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Methamphetamine is a powerful upper. The speedy high is similar to cocaine, but unlike cocaine, the effects of this drug can last for up to 12 hours.
Methamphetamine comes as a powder that can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected. It also comes as a crystal form, which is usually smoked. The crystal form is often called "crystal meth" or "tina." Other nicknames for methamphetamine include "speed" or "meth." (Don't confuse this last nickname with methadone, which is also referred to as "meth.")
People who use methamphetamine like it because it gives them energy and makes them feel confident, alert and strong for many hours. Some like it because it makes them feel sexy. And some like it because it takes away their appetite and they feel like they don't need to eat.
Methamphetamine is made in "backroom" or "home" labs. Not everyone who makes the drug makes it the same way. It's impossible to know how powerful the drug is or what has been used to make it. Some people make it with ingredients from batteries, cleaning fluids and antifreeze, which are poisonous. Taking methamphetamine that was made with toxic chemicals has seriously harmed some people.
Methamphetamine turns on a part of the brain that gives pleasure. It can make you feel great. The problem is that such a powerful drug also has some not-so-great and even dangerous effects. Using methamphetamine, even just once, can:
Using a lot of methamphetamine or using it for a long time can:
If you use needles to take methamphetamine, you risk spreading or catching hepatitis or HIV. Using needles can also let germs enter your body, which can cause infections in your brain, bones, heart and blood.
For some people, sex and methamphetamine go together. The problem is that people who are high on methamphetamine are at greater risk to spread HIV and other diseases because they are:
Some men who use methamphetamine regularly find that they can no longer have an erection.
You may be hooked on methamphetamine if you:
Yes! Treatment works for problems with methamphetamine. Group or individual counseling, or a stay at a drug treatment center, helps people cut down or get off methamphetamine completely.
If you choose to stay off methamphetamine, try to avoid using other drugs (including alcohol) and keep in contact with your group or counselor for a long time after you've stopped using.
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