Meth, crytal, crystal meth, ice, fire, croak,
speed, crank, glass, crypto, white cross. Methamphetamine is used in pill
form, or in powdered form by snorting or injecting. Crystallized
methamphetamine known as "ice," "crystal," or "glass," is a smokable and more
powerful form of the drug. Methamphetamine can elevate your mood, induce
euphoria, increase alertness, reduce fatigue, increase energy, decrease
appetite, increase movement and speech, and provide a sense of increased
personal power and prowess. Unlike a cocaine high which is brief, the effect of
meth lasts for six to eight hours or more depending how much you do.
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. It is usually white or slightly
yellow, depending on the purity. Also called d-desoxyephedrine, Meth is a
potent stimulant synthetic drug of the amphetamine series, used in medicine as
an appetite suppressant in treating obesity and as a stimulant of the central
nervous system in treating anesthetic overdose and narcolepsy. Methamphetamine
was introduced into medicine in 1944 and sold under Methedrine and other trade
names. Its action is similar to that of amphetamine. It may be administered
orally, snorted, smoked or injected. If smoked or injected, users report
increased energy and motivation often coupled with a false sense of
invincibility. If snorted or swallowed, the onset is not as extreme and not
accompanied by an initial "rush".
Meth is known for its ability to increase focus and mental alertness, eliminate
fatigue and decrease the appetite for longer durations than cocaine. It enables
people to work around the clock, often for days on end. Meth suppresses
appetite, and in small doses is used by young women trying to lose weight.
Meth is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing more and
more to get high, and going on longer and longer binges. Some users avoid sleep
for 3 to 15 days while binging.
Meth initiates all the symptoms of the fight-or-flight syndrome: it increases
the heart rate and blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, dilates the
bronchioles (breathing tubes), increases blood sugar, and generally prepares
the body for emergency. It also improves the symptoms of asthma and breaks
down fat to create energy and therefore contributes to weight loss.
Euphoria, blood pressure, appetite and attention are all regulated by a related
group of neurotransmitters: the biogenic amines or monoamine
neurotransmitters. Normally, these sensations are caused when neurons
communicate with each other and fire impulses through the brain via the
neurotransmittors. Monoamine neurotransmittors release their
neurotransmittors into the synaptic cleft and act on their receptors. Then the
monoamine neurons recapture them by pumping them back into the neuron. This is
how the neurons stop the transmission. Stimulants interfere with the recapture
mechanism by blocking the sites where the neurotransmitters are normally
taking, leaving them to stay in the synaptic cleft longer and continue to
stimulate the receptors.
The ability of methamphetamine to overcome fatigue and provide increased energy
has led to considerable abuse of the drug. Its untoward effects on the body
(such as increased heart rate and blood pressure) render it a dangerous drug
when misused; and because of the rapid development of tolerance common to the
amphetamines (a condition in which the user requires increased doses for a
consistent effect), it is unsatisfactory for prolonged use. The euphoria,
excitement, and sleeplessness experienced by persons on the drug may give way
to severe depression once the dose wears off. The excessive use of
methamphetamine can eventually induce a toxic psychosis characterized by
paranoid delusions and hallucinations. Psychological symptoms of prolonged meth
use are characterized by paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior
patterns, and delusions of parasites or insects under the skin. 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.
drug warriors ·
$400bn business ·
Kuhn, Cynthia, Scott Swartzwelder and Wilkie Wilson. Buzzed : the straight facts about the most used and abused drugs
from alcohol to ecstasy. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
portions reprinted from:
"methamphetamine" Britannica.com. Vers. 2001
1999-2001. Encyclopædia Britannica.
1 Sep. 2000
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