- Methamphetamine – What is it?
- Is Crystal Meth Addictive?
- How is Crystal Meth used?
- What are the risks of injecting Crystal Meth?
- Meth – Other Dangers and Downsides?
Crystal Meth – The Montana Meth Project
Methamphetamine – What is it?
- Methamphetamine (crystal meth, Tina, speed, ice, glass) is a powerful stimulant drug.
- It produces alertness, confidence and raises levels of energy and stamina. It reduces appetite and lessens the desire and ability to sleep.
- Like all stimulants, pupils are dilated (become larger) when the person is high.
- In Chicago Meth is most prevalent in the gay community and is considered a “party drug.”
Methamphetamine – Is it Addictive?
- Regular use can produce a need to increase the dose to get the same effect, and can lead to physical dependence on the drug.
- Meth can produce a powerful craving for more of the drug.
- Long-term use can result in serious mental and physical problems.
Crystal Meth – How is it Used?
- Meth can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected.
- Swallowing is the safest method of using speed. The effects come on gradually and last longer than with other methods.
- Snorting speed takes effect faster than swallowing but it can damage the nose.
- Smoking meth takes effect immediately and can more easily lead to addiction.
- Injecting is the riskiest method of using meth.
Meth – Risks of Injecting (“Slamming”)
- The dose reaches the brain almost immediately, increasing the possibility of overdose.
- Impurities are introduced directly into the bloodstream and can cause septicemia and other infections.
- Repeated injections damage the veins, leading to thrombosis and abscesses.
- Sharing syringes can cause hepatitis and HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS.
- Clean needles are available from needle exchange programs.
Meth – Other Risks and Downsides?
- The ‘comedown’ off speed can make you feel tired, lethargic and depressed. This may tempt users to take more, and can lead to dependency.
- Meth users are at higher HIV and hepatitis risk through unsafe sex and needle sharing.
- Although rare, meth can cause seizures, heart attacks, strokes, and death from overdose.
- Many users become physically run down, which leaves them susceptible to a wide range of illnesses. Extended use of meth can cause psychosis. The user may think that everybody is out to get them, or that they are being followed or watched.
- Mixing meth with other drugs, particularly other stimulants, can increase the risk of adverse reactions.
- Meth is illegal. Possession can result in long prison terms.