Also known as “crystal meth” methamphetamine is part of the amphetamine family of stimulant drugs. It is a commonly used drug in the USA but use in the UK is ever increasing. Usually crystal meth is smoked in glass pipes in a similar way to crack cocaine. It can be injected either dry or dissolved in water and some people snort or swallow it.
Crystal meth is highly addictive and is one of the chemsex drugs. Some of the effects people experience when using include euphoria, increased energy, alertness, happiness and increased sex drive. The effects may last as long as 12 hours. Females often take methamphetamines because it can cause rapid weight loss; however the risks are short-term as the body builds up a tolerance to the drug so weight loss tapers off and stops within weeks after taking the drug.
There are many risks of taking methamphetamines including:
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Agitation, panic, irritability and confusion
- Increased blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate which could all lead to heart attacks
- Addiction; once people start using crystal meth, they find it difficult to stop
- Withdrawal symptoms such as depression which can also lead to difficulty in finding pleasure in anything else than using drugs
- “Meth Mouth” where teeth rapidly decay and fall out
- Drug-related psychosis which can last for months or years after you’ve stopped using
- The come down from crystal meth can be severe and people often use more of the drug to avoid it, which leads to an even bigger addiction. In some cases people use other substances like alcohol or heroin so the come down isn’t as bad, which creates a secondary addiction and the whole problem becomes bigger.