Methamphetamine — also called meth, chalk, crank, crystal, glass, tweak, ice, or speed — is a highly addictive illegal stimulant that comes in the form of a pill or, as is most common, a crystalline rock. It can be ingested through the nose, orally, injected as a liquid via needle, or smoked with a pipe. The drug contains several toxic ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, lye, and drain cleaner, among others.
Methamphetamine is one of the most dangerous street drugs on the black market. It stimulates the brain and body systems in such a powerful way that it often leaves users hooked after even just one encounter. Meth provides users with an initial rush or high, followed by a state of hyperactivity that can lead to violence, insomnia, anxiousness, and severe itching. These effects can last anywhere from six to twenty-four hours.
Over a long period of time, users develop a higher tolerance to this very addictive drug, which means they eventually need more of it to achieve the same initial high. Meth use also causes paranoia and hallucinations. Memory loss, psychotic behavior, sores, rotting teeth known as “meth mouth,” and damage to the brain and heart are also side effects that occur from chronic meth use, not to mention the deep emotional and psychological damage to the user.
Several books, television shows, and movies have been created that explore the effects of methamphetamine use, most notably, the Crank book series by Ellen Hopkins and the acclaimed AMC prime-time drama, Breaking Bad.