About Meth | Information and Treatment Resources
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About Meth

About MethLooking for information about meth? We have compiled the most up to date relevant information about meth for your review. Meth is a powerfully intense stimulant that creates an euphoric and energetic feeling. It releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. A cocaine high lasts about 15-20 minutes, while a meth high lasts 2-14 hours.

Methamphetamine is referred to by many names including meth, speed, crank, chalk, go-fast, zip and cristy. Let’s learn more about meth use. It can be a whitish or pale yellow crystal-like powder that can be chewed, ingested, injected, snorted or smoked. Pure methamphetamine hydrochloride, the smokeable form of the drug, is called "L.A." or - because of its clear, chunky crystals which resemble frozen water - "ice," "crystal," 64glass," or "quartz." Since the 1980s, ice has been smuggled from Taiwan and South Korea into Hawaii, where use became widespread by 1988. By 1990, distribution of ice had spread to the U.S. mainland.

Here is the scoop about meth and how it affects those who use this dangerous drug. Meth is highly addictive, personality altering and can cause violent, bizarre behavior. Other effects on the central nervous system include irritability, insomnia, confusion and paranoia. Meth robs the body of calcium and appears to have a neurotoxic effect, damaging brain cells that contain dopamine and serotonin, another neurotransmitter. Over time meth appears to cause reduced levels of dopamine, which can result in symptoms like those of Parkinson's disease and type-two schizophrenia. Meth causes increased heart rate and blood pressure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes. Other effects of meth include respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat and extreme anorexia. Its use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death.

Now we will learn about meth production. The processing required to make methamphetamine from precursor substances is easier and more accessible than ever. There are literally thousands of recipes and information about meth making on the Internet. An investment of a few hundred dollars in over-the-counter medications and chemicals can produce thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine. The drug can be made in a makeshift "lab" that can fit into a suit case. The average meth "cook" annually teaches ten other people how to make the drug. Clandestine labs known as "mom and pop" labs are found in rural, city and suburban residences. This includes barns, garages and other outbuildings,  back rooms of businesses, apartments, hotel and motel rooms, storage facilities, vacant buildings and vehicles.

Want to know about meth costs? The cost of meth varies according to several factors, including purity of the drug, the region in which it is sold, the source of the drug (local product vs. imported) and availability of the drug. As of September 2005 the approximate prices were:

  • $25 per 1/4 gram
  • $50 per 1/2 gram
  • $ 100 per gram
  • $300  per 8-Ball (3 1/2 grams)
  • $1700 per ounce
    • Experts estimate that one ounce of meth equals about 110 meth "hits."

Information about meth users, who are they? There are two basic profiles of users reported by law enforcement and treatment providers:

  • students, both high school and college age; and
  • white, blue-collar workers and unemployed persons in their 20s and 30s

Use is widely prevalent in both urban and rural areas and equally divided among males and females. Women are more likely to use methamphetamine than cocaine.  Some areas are seeing an increase in the number of Hispanic and Native American meth users, though whites are still the most dominant users of the drug. On a recent internet survey about meth use, 544 respondents reported they had used meth. Here are the survey’s findings:

  • Under 18 years old 24%
  • 18-23 years old 35%
  • 23-30 years old 19%
  • 30-40 years old 13%
  • Over 40 years old 6%

The drug is becoming more popular among persons 18 years and younger, as studies show teenagers perceive methamphetamine as safer, longer lasting and easier to buy than cocaine. The "Monitoring the Future" survey, which measures the extent of drug use among U.S. adolescents, found methamphetamine use among high school seniors more than doubled between 1990 and 1996. In addition, law enforcement officials have caught teens as young as 14- and 15-year-olds using and selling the drug.

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