolerance to the drug, causing a need to take more and more of the drug. They eventually will center their lives around the drug and will stay awake for days or even weeks, doing little else but smoking or snorting the drug.
Although use of methamphetamines was initially limited to major urban areas in the West and Southwest, several major Western cities and Hawaii have seen dramatic increases in its use. In addition, rural areas throughout the country are becoming more affected by the drug.
If you need help, please don't put it off any longer. Contact us today.