What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as Meth, is an extremely addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system when consumed. Methamphetamine takes the form of the white, unscented, sour-tasting crystalline powder. It easily dissipates in alcohol or water.
Other Nicknames: Ice, speed, crystal, chalk, glass, crank, yaba, fire, tweak, trash, uppers, poor man’s cocaine, yellow bam, go fast, stove top, and methlies quick.
Composition: a decongestant, pseudoephedrine, plus a number of toxic ingredients such as a drain cleaner and lye.
Meth was discovered from its parent drug substance, amphetamine, early in the late 19th century. At first, it was used in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants. Similar to amphetamine, Meth brings about hyperactivity and chattiness, an enjoyable feeling of wellbeing or euphoria and reduced desire for food.
On the other hand, Meth varies from amphetamine in the point that, at equal dosages, much larger quantities of the substance goes into the brain.
This makes it more stimulating and a very powerful drug. It also has more damaging and long-term consequences on the CNS, the central nervous system. That’s what makes it a substance with great potential for extensive abuse.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has classified Methamphetamine as a Schedule II amphetamine.
This makes the stimulant only available via a non-reusable prescription. Even though medicinally it can be designated as a short-term component of weight loss medications and also for the remedy of ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, these uses are limited and hardly prescribed.
In addition, the prescribed quantities are much lesser than those normally abused.
How Is Methamphetamine Used?
Meth is produced in lots of different kinds, and as a result, it can be used and abused in several ways. It can be injected, smoked, swallowed in a pill form, or snorted. It may also interest you to know that the means of consuming Methamphetamine can differ by geographical area. Personally, I used to prefer smoking. Here’s how it’s abused by most users (including my former self):
At the moment, smoking is the most common way through which addicts abuse Methamphetamine. This is according to the data collected and analyzed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Community Epidemiology Work Group.
Meth’s Hydrochloride salt can be smoked by itself without changing its form or adding something else to it. In the ice or crystal Meth kind, it looks like blue-white rocks. I often inhaled crystal Methamphetamine by smoking it using a small pipe made of glass referred to as a ‘flute.’
If you’re on the lookout for proof that somebody is smoking this drug, getting such a pipe would be a hint. During my struggles with Meth, I had tones ‘flutes’ for different ‘occasions.’ I preferred smoking since it could give me that quick ‘rush’ that I needed badly to levitate by moods.
Snorting Methamphetamine powder is common in new users of the drug. Snorting can result in the impairment of the sinus cavities.
Before I switched to smoking, I snorted it a couple of times when I was still experimenting right before addiction. Usually, consistent snorting leads to a chronic runny nose, and continuous usage can even lead to the perforation of your nasal septum.
Powdered Methamphetamine can also be imparted directly into the bloodstream. Just like injecting any other kind of drug, this also carries a great danger for blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS because of sharing the injection needles.
In the later stages of my addiction, I had graduated to injection. Though I still smoked it often, on the day of my overdose, I had injected myself.
Meth by Ingestion or Pills
At first, Methamphetamine was created for medical use and administered as a pill. Even today users can still take Methamphetamine in the same way. This is either through home-based pills, factory-made pills or any other way of ingesting the substance.
Effects of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine abuse badly affects all the main body organs. Even worse, some damages are irreversible. Meth destroys the user’s appearance, mental and physical health, and destroys the ability to live a meaningful life. I am living proof of that. Even children born to addict mums can still be in great danger. A good number of them carry the effects in their minds and bodies for years well into maturity. During my chronic years of abuse, I experienced nearly all the short-term effects, and as we speak, I’m still nursing some of the long-term effects on my liver.
Short-term Meth Effects
- Heightened focus.
- Increased physical activity.
- Feelings of intense pleasure.
- Reduced fatigue.
- Lack of appetite
Meth also yields other short-term effects that can be fatal if not taken care of quickly in case of an overdose. They include:
- Higher body temperature.
- Higher blood pressure.
- Brain hemorrhage
- Lung collapse as a result of air pressure changes.
- Faster heartbeat.
- Uneven heart rhythms.
- Severe loss of weight.
- Damage to the lungs, heart, kidney, and liver.
- Damage to nasal passageways.
- Dental decay.
- Sores and swellings that raise the risk of infections.
- Aged appearance due to anxiety, poor hygiene, and diet.
Effects of Meth on the Brain
- Hallucinations, egocentrism, and paranoia.
- Aggressiveness, impaired memory & thinking and judgment.
- Reduced inhibition attention span.
- High risk of stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
- Chronic apathy.