Frequently Asked Questions

What is Methamphetamine Abuse?

Methamphetamine, known on the street simply as “meth,” “crystal” or “ice,” is a powerfully addictive stimulant that has become increasingly abused in America. It is currently the fastest growing drug threat and the most prevalent synthetic drug manufactured in the U.S. In its powder form, the drug is eaten or snorted through the nose. A liquid form of the drug can be injected, and a gummy form can be smoked.
Since meth is highly addictive, people who are dependent on the drug are unable to control their use of it. They feel sick or irritable without the drug and need greater doses of it to reach the effect they desire. When they try to stop using meth, they experience symptoms of withdrawal, including sleeplessness, fatigue, mood swings and depression.

Your Brain. In the short term, meth causes mind and mood changes such as anxiety, euphoria and depression. Long-term effects can include chronic fatigue, paranoid or delusional thinking and permanent psychological damage. People under the influence of methamphetamine should be considered very dangerous. Because of the extreme levels of paranoia associated with methamphetamine use, addicts often think that they’re being watched or followed or that others are conspiring against them.

Your Body. Overdosing on any type of stimulant is risky. Creating a false sense of energy, these drugs push the body faster and further than it’s meant to go. It increases the heart rate, blood pressure and risk of stroke.

Your Teeth. A hallmark of chronic methamphetamine abuse is dental problems. Since meth is manufactured with corrosive substances, chronic meth smokers have teeth rotted to the gum line. The drug users’ teeth literally corrode away.

Your Self-Control. Meth is a powerfully addictive drug that can cause aggression and violent or psychotic behavior.

  • Do you use the drug regularly?
  • Do you think about how and when you’re going to use the drug again?
  • Do you use drugs in addition to methamphetamine?
  • Is your work or school performance affected by your drug use?
  • Are you having problems with family and friends?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to get help. Prolonged use of methamphetamine can lead to a mental state similar to schizophrenia, and the damage it does to the brain can be irreversible.

Just talking about your problems sometimes leads to new solutions. If you or someone you know needs information, guidance or help, call our Respond program at 1-800-366-1132. Respond offers confidential, caring assessments and referrals for individuals dealing with problems related to mental health issues and substance abuse. If you or a loved one are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Other Resources:
Crystal Meth Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous