General Facts about Crystal Meth:
Crystal Meth is the common street name for methamphetamine, the most hyper-charged member of the amphetamine drug family.
Widely used in the 1960's and early '70s for its intense effects, Crystal Meth virtually disappeared in the 1980's. However, it has resurfaced on a massive scale nationwide in recent years.
Crystal Meth looks like a white crystalline powder. Although legal amphetamine is odorless, illegal forms of the drug often have a strong ammonia smell, due to incomplete clearing of solvents or reagents during manufacture.
Crystal Meth is always made in bootleg labs and because of this the potency, effects, and dangers of the drug change every time. There is no standard dose or formula for Crystal Meth as it is an underground black market drug.
Facts about Crystal Meth: Effects & Side Effects
Crystal Meth increases arousal in the central nervous system by pumping up levels of two neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine.
At low doses, it boosts alertness and blocks hunger and fatigue. At higher doses, it causes exhilaration and euphoria. At very high doses, the drug can cause agitation, paranoia, and bizarre behavior.
Physical effects from crystal meth use include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Anxiety, emotional swings, and paranoia are the most common psychological effects of chronic use of crystal meth. Symptoms increase with long-term use and can involve paranoid delusions or hallucinations. Violence and self-destructive behavior are also very common.
Overdose is a huge risk with crystal meth. Symptoms include fever, convulsions, and coma. Death can result from burst blood vessels in the brain (triggered by spikes in blood pressure) or heart failure.
The high from Crystal Meth tends to last 4-12 hours with users continuing to take the drug for days.
Facts about Meth: Crystal Meth Users
Nearly half of first time Crystal Meth users and more than three quarters of second time Crystal Meth users report addiction like cravings.
Crystal Meth is as popular with women as it is with men, making it one of the few 'gender neutral' drugs. Women are drawn to Crystal Meth because one of the side effects of using is weight loss, usually extreme weight loss.
Although Crystal Meth is known to cause extreme weight loss, the effects are not permanent and many regular Crystal Meth users experience adaptation where the weight loss no longer occurs as the body becomes used to the effects of crystal meth. When this happens, habitual users may even start to gain weight.
Crystal Meth users often stay awake for days on end, eating very little and staying in a heightened state of arousal. This is very stressful for the body and brain.