August 28, 2010 Kim Goldman

Methamphetamine (AKA Speed, Ice, Chalk, Meth, White cross, Poor man’s cocaine, Hot ice, L.A. glass, Crystal, Crank, Fire, Glass, Tweak) is a toxic, highly addictive stimulant that affects several areas of the central nervous system.

Initially, meth was synthesized between the two world wars and was used as a military drug to give soldiers more energy and increased alertness.

During the 50’s and 60’s, meth was widely used to combat depression and cause weight loss. However, due to the adverse side effects of the drug, it was removed from the market. Meth is highly addictive.

What does it look like?

Meth can be found in several forms.
It is white, odorless, and tastes bitter.
It can be snorted, injected, orally ingested, or smoked.

What are the immediate effects?

  • Agitation
  • Excited Speech
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased activity levels
  • Increased breathing and heart rate

What are the long-term effects?

  • Cardiac and Neurological damage
  • Increased risk for contracting infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV (if injected)
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Memory loss
  • Significant reductions in dopamine transporters
  • Addiction

Yes, teens are using methamphetamines.  A recent survey found:

8th Grade 10th Grade 12th Grade
Lifetime** 1.6% 2.8% 2.4%
Past Year 1.0 1.6 1.2
Past Month 0.5 0.6 0.5

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