Methamphetamines are stimulants, a type of drug that lets people stay awake and
do continuous activity with less need for sleep.
These drugs are made as pills, powders, or chunky crystals called ice. Ice, nicknamed
crystal meth, is a popular drug, especially with young adults and for those who go
to lots of dance clubs and parties.
Methamphetamines are swallowed, inhaled, smoked, or injected
into a vein.
What It Does:
Swallowed or snorted (also called bumping) meth give the user an intense high.
Injections create a quick but strong intense high, called a rush or a flash.
People who abuse methamphetamines feel high and full of energy. They think the
drug will allow their bodies to keep going and going. But meth is very damaging to
the body and brain, especially with repeated use.
Side effects include rapid breathing, an irregular heart rate, and increased blood
pressure. Users also complain of sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth, hot
flashes, and dizziness. Because the drug often decreases or even eliminates appetite,
it has been used as a dangerous dieting strategy for people trying to lose weight
"Meth mouth" is another risk. This severe tooth decay and gum disease often causes
teeth to break or fall out.
Long-term use can bring on brain damage that causes problems with memory and
body movements, and can cause mood swings and violent behavior.
When used in larger doses, meth can cause dangerously high body temperature, confusion,
convulsions (uncontrollable jerking body movements), and even death.