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Methamphetamine
Basics
by Erowid
DESCRIPTION #
Methamphetamine is a stimulant chemical commonly used as a recreational drug. It is legally prescribed as a treatment for ADD under the brand name Desoxyn, for both children and adults. On the street, it is generally found as an odorless, white or off-white, bitter-tasting powder, though it is also found in pills, capsules and larger crystals. It is frequently snorted, but is also used orally, smoked, and injected.

Methamphetamine production is a relatively simple process, especially when compared to many other recreational drugs. It is frequently reported on in the media when home meth-producing labs are busted.
Dose #
Dose Summary Needed.
Price #
Methamphetamine is sold for $100-300 USD retail per gram for good quality crystals and $50-100 USD for wholesale or friend prices.
Methamphetamine is Schedule II in the United States, meaning that it is illegal to buy, sell, or possess without a prescription. It is legally controlled in most countries, although it has medical uses, so it is also available by prescription in many places.
Powder methamphetamine is the hydrochloride salt form which is strongly hygroscopic (absorbs water from the air quickly). The HCl salt is smokable as is. Crystal meth "Crystal Meth" or "Ice" refer to methamphetamine grown into crystals. Though many people believe that Crystal Meth is the freebase form of methamphetamie HCl, this is not true. Methamphetamine is smokable in its normal HCL form, but taking the time to grow it into crystals makes it easier to smoke. Meth in visible crystals (rather than powder) is likely to be relatively pure as it is difficult to grow crystals from impure material. Methamphetamine freebase is an oil and is uncommon on the street.
Pharmacology #
Pharmacology Summary Needed.
Production #
The production of Methamphetamine is a fairly simple process which makes it easy to produce in makeshift home laboratories.
While Amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887 in Germany, methamphetamine wasn't synthesized until 1919 in Japan.
Terminology / Slang #
The Substance:
Methamphetamine; Meth; Crystal Meth; Speed; Ice; Crank; Tweek or Tweak; Glass; Uppers; Yaba (Pill Form); Shabu Shabu (Pill Form).
The Experience:
Tweaking.
Effects Summary Needed.
Onset #
Oral use takes about half an hour to produce effects. When smoked, effects are almost instantaneous, and nearly as quick when snorted.
Duration #
4-8 hours when smoked.
Visual Effects #
Visuals Summary Needed.
PROBLEMS #
Methamphetamine use generally increases the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and rate of breathing of the user. Chronic use can lead to what is called 'Amphetamine Psychosis', resulting in paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, self-absorption, irritability, aggressive and erratic behavior, and picking at the skin. This can be magnified by lack of sleep which often accompanies heavy use of meth.

Methamphetamine is an anorexant, meaning it causes most people to lose interest in food. This is considered a benefit for many light users, but in regular or heavy users can lead to malnutrition. Methamphetamine is also believed to be neurotoxic.
Contraindications #
  • Do not take Methamphetamine if you are currently taking an MAOI. MAOIs are most commonly found in the prescription anti-depressants Nardil (phenelzine), Parnate (tranylcypromine), Marplan (isocarboxazid), Eldepryl (l-deprenyl), and Aurorex or Manerix (moclobemide). Ayahuasca also contains MAOIs (harmine and harmaline). MAOIs and Methamphetamin are a potentially dangerous combination. Check with your doctor if you are not sure whether your prescription medication is an MAOI.
  • Individuals with heart disease (i.e. arteriosclerosis, hypertension) should be extremely careful as Methamphetamine use can cause increased demands on the heart. Intoxication can lead to hypertension that is refractory to treatment and even sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Research shows that amphetamines used during pregnancy may decrease the birthweight of the baby as well as increasing the likelihood of cardiac abnormalities (heart problems) and possibly other birth defects.
  • Methamphetamine is believed to be transferred through breast milk, so use while breast feeding is a bad idea.
Addiction Potential #
Methamphetamine causes significant tolerance, as well as psychological dependence. This combination can be particularly bad because the user is likely to have strong cravings for more meth, while at the same time being unable to reach a satisfactory high. Withdrawal from high doses can produce severe depression.
Long Term Health Problems #
Long Term Health Problems Summary Needed.
Risk of Death #
Risk of Death Summary Needed.
CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid Basics pages are summaries of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, books, websites, and other resources. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but the field is complex and constantly changing. Information should always be verified through multiple sources.