Methamphetamine is a drug consisting of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which are substances found in some cold medicines. It is often cut with products such as muriatic acid, ether, sulphuric acid, insecticides, solvents, fertilizers, iodine or detergents.
Methamphetamine is the most common substance in pills that are presented or sold as speed or ecstasy.
Given that methamphetamine is manufactured in clandestine labs, you can never be sure what it actually contains.
A dose of methamphetamine can contain:
Methamphetamine cut with other products
Everything else but methamphetamine
In using the drug, the person might:
Feel nothing at all
Feel what you expected to feel, either partially or completely
Feel an extremely strong effect
This effect can be dangerous, even toxic.
What it is called
Crystalized white powder (crystal meth)
Fine transparent crystals (ice)
Depending on its form, methamphetamine can be swallowed, smoked, injected or inhaled (snorted).
Effects of methamphetamine
In small doses, methamphetamine produces euphoric and stimulating effects similar to amphetamines. However, it is much stronger and more likely to create a dependency or be toxic.
Methamphetamine can cause:
Delusions of grandeur, euphoria
Excitement and stimulation
Enhanced mental capacity, increase in self-confidence and sensory perception (auditory, tactile, visual and sexual)
Grinding of teeth, which can cause damage to the mouth and teeth
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Seizures (stiff body with jerky and involuntary muscle spasms)
Risks associated with methamphetamine and possible consequences
Physical and psychological problems
Given the intensity of the effects it produces, methamphetamine can cause:
Depression leading to suicidal thoughts
Like some other synthetic drugs, methamphetamine can harm certain parts of the brain. Such damage can sometimes be permanent.
When used in the form of crystal meth, methamphetamine can also cause permanent effects in the long term:
Difficulty completing complex tasks
Symptoms of psychosis, such as delirium and paranoia
Occasionally, crystal meth can also cause:
Low blood pressure
Given that methamphetamine is stronger, the risk of developing a psychological dependence is higher than with amphetamines. Dependence can occur very quickly in people who consume the drug in the form of crystal meth.
Psychological dependence means that the user needs to take the drug more often in order to feel better about himself or herself, relax, calm down, feel stimulated or have the courage to face problems.
To learn more, read the Addiction section of Problems Associated with Alcohol Consumption and Drug Use.
Consequences associated with safety and law
Drug possession is illegal. Simply possessing a small quantity can lead to fines and a criminal record. These consequences also apply to people younger than 18. To learn more, consult the Éducaloi website .