Crystal Methamphetamine

Also known as: Chalk, Meth, Speed, and Tina; or, for crystal meth, Crank, Fire, Glass, Go fast, and Ice

Methamphetamine—known as “meth”— is a laboratory-made, white, bitter-tasting powder. Sometimes it’s made into a white pill or a shiny, white or clear rock called crystal. Meth is made in the United States and often in Mexico—in “superlabs”—big, illegal laboratories that make the drug in large quantities. But it is also made in small labs using cheap, over-the-counter ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, which is a common ingredient in cold medicines. Drug stores often put these products behind the counter so people cannot use them to create meth in home labs. Other chemicals, some of them toxic, are also involved in making methamphetamine. Meth is sometimes pressed into little pills that look like Ecstasy to make it more appealing to young people.

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug. Stimulants are a class of drugs that can boost mood, increase feelings of well-being, increase energy, and make you more alert. But they also have dangerous effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure, and use can lead to addiction. Methamphetamine’s pleasurable effects can disappear even before the drug levels fall in the blood, leading people to use more and more, sometimes not sleeping and using the drug for several days.

Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has high potential for abuse and is legally available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled. It is prescribed by doctors in limited doses in rare cases for certain medical conditions.

 

How Methamphetamine Is Used

Methamphetamine is:

  • swallowed
  • snorted
  • injected with a needle
  • smoked

“Crystal meth” is a large, usually clear crystal that is smoked in a glass pipe. Smoking or injecting the drug delivers it very quickly to the brain, where it produces an immediate and intense high. Because the feeling doesn’t last long, users often take the drug repeatedly, in a “binge and crash” pattern.

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What are inhalants?

Red lighter fluid canAlso known as: Bold (nitrites), Laughing gas (nitrous oxide), Poppers (amyl nitrite and butyl nitrite), Rush (nitrites), Snappers (amyl nitrite), Whippets (fluorinated hydrocarbons)

Inhalants are chemicals found in ordinary household or workplace products that people inhale on purpose to get “high.” People often don’t realize that inhaling the fumes of these products, even just once, can be very harmful to the brain and body and can lead to death. In fact, the chemicals found in these products can change the way the brain works and cause other problems in the body.

Although different inhalants cause different effects, they generally fall into one of four categories.

Volatile solvents are liquids that become a gas at room temperature. They are found in:

  • paint thinner, nail polish remover, degreaser, dry-cleaning fluid, gasoline, and contact cement
  • some art or office supplies, such as correction fluid, felt-tip marker fluid, glue, and electronic contact cleaner

Aerosols are substances under pressure that are released as a fine spray. They include:

  • spray paint, hair spray, deodorant spray, vegetable oil sprays, and fabric protector spray

Gases may be in household or commercial products, or used in the medical field to provide pain relief. They are found in:

  • butane lighters, propane tanks, whipped cream dispensers, and refrigerant gases
  • anesthesia, including ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (commonly called “laughing gas”).

Nitrites are often sold in small brown bottles labeled as:

  • organic nitrites, such as amyl, butyl, and cyclohexyl nitrites and other related compounds
  • amyl nitrite, used in the past by doctors to help with chest pain and sometimes used today to diagnose heart problems
  • nitrites, now banned (prohibited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission) but can still be found, sold in small bottles labeled as “video head cleaner,” “room odorizer,” “leather cleaner,” or “liquid aroma.”

How Inhalants Are Used

People who use inhalants breathe in the fumes through their nose or mouth, usually by “sniffing,” “snorting,” “bagging,” or “huffing.” It’s called different names depending on the substance and equipment used.

 

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