Club Drugs (cont.)
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal, meth, crystal meth, ice, tina, and crank, is an amphetamine derivative with similar stimulant properties. Ice began as a major drug problem in Japan. It first appeared in Hawaii and California in the mid 1980s and has now become one of the top illicit drugs in the West and Midwest.
- What it looks like: Methamphetamine powder can be inhaled, injected, or ingested. The inhaled or ingested powder eliminates the use of a needle, is longer lasting, and is often odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Crystal, also known as crank, meth, or crystal meth on the street, is a white or yellow product easily created in amateur laboratories. Many illicit chemists have used lead acetate as a substrate for its production, which can cause severe lead poisoning. Methamphetamine can be injected for an intense high, or it can be snorted.
- What it does: After the initial stimulating rush, a state of high agitation typically ensues, which may lead to violent and dangerous behavior. "Tweaking" is the term used to describe this agitated and often psychotic state. During this time, other short term effects may include delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, and users are at the greatest risk of being a danger to themselves and others. Some of the warning signs and symptoms of stimulant addiction include the following:
- Irritability, nervousness
- Wide mood swings, depression
- Unreasonable fear, suspicion
- Significant weight loss
- Irregular sleep pattern
- Clogged, runny nose
- Neglect of work and studies
- Withdrawal from family
- Change in friends
- Loss of money
- Harmful effects: Methamphetamine highs can last up to 20 hours; heavy users may stay awake for several days. Additional health risks include heart attacks, strokes, weight loss, malnutrition, fluid buildup in the lungs, and death. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug. It can damage nerve cells, thus causing mental impairment. Withdrawal results in abdominal cramps, gastroenteritis, headache, lethargy, breathing troubles, increased appetite, and profound depression (occasionally ending in suicide).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2015
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