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Methamphetamine is a schedule II controlled substance that may be prescribed to treat certain conditions or used illegally for the "high" feeling. Sometimes referred to as "meth," "speed," crystal," "crank," or a host of other street names, the drug is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system. Meth comes in the form of a crystalline powder, and has no smell but tastes bitter. It may be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected.[1]

While primarily thought of as a "street drug," methamphetamine is legally sold under the brand name Desoxyn®. Desoxyn® is used to treat ADHD in both children and adults, and may also be used as a diet pill for obese people who cannot control their eating habits. It is typically only prescribed for short periods of time to fight obesity, as it is habit-forming and has high potential for abuse.


INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero
Street names Speed, crank, meth, crystal, ice, glass, go-fast, etc. [2]
Active chemicals Pseudoephedrine, red phosphorous, anhydrous ammonia[3]
Delivery method Swallowed, injected, snorted or smoked[3]
Side effects Insomnia, headache, nausea, bowel issues, dizziness[3]
US DEA Classification Schedule II[2]
Disclaimer The information provided by PharmacyDrugGuide is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Hugh Shiebler


About Methamphetamine

The Office of Drug Control policy considers illegal methamphetamine a danger to the well-being of American communities. It is manufactured in large laboratories in the United States and abroad, and is sometimes made in small neighborhood labs as well. Meth cooks may use common household ingredients such as drug store cold medications, fertilizers and matches to create the drug.[3]

In recent years, meth users have taken to making small batches of the drug at home using a method referred to as "shake and bake." This may be a reaction to government restrictions placed on cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, one of street meth's main components. Limiting supplies of this substance makes it difficult for large laboratories to produce high amounts of methamphetamine, prompting users to make smaller purchases and create the drug using plastic bottles. This surge of "shake and bake" meth production has resulted in a rising number of burn victims, as the process produces a highly volatile substance that can explode. Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis recently reported that about 15 percent of their burn victims were injured while making methamphetamine. Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville attributes nearly 30 percent of their burn victims to "shake and bake" meth.[4]


Physiologic Effects Of Methamphetamine

Meth works by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, particularly in the regions associated with reward. This results in a euphoric rush that abusers can become addicted to. When the drug is consumed for an extended period of time, permanent changes to the brain may occur. These can include a loss of the ability to absorb verbal information, as well as decreased motor skills. Memory and emotions are also affected. While some of these effects may subside once the user stops consuming methamphetamine, others may remain for life.[1]

Methamphetamine Legal Status

Methamphetamine is categorized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that users are at high risk for physical and mental addiction even though the drug does have some medical uses. Other Schedule II controlled substances include amphetamine, which is prescribed as Adderall® or Dexedrine®; oxycodon, prescribed as Oxycontin®; and methadone.[5]

Methamphetamine Abuse

History and effects of methamphetamine.

Also See: Controlled Substances and Illegal Drugs, Sudafed Coupons, Prescription Drugs, Marijuana, Oxycodone Coupons, NIH, Adderall Side Effects, Diet Pill Side Effects, Dexedrine Side Effects



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