What is Meth?

Meth is the commonly used short name for methamphetamine and it is a powerful stimulant. More and more frequently, meth is being produced illegally in homes and even cars. Meth is an extremely dangerous and addictive drug which induces long lasting and debilitating effects.

Meth is also known as “speed,” and “chalk.” In its smoked form, it is often referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” and “glass.” It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. The drug was developed early in this century from its parent drug, amphetamine, and was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. Methamphetamine’s chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine, but it has more pronounced effects on the central nervous system. Like amphetamine, it causes increased activity, decreased appetite, and a general sense of well-being. The effects of methamphetamine can last 6 to 8 hours. After the initial “rush,” there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior.