Meth is the common street name for the illicit stimulant drug methamphetamine, also known as "Crank". Meth comes in a variety of different forms including powder, pill, and little rocks known as crystal meth. Crystal meth, commonly referred to as "Ice", is a much more concentrated and powerful form of the drug. Individuals abuse meth for the powerful euphoria, surge of energy, alertness and elation they experience from using it. These are the positive effects users intend to experience, but using meth comes with a variety of unwanted adverse effects and reactions which can not only be severe and dangerous but life threatening. When the high wears off, meth users can experience severe withdrawal symptoms which cause them to use more meth. This can go on for days and days, with no sleep or food, which is called "tweaking".
There are a variety of ways that methamphetamine users can administer this powerful stimulant drug. The route of administration determines how fast meth produces its effects on the brain and central nervous system, and how long this high lasts. The fastest high is achieved by intravenously injecting meth, followed by smoking meth, followed by snorting the drug. The onset of the meth high achieved by injection, smoking and insufflations is almost immediate and can last anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. These are also the methods used to achieve the most intense highs while using meth. Oral ingestion of meth is slower acting, which means it takes longer to produce its effects. While the effects from injection, smoking and insufflation are almost immediate, ingesting meth orally produces effects within about 20 minutes. When someone ingests meth orally, they will not experience the "rush" that users immediately experience from injection, smoking or insufflations. The high from oral ingestion of meth is longer acting however, and can lasting anywhere from 8 to 24 hours depending how much meth has been ingested.
Individuals who ingest meth orally either take the drug in pill form, or take meth powder and put it in an empty capsule. Meth pills are commonly known as "Yaba", and are typically reddish-orange or green in color and can fit inside the end of a plastic straw. Yaba can have a variety if imprinted logos, "WY" is an example of this and is the most common. Some meth users can become inventive and even engineer "pills" by putting meth powder inside of a small piece of toilet paper or tissue paper and swallowing it. Individuals who are desperate may even take powdered meth and put it directly into their mouths, or even mix it in a drink. Meth pills which are available for illicit purchase are mostly produced and marketed in Burma and Thailand. Just recently, Thai police confiscated their third multimillion-pill seizure of meth this year.
Ingesting meth orally produces a less intense high than if the user were to inject, snort or smoke the drug. However, ingesting meth causes the exact same side effects and presents the same dangers are any other route of administration of the drug. When someone is high on meth, the drug makes them think that they have limitless energy. But this is obviously not the case, and on the "come down" users are typically physically and mentally deteriorated to the point of complete exhaustion and in some cases begin to suffer severe depression. The truth of the matter is users are draining their bodies of critical energy which is needed to maintain their vital organs and other functions. Meth use increases heart rate, blood pressure, and vascular constriction which can adversely affect many organ systems and also cause cardiovascular problems, stroke, and acute kidney failure. Individuals who have been using meth long-term will typically appear aged well beyond their years, and will suffer from many physical and mental ailments as a result of their long-term meth use.
Meth is addictive no matter how you administer the drug. Individuals who ingest meth regularly will develop tolerance very quickly, sometimes after the first use. Tolerance means that the meth user will need larger doses of meth to get the high they want, and individuals who are addicted to meth will binge for days and days on the stuff. Today's meth is much more potent than the meth of several years ago. Prior to the new ephedrine-based product on the streets, meth addicts were know to go on 3 or 4 day meth binges. Today, hardcore meth addicts can stay up for 2 weeks straight on a binge. One can only imagine the physical and mental devastation this can cause, as "tweakers" or "speed freaks" as they are commonly called, don't stop to eat, bathe, etc. and often become involved in risky sexual behavior and violent and aggressive behavior.
It is also common for individuals who ingest meth to have delusions of bugs or insects under the surface of their skin or on their skin. They will pick and scratch at these non-existent bugs in an attempt to get rid of them. This can lead to open sores and scabs, as well as infection as a result of poor hygiene. Therefore, a tell-tale sign that someone is a meth user are scars and sores on their bodies, particularly the face and arms, from these imagined creatures.
A meth overdose can very easily occur upon ingestion. There is no telling how much meth is a lethal dose, as this can vary from person to person depending on history of use. For example, for someone who has not yet built up a tolerance to the drug, 50 milligrams may cause a fatal overdose. Whereas someone who is a hardcore meth addict and has built up a tolerance to the drug can take 1,000 milligrams in one binge episode and easily recover. There is also the factor of drug purity or impurity, as drug strength can vary greatly from batch to batch. The dangerous thing about a meth overdose is that the user won't show any immediate signs that they are experiencing an overdose. Fatal meth overdoses are normally a result of a heart attack or stroke which can happen very quickly and without warning.