Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug chemically related to amphetamine but with
stronger effects on the central nervous system.
Street names for the drug include "speed,"
"meth," and "crank."
Methamphetamine is used in pill form, or in powdered form by snorting or injecting. Crystallized
methamphetamine known as "ice," "crystal," or "glass," is a smokable and more powerful form of the drug.
The effects of methamphetamine use include:
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- increased wakefulness; insomnia
- increased physical activity
- decreased appetite
- respiratory problems
- extreme anorexia
- hyperthermia, convulsions, and cardiovascular problems, which can lead to death
- irritability, confusion, tremors
- anxiety, paranoia, or violent behavior
- can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes
Methamphetamine users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.
Methamphetamine is an increasingly popular drug at raves (all night dancing parties), and as part of a
number of drugs used by college-aged students. Marijuana and alcohol are commonly listed as additional
drugs of abuse among methamphetamine treatment admissions. Most of the methamphetamine-related deaths
(92%) reported in 1994 involved methamphetamine in combination with at least one other drug, most often
alcohol (30%), heroin (23%), or cocaine (21%). Researchers continue to study the long-term effects of
The information contained herein is courtesy of the National Clearinghouse of Alcohol and Drug Information
website at http://www.health.org
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