What is Methamphetamine?

Courtesy of Godoy Medical Forensics


Methamphetamine is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system resulting in increased levels of alertness and energy, a sense of euphoria, and decreased appetite. This allows the user to become highly productive for prolonged periods of time. It has been used in wars from World War II to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan to help soldiers fight fatigue. Desoxyn, a FDA-approved methamphetamine prescription medication, is legally used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), obesity that is unresponsive to alternate therapies, and narcolepsy, a disorder of extreme sleepiness with daytime sleeping episodes. However, the benefits of this medication quickly became abused.

Meth has many common street names including; but not limited to: crank, crystal, ice, poor man’s cocaine, speed, stove top, tweak, chalk, glass, and yellow bam. It is inhaled, snorted, swallowed, and injected. Smoking and injecting this drug produces intense, but brief feelings of a rush. Parachuting meth involves ingesting a small bag filled with the drug which is then slowly absorbed in the body resulting in a prolonged effect. Oral ingestion and snorting provide a longer lasting high that can last half a day. As the body adjusts to the methamphetamine and its side effects, higher doses of the drug are continuously required in order to maintain the user’s expected level of euphoria and productivity leading to addiction.