Crystal Methamphetamine

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Crystal methamphetamine or meth is a putatively highly addictive, central nervous system stimulant that can be made from products that were once easily available at local drug stores. Recipes for crystal meth vary, but the central ingredient is ephedrine or even pseudoephedrine, commonly found in over-the-counter cold medicines and diet pills.

The drug causes euphoria, intensifies emotions, alters self-esteem and increases alertness and aggression. Users feel confident and that they can accomplish anything. The drug also decreases appetite, and a lack of sleep can cause a loss of concentration, paranoia, anxiety and make users irritable. The effects can continue for eight to 12 hours after smoking the drug. An ice user, as the drug wears off, can become suicidal, depressed, anxious and have trouble sleeping.

Crystal meth increases blood pressure: most deaths from the drug are from stroke and heart attacks due to the increase in arterial pressure.

Meth in Popular Culture

  • The toxic, acidic ingredients that make up crystal methamphetamine are commonly beleived to cause a condition known as "meth mouth," characterized by rampant tooth decay, gum disease and cracks in teeth. However the medical literature on this claim is less than rock solid. See The Meth-Mouth Myth: Our Latest Moral Panic.
  • The psychological effects and physical dangers of meth were portrayed in 2002 film Spun.

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