What is Meth and How is it Used? - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

What is Meth and How is it Used?

Methamphetamine comes in many forms and can be smoked, snorted, orally ingested, or injected. The drug alters moods in different ways, depending on how it is taken.

Immediately after smoking the drug or injecting it intravenously, the user experiences an intense rush or "flash" that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Snorting or oral ingestion produces euphoria - a high but not an intense rush. Snorting produces effects within 3 to 5 minutes, and oral ingestion produces effects within 15 to 20 minutes.

As with similar stimulants, methamphetamine most often is used in a "binge and crash" pattern. Because tolerance for methamphetamine occurs within minutes - meaning that the pleasurable effects disappear even before the drug concentration in the blood falls significantly - users try to maintain the high by binging on the drug.

In the 1980's, "ice," a smokable form of methamphetamine, came into use. Ice is a large, usually clear crystal of high purity that is smoked in a glass pipe like crack cocaine. The smoke is odorless, leaves a residue that can be resmoked, and produces effects that may continue for 12 hours or more.

Short-term Effects Can Include:

  • Increased attention and decreased fatigue
  • Increased activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Euphoria and rush
  • Increased respiration
  • Hyperthermia

Long-term Effects Can Include:

  • Dependence and addiction psychosis - paranoia, hallucianations, mood disburbances, repetitive motor activity
  • Stroke
  • Weight loss

Source:  National Institute on Drug Abuse

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