Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine. It is long lasting and toxic to dopamine nerve terminals in the central nervous system. It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder taken orally or by snorting or injecting, or a rock "crystal" that is heated and smoked.
Speed, meth, chalk, ice, crystal, glass
Methamphetamine increases wakefulness and physical activity, produces rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure and body temperature. Long-term use can lead to mood disturbances, violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and severe dental problems. All users, but particularly those who inject the drug, risk infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Statistics and Trends
In 2009, 1.2 million Americans age 12 and older had abused methamphetamine at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Web Site). The NIDA-funded 2010 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 1.2% of 8th graders, 1.6% of 10th graders, and 1.0% of 12th graders had abused methamphetamine at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: Monitoring the Future (University of Michigan Web Site).
Get more information on K2/Spice, Salvia and Bath Salts. NIDA will update this page with the latest research findings on these and other emerging drugs as they develop.
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As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.