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Drug Abuse: Methamphetamine

Also known as meth, speed, crank, croak, crypto, crystal, chalk, glass, white cross, ice

What it is:

Methamphetamine is a very powerful drug that actually changes how the brain works and speeds up various functions of the body. It's produced from various chemical ingredients in illegal labs, and takes the form of a white or yellow powder. Sometimes

Topics on Drug Abuse:
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it appears in large chunks or small pieces, like broken glass. "Crystal Meth" is the nickname for a very pure, powerful form of methamphetamine, and looks like chunks of ice. Methamphetamine can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected with needles.

People who use it may experience:

  • A short "rush" or "flash" of happiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling irritated and grouchy
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Convulsions
  • Insomnia, the inability to sleep
  • Paranoia, the feeling that people are out to get you or that something bad will happen
  • Hallucinations, which means seeing and hearing things that aren't really there
  • The feeling of bugs under the skin

The big, serious health risks are:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Breathing problems
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Brain damage similar to the kind caused by strokes or Alzheimer's disease.
  • Heart failure
  • Coma
  • Stroke
  • Death

Using methamphetamine is a problem because:

  • It's extremely addictive, and addiction can happen quickly.

  • People use it will develop tolerance, meaning that they eventually need more and more of the drug to get the same effect.

  • Users often have rotting teeth and foul breath.

  • Users can go on binges, often staying up for several days to well over a week without sleep.

  • Crystal Meth and methamphetamine can cause violent and unpredictable behavior.

Next up: Hallucinogens.


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