1. Methamphetamine, or meth, is a central nervous system stimulant drug that comes in a white powder, pill, or crystal. Crystal meth looks like shards of glass or has a blue and white tint to it.
  2. Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested.
  3. Street names for meth include crank, chalk, speed, crystal, rock, and ice.
  4. Methamphetamine affects the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is directly related to the brain’s reward system. The “high” from meth involves feelings of pleasure, euphoria, and a rush of energy.
  5. The effects of meth are short-lived, and users often have to binge, or use the drug over and over again in a short amount of time, to have the desired effects.
  6. Short-term symptoms of meth use include sweating, increased heart rate, shakiness, rapid speech, rapid breathing, fidgeting, paranoia, anxiety, shrunken pupils, not sleeping, and decreased appetite. Long-term symptoms include weight loss, lesions on skin form picking, rotting teeth, poor hygiene, violent behavior, sleeping problems, and hallucinations. Meth also destroys brain tissue and can cause brain damage.
  7. Pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found in many over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, is also used to cook meth. For this reason, over-the-counter medicines containing the ingredient have been regulated so that a person can only buy a small amount of these products per day.
  8. Meth users who take the drug intravenously are at an increased risk for HIV and hepatitis from needles.
  9. Meth can have long-term effects on the brain’s control of emotion, coordination, verbal learning, and memory. Sometimes these effects can be reversed, but with chronic meth use, the brain damage can be irreversible.
  10. It is possible to overdose on methamphetamine. Meth overdose can cause stroke, heart attack, or organ failure, all of which can be fatal.
  11. Methamphetamine is highly addictive, and withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, depression, fatigue, psychosis, and intense physical cravings for meth.
  12. The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are detoxification and cognitive behavioral therapy.