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What is it?
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain.

What does it look like?
Meth is a crystal-like powdered substance that sometimes comes in large rock-like chunks. When the powder flakes off the rock, the shards look like glass, which is another nickname for meth. Meth is usually white or slightly yellow, depending on the purity.

What are the street names/slang terms for it?
Speed, meth, crank, crystal, ice, fire, croak, crypto, white cross, glass, chalk.

How is it used?
Methamphetamine can be taken orally, injected, snorted, or smoked.

What are its short-term effects?
Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection, the methamphetamine user experiences an intense sensation called a "rush" or "flash," that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Oral or intranasal use produces euphoria - a high, but not a rush. Other effects include irritability/aggression, anxiety, nervousness, convulsions, and insomnia.

What are its long-term effects?
Meth is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing higher amount to get high, and going on longer binges. Some users avoid sleep for 3 to 15 days while bingeing.
Paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior patterns, and delusions of parasites or insects under the skin characterize psychological symptoms of prolonged meth use. Users often obsessively scratch their skin to get rid of these imagined insects.

Long-term use, high dosages, or both can bring on full-blown toxic psychosis (often exhibited as violent, aggressive behavior). This violent, aggressive behavior is usually coupled with extreme paranoia.

New research shows that those who use methamphetamine risk long-term damage to their brain cells similar to that caused by strokes or Alzheimer's disease.

What is its federal classification?
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug.



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