Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug typically found as a powder or a pill. Crystal methamphetamine is a form of the drug that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks. It is chemically similar to amphetamine [a drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder].
Common Names for Methamphetamine
Meth is a highly addictive substance. Because the “high” from the drug both starts and fades quickly, people often take repeated doses in a “binge and crash” pattern. In some cases, people take methamphetamine in a form of binging known as a “run,” giving up food and sleep while continuing to take the drug every few hours for up to several days.
Meth not only changes how the brain works, but also speeds up the body’s systems to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels—increasing blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates. High doses of methamphetamine can cause the body to overheat to dangerous levels. Death can result from stroke, heart attack, or multiple organ problems caused by overheating. People who repeatedly use meth may also experience anxiety, paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, and mood disturbances.
METHAMPHETAMINE ADDICTION IS TREATABLE. While there are currently no government-approved medications to treat methamphetamine addiction, behavioral therapies are effective in helping someone stop using methamphetamine and recover from substance use disorder.
Even taking a small amount of meth can cause harmful health effects. Chronic meth use can lead to many damaging, long-term health consequences, even after people stop taking it.
- irreversible blood vessel damage that may result in stroke
- rapid heart rate
- inflammation of the heart lining
- increased blood pressure
- accelerated aging of the blood vessels
- kidney failure
- kidney damage
- impaired judgment
- memory loss
- homicidal thoughts
- suicidal thoughts
- tooth decay
- broken, stained and rotting teeth
- dry mouth
- increased oral acid
- tooth loss
- teeth grinding
- liver failure
- liver disease
- Enlarged pupils
- Rapid, slowed, or irregular heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pains
- Heart attack
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Stomach pain
- Altered mental status
- Put the victim in a bath or shower.
- Leave the victim alone.
- Treat the victim with home remedies - they do not work and often delay potentially life-saving medical treatment.
- Delay calling 911 to clean up the scene.
Call 911 immediately if you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose.*
*A Good Samaritan law (63 O.S. § 2-413.1) was enacted in Oklahoma to provide immunity, under certain circumstances, to individuals seeking medical attention for someone who has overdosed.
- Inability to sleep or unusual sleep patterns
- Psychotic behaviors such as paranoia and hallucinations
- Mood swings or increased aggression
- Nervous obsessive activities, such as scratching
- Irritability, anxiety, or confusion
- Extreme anorexia
- Changes in physical appearance, including deteriorating skin and teeth
- Presence of injecting paraphernalia, such as syringes, burnt spoons, or surgical tubing