Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. The street version of the drug is
most often manufactured illegally in underground labs. One of the most common
manufacturing procedures is called the "cold method".
Methamphetamine is a drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain.
It is closely related chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system
effects of methamphetamine are greater. Both drugs have some medical uses,
primarily in the treatment of obesity, but their therapeutic use is limited.
The central nervous system (CNS) actions that result from taking even small
amounts of methamphetamine include increased wakefulness, increased physical
activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, hyperthermia, and euphoria.
Other CNS effects include irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions,
anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Hyperthermia and convulsions can result
Methamphetamine is also known as "speed" or "crystal" when it is swallowed
or sniffed; as "crank" when it is injected; and as "ice" or "glass" when it
is smoked. Ice is clear chunky crystals that resemble ice. All forms of methamphetamine
are extremely dangerous and induce long-lasting, debilitating effects. Methamphetamine
has a high potential for abuse and dependence.
Side effects of methamphetamine use include irritability, nervousness, insomnia,
nausea, hot flashes, dryness of the mouth, sweating, palpitations, and hypertension.
Excessive doses can produce mental confusion, severe anxiety, and paranoia.
Continued moderate to chronic use may lead to physical dependence and even
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug under Federal regulations, meaning it
has a high potential for abuse with severe liability to cause dependence.
During World War II, methamphetamine was used by soldiers as an aid to fight
fatigue and enhance performance. In Japan, intravenous methamphetamine abuse
reached epidemic proportions immediately after World War II, when supplies
stored for military use became available to the public. See Designer Drugs
and Methamphetamine Analogs.