What is Meth?

Meth is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that causes the brain to produce the chemicals adrenaline and dopamine. Adrenaline is released when you are frigtened or ready to fight. Dopamine is a cell that contains chemicals that cause the brain to feel pleasure. Amphetamines, which are almost identical to Methamphetamines, chemically, were constructed in Germany in 1887 and first produced in Japan in the early 1900's. It was used by Germany and Japan during WWII as a stimulant to increase their soldier's fighting capabilities. Because Meth has such a powerful nature, over doses of the dopamine chemical are released into the brain which causes the addictive euphoric high. This causes a problem because the brain also releases enzymes that are made to attack and destroy the excessive dopamine cells which can not be recaptured and reused by the brain. Eventually the person using the drug is deprived of dopamine and can no longer feel pleasure or motivation the way that person did before beginning to use Meth. It makes the user not care about anything but the drug. Meth users are often misdiagnosed as Schizophrenics because the symptoms of Meth use are much like Schizophrenia. It is produced in illegal clandestine laboratories.

What Meth Looks Like

Meth is a white to off-white colored powder that has a crytal-like appearance, quite like salt. It can be found in big chunks that look like thick peanut brittle. Depending on who made it and how it was made the crystals can be red, pink, yellow, green or tan. The newest and more popular form of Meth is referred to as "Ice" or "Crystal." It looks like tiny pieces of rock salt , crushed ice or small broken pieces of glass, this is where Meth gets its name. The crystal form is more potent than the powder form of Methamphetamine and is often smoked to increase the effects of the high.

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Ways Meth is Used

Meth can be ingested in several different ways. Meth, in powder form, is most often snorted or swallowed. Both powder and crystal forms of Meth can be swallowed by itself or placed in an empty vitamin capsule. "Ice" can also be crushed and snorted, smoked or injected. Users also "hot-rail" where they snort the drug through a super-heated glass pipe. All of the different methods of using Meth cause different reactions and effects. Some methods of ingestion cause the user to only feel the increased energy. Other methods produce a mind numbing roller coaster, which causes the mind to feel like it is in fast-forward. Some other methods of ingestion cause the feeling of euphoria. Often, users will smoke the "Ice" form, take an IV injection, then snort a line of Meth in an attempt to feel several of the of the different effects that Meth provides at one time. Scary, huh?

Signs of Meth Use

  • The easiest outwardly sign that someone is using Meth is rapid weightloss and a sunken-in face.
  • The user often becomes careless about how they appear and their overall physical well-being. They may not brush their teeth or shower for extended periods of time.
  • Skin will show signs of use, that could appear like severe acne on the face, neck and arms. The user's hands and nails will also be severly damaged.
  • A user's state of mind will usually change drastically. They will take on characteristics of being Obesessive-Compulsive and Schizophrenic. They will also become aggressive and paranoid of friends and family.
  • Days of staying wide awake, followed by days of sleep may also be a sign.
  • Finding materials used to smoke Meth such as: burned aluminum foil, or light bulbs, etc that have been converted into a smoking device. Small ziploc bags with residue and cut-off straws can also be a sign.

What To Do If You Think or Know That Your Child is Using Meth?

There are many good on line resources for drug abuse. A particularly good one is: http://carbc.ca/portals/0/resources/Methamphetamine.pdf, this site gives do's and don'ts of your teen and Meth use. There is also http://www.theantidrug.com/DRUG_INFO/drug_info_meth.asp, which had some more great resources and information. You may also call you regional Health Authority or the toll-free Alcohol & Drug Information & Referral Service at 1-800-663-1441.

 

Meth Lab: Meth is made from a mixture of household ingredients in an illegal clandestine lab.

 

 

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