Call us today
At American Addiction Centers, we strive to provide the most up-to-date and accurate medical information on the web so our readers can make informed decisions about their healthcare.
Our reviewers are credentialed medical providers specializing in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the medically reviewed badge ( Medically Reviewed Badge ) on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate or out-of-date, please let us know at ContactAAC@ContactAAC.com.
A stimulant that is very addictive, methamphetamine can have harmful effects.1-6 Meth misuse is a serious issue in America.6 A type of methamphetamine called crystal methamphetamine may look similar to “rocks” that are blue-white in color and shiny or similar to little pieces of glass.1,2,3 Crystal meth doesn’t have a smell.3
However, methamphetamine can be prescribed as the brand name medicine Desoxyn for treating ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as well as obesity.4,5 Meth is classified as a Schedule II drug; being a Schedule II drug means that a drug has a high potential of being abused and using it may result in a person becoming severely mentally or physically dependent on the drug.7
People may use different names to refer to methamphetamine, such as “speed”, “crank”, or “tweak”.2,8 “Crystal glass”, “L.A. ice”, “Tina”, “crystal”, “shards”, “hot ice”, and “blade” are some street names used to refer to crystal meth.3
A person might smoke crystal meth with a glass pipe or inject it.3
When a person uses meth, it can trigger a lot of dopamine to be released in parts of the brain involved with reward, and this then causes the person to want to use meth again.2,9 It is not well understood precisely how substances like meth cause a “high”, or euphoria.9
Methamphetamine is able to impact an individual’s judgment and lower an individual’s inhibitions; meth could lead an individual to act hazardously, such as sexual actions that are risky.2,10-13 Meth also might raise a person’s libido.10,11,13 Thus, meth can make a person’s risk of catching or passing on hepatitis and HIV/AIDS higher even if the person does not inject it. 2,3,10-15
In the short-term, methamphetamine may have effects such as:2,5,8,9,16,17
A meth overdose might cause heart attack, overheating, problems with organs, convulsions, and stroke, and a meth overdose could kill a person.2,4,5,9 If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on meth, call 911 right away.
Possible results of using meth long-term may include:2,17
If an individual stops using meth, a “crash” or withdrawal may be experienced, and symptoms such as cravings, anxiousness, depression, tiredness, and psychosis may occur.2,8,14,18
Methamphetamine use disorder is a stimulant use disorder where methamphetamine is the stimulant used.18
Possible symptoms of a stimulant use disorder include:18
*If a person is only using stimulant medicines under suitable medical oversight, neither tolerance nor withdrawal are considered symptoms of a stimulant use disorder.18
Motivational incentives and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are two types of behavioral therapies that could be utilized to treat an individual’s addiction to meth.2 If you may be struggling with an addiction, talk to a healthcare provider.19 If you think that another individual may have an addiction but the individual does not want to get help, encourage the individual to see a healthcare provider for an assessment.20