Methamphetamine is taken orally, smoked, snorted, or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected. Smoking or injecting the drug delivers it very quickly to the brain, where it produces an immediate, intense euphoria. Because the pleasure also fades quickly, users often take repeated doses, in a “binge and crash” pattern.
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug for our youth (and adults). Stimulants are a class of drugs that can boost mood, increase feelings of well-being, increase energy, and make you more alert. But they also have dangerous effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure, and use can lead to addiction.
Because continued use of the drug decreases natural feelings of hunger, users can experience extreme weight loss. Negative effects can also include disturbed sleep patterns, hyperactivity, nausea, delusions of power, increased aggressiveness and irritability.
Other serious effects can include insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia. In some cases, use can cause convulsions that lead to death.
Learn about how you can start having conversations with your children today on the dangers associated with methamphetamine use.
Most of the methamphetamine abused in the United States is manufactured in “superlabs." But the drug is also easily made in small clandestine homes or "labs" with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medicines. To curb production of methamphetamine, pharmacies and other retail stores are required by law to keep logs of purchases of products containing pseudoephedrine; individuals may only purchase a limited amount of those products on a single day.
Methamphetamine production also involves a number of other, very hazardous chemicals. Toxicity from these chemicals can remain in the environment around a methamphetamine production lab long after the lab has been shut down, causing a wide range of health problems for people living in the area.
A child living at a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory is exposed to immediate dangers and to the ongoing effects of chemical contamination. In addition, the child may be subjected to fires and explosions, abuse and neglect, a hazardous lifestyle (including the presence of firearms), social problems and other risks.
If people suspect a meth lab or see components of meth the can call 911 or the Meth Tip Line at 1-866-Meth-Tip (1-866-638-4847).