What is Methamphetamine?
- Methamphetamine (“meth” or “crystal meth”) is a stimulant drug.
- It produces alertness and confidence, and raises levels of energy and stamina.
- It reduces appetite and lessens the desire and ability to sleep.
Is methamphetamine addictive?
- Regular use can produce a need to increase the dose to get the same effect and lead to physical dependence on the drug.
- Methamphetamine can produce a powerful craving for more of the drug.
- Long-term use can result in serious mental and physical problems.
How is methamphetamine used?
- Methamphetamine can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected.
- Swallowing is the safest method of using meth. The effects come on gradually and last longer than with other methods.
- Snorting meth 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.
What are the risks of injecting?
- The dose reaches the brain almost immediately, increasing the possibility of overdose.
- Impurities are introduced directly into the bloodstream and can cause septicemia (blood poisoning) and other infections.
- Repeated injections damage the veins, leading to thrombosis (blood clot in the vein that obstructs blood flow) and abscesses (accumulations of pus that form in response to tissue infections).
- Sharing syringes can cause hepatitis and HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS.
- Clean needles are available from needle exchange programs.
- The ‘comedown’ from methamphetamine can make you feel tired, lethargic and depressed. This may tempt users to take more and lead to dependency.
- Speed users are at higher HIV and hepatitis risk through unsafe sex and needle sharing.
- Although rare, speed 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 speed can cause psychosis. The user may think that everybody is out to get them or that they are being followed or watched.
- Mixing speed with other drugs, particularly other stimulants, can increase the risk of adverse reactions.
- Methamphetamine is illegal. Possession can result in long prison terms.