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 is brought to you by and is intended to provide basic information that you can use to make informed decisions about important health issues affecting you or your loved ones. We hope that you’ll find this information about Methamphetamine helpful and that you’ll seek professional medical advice to address any specific symptoms you might have related to this matter.

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What is meth?

What are other names for meth?

What does meth look like and how is it taken?

How is meth made?

Where is meth made?

What are the short-term effects of taking meth?

What are the long-term effects of taking meth?

What are signs of meth use?

Are there effective treatments for meth abuse?

Where can I buy a home drug test for meth?

Where can I find treatment facilities for meth?



What is meth? (top)

Methamphetamine is a powerfully addictive central nervous system stimulant.


What are other names for meth? (top)

The most common names used are crank, crystal and speed, ice and glass.


What does meth look like and how is it taken? (top)

Meth is available as a crystalline powder or in rock-like chunks. Meth varies in color, and may be white, yellow, brown, or pink. Meth can be smoked, injected or snorted.


How is meth made? (top)

Meth can be made from household ingredients, including over-the-counter cold medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, red phosphorous, hydrochloric acid, anhydrous ammonia, drain cleaner, battery acid, lye, lantern fuel and antifreeze. The fumes, vapors, and spillage associated with cooking meth are toxic, combustible, and hazardous to children, adults and the environment.


Where is meth made? (top)

Two-thirds of our country's meth supply is produced in super labs in Mexico and Southern California, and trafficked throughout the country. The remaining third is made in small meth labs found in basements, kitchens, garages, bedrooms, barns, vacant buildings, campgrounds, hotels, and trunks of cars.


What are the short-term effects of taking meth? (top)

Immediately after smoking or injection, the user experiences an intense sensation, called a "rush" or "flash," that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. (Snorting or swallowing meth produces euphoria — a high, but not a rush.) Following the "rush," there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior. Other possible immediate effects include increased wakefulness and insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability and aggression, anxiety, nervousness and convulsions.


What are the long-term effects of taking meth?  (top)

Meth is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing larger amounts to get high. In some cases, users forego food and sleep and take more meth every few hours for days, “bingeing” until they run out of the drug or become too dysfunctional to continue using. Chronic use can cause paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior (such as compulsively cleaning and grooming or disassembling and assembling objects), and delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin. Users can obsessively scratch their skin to get rid of these imagined insects. Long-term use, high dosages, or both can induce full-blown toxic psychosis. This behavior is usually coupled with extreme paranoia. Meth can also cause strokes, heart attack and death.


What are signs of meth use? (top)

If you think someone you know might be using meth, or you're a parent who suspects your teen might be using, here is a list of warning signs to look for.


Physical symptoms:

            • Weight loss

            • Abnormal sweating

            • Shortness of breath

            • Sores that do not heal

            • Dilated pupils

            • Burns on lips or fingers

            • Track marks on arms

            • Dental deterioration


Behavioral symptoms:

            • Withdrawal from family and friends

            • Change in friends

            • Increased activity

            • Long periods of sleeplessness

            • Long periods of sleep

            • Incessant talking

            • Irritability

            • Twitching and shaking

            • Decreased appetite

            • Erratic attention span

            • Repetitious behavior, such as picking at skin, pulling out hair, compulsively cleaning, grooming or disassembling and assembling objects such as cars and other mechanical devices

            • Aggression or violent behavior

            • Convulsions

            • Carelessness about appearance

            • Deceit or secretiveness


Mental Symptoms:

            • Paranoia

            • Anxiousness

            • Nervousness

            • Agitation

            • Extreme moodiness

            • Severe depression

            • Hallucinations

            • Delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin


In all cases of meth use, a user may experience a loss of inhibitions and a false sense of control and confidence. This can lead to dangerous behavior and potential harm to the user and to those around him.


Are there effective treatments for meth abuse? (top)

There are no specific treatments for meth abuse. The most effective treatments for drug abuse and addiction are cognitive behavioral interventions that are designed to help modify the patient's thinking, expectancies, and behaviors, and to increase skills in coping with life's stressors. Drug abuse recovery support groups may be effective in combination with behavioral interventions to support long-term, drug-free recovery. There are currently no pharmacological treatments for dependence on meth.


There are some established protocols that emergency room physicians use to treat individuals who have had a methamphetamine overdose. Because hyperthermia and convulsions are common and often fatal complications of such overdoses, emergency room treatment focuses on the immediate physical symptoms. Overdose patients are cooled off in ice baths, and anticonvulsant drugs may be administered also.


Acute methamphetamine intoxication can often be handled by observation in a safe, quiet environment. In cases of extreme excitement or panic, treatment with anti-anxiety agents such as benzodiazepines has been helpful, and in cases of methamphetamine-induced psychoses, short-term use of neuroleptics has proven successful.


Click here to buy home drug tests for meth.


Where can I find treatment facilities for meth? (top)

Click here for a National Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.








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