Methamphetamine, or meth, is the fastest growing drug threat and the most prevalent synthetic drug manufactured in the United States. Refined manufacturing has significantly increased meth’s strength.
Methamphetamine also known as meth, crank, speed, go fast, ice, or crystal, methamphetamine can be injected, snorted, smoked, or ingested orally.
Meth is usually a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder that dissolves easily in water. Crystal meth is often clear; it is found in large chunky crystals that are smoked.
Methamphetamine users initially experience a short, intense rush that is followed by a sense of euphoria lasting up to 8 hours. Methamphetamine use increases heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and rate of breathing. It produces extra energy and stamina, an increased libido, a sense of invulnerability, and a decrease in appetite. Chronic, high-dose methamphetamine abusers may exhibit increased nervousness, paranoia, schizophrenia-like symptoms, irritability, confusion, and insomnia. Violent and erratic behaviors frequently occur in the last phase of meth bingeing. Withdrawal from high doses of meth invariably produces depression, which varies in severity and duration but may last for months or even years.
This highly addictive, synthetic central nervous system stimulant is produced using chemicals extracted from readily available products. These products include over-the-counter cold medicines and diet pills and household products like lithium camera batteries, matches, tincture of iodine, and hydrogen peroxide. Flammable household products, including charcoal lighter fluid, gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner, rubbing alcohol, and mineral spirits, may be used in the mix. Corrosive products, such as the muriatic acid used in pools and spas, sulfuric acid in battery acid, and sodium hydroxide from lye-based drain cleaners, also may be used in the manufacturing process. In rural areas where anhydrous ammonia is used as a fertilizer, farmers are increasingly finding their ammonia tanks have been tapped by “cooks” using this highly toxic chemical to produce meth.