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.

Be careful!

  • 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.metha
  • 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.
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