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Methamphetamine (Desoxyn, Methylamphetamine) is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and is taken orally, intra nasally (snorting the powder), by needle injection, or by smoking. It increases wakefulness and physical activity and decreases appetite. Chronic, long-term use can lead to psychotic behavior, hallucinations, stroke or heart attack.
Crystal meth is an addictive stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine, but has longer lasting and more toxic effects on the central nervous system. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and is taken orally, intra nasally (snorting the powder), by needle injection, or by smoking. It increases wakefulness and physical activity and decreases appetite. Chronic, long-term use can lead to psychotic behavior, hallucinations, stroke or heart attack.
There are generally five ways to use methamphetamine;oral, injection, insufflation, smoking, and plugging.
People generally have a preferred ROA, and it's usually their favorite either because of the bioavailability, or the ritual.
Smoking- Methamphetamine is smoked, either out of a glass bowl and stem, or off of some kind of foil. This is the most common ROA due to it's high bioavailability(~90.3%) without the risks of injection, or the discomfort of insufflation or plugging.
Insufflation- Just as snorting most other substances, This produces a quick but short lived peak followed by a few hours of coasting. the bioavailability is a surprisingly low ~79%.
Injection- This is a popular ROA among long time users for it's quick intense rush and the 100% bioavailability. The risks of injecting street methamphetamine are very high. A regular user is at risk of developing pulmonary embolism (PE), a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches, and commonly develop skin rashes (also known as "speed bumps") or infections at the site of injection. One also risks putting "cut" into their veins when this is done.
Oral- This ROA is often used for it's discreet nature. Users will sometimes empty Tylenol capsules and fill them with Methamphetamine for public use. This is the safest way to ingest methamphetamine, presenting the least amount of risk factors. The only common factor being the substance itself, not taking into consideration each persons individual risk factors. Oral bioavailability of methamphetamine is ~62.7.
Plugging- This is a very uncommon ROA, due to the natural stigma of it. Using methamphetamine as a suppository involves inserting the drug into the anal or vaginal cavity via capsule, putting the product directly into the cavity, or dissolving it in water and injecting it with a hypodermic syringe with the needle removed. Some users report increased sexual satisfaction due to this ROA. The drug will have a fairly easy onset with a high peak, a long coast and an easy comedown. The bioavailability of suppository methamphetamine use is ~99%
The effects of methamphetamine can vary greatly from user to user when compared to other drugs. This is mainly due to variations in how the product is produced, as well as the large range of quality from one batch to another. Different types of crystal meth, and quality of crystal meth can greatly differ from country to country, and more specifically, even city to city. Meth can also provide different effects depending on the route of administration used.
Since users of meth often stay awake for long periods of time, the effects experienced during the inital onset can be quite different than the effects experienced during the end of a methamphetamine binge. Methamphetamine can offer a wide range of effects, many of which are considered beneficial to the user, and many of which are considered to be a detriment.
Many of the effects of meth can also be caused by sleep deprivation or poor eating habits. Meth causes sleep deprivation and poor eating habits, and these would be considered direct causes of meth use. Any effects manifested from lack of sleep or poor nutrition would be considered secondary or indirect causes of meth use, though ultimately they are caused by meth.
The following is a list of effects that a typical user would consider to be beneficial. Some users however do not share the same desire when it comes to effects, therefore the following can possibly considered detriments to some users. Also, as previously mentioned, not everyone should expect to experience meth in the same way as another person. Methamphetamine may or may not provide any of the following effects.
Euphoria, and a general sense of well being.
Increased mental alertness, focus, and clarity.
Creative stimulation (i.e. music, writing, art)
Increased libido. Some users experience a very significant increase of sexuality.
Wakefulness. Users can even stay up for a week at a time, or even longer in some cases.
Decreased appetite, which in turn often leads to rapid weight loss.
Increased desire for social engagement.
Decrease of stress and anxiety. Users often feel carefree.
Increased interest in tasks that would otherwise be uninteresting.
The following is a list of effect that are generally perceived as detrimental, and are not usually desired by a typical user. Many of these effects are experienced during the end of a binge or during the comedown, and other effects may not manifest until long term use.
Strong, rapid heart beat.
Muscle spasms, and "shakiness"
Depression, and a feeling of "hopelessness" (Generally only experienced during the comedown)
Dehydration, meth causes user to not feel thirsty which leads to lack of fluid intake.
Excessive weight loss
Feeling excessively carefree. Users can lack care for important issues like death, work, or relationships.
Dry mouth. This is believed to be the main cause of rapid tooth decay or "meth mouth".
Paranoia, sometimes to an extremely unreasonable extent.
Irritability and moodiness.
Aggressiveness, whether verbally or physically.
Suicidal thoughts or actions.
Can trigger psychotic episodes, or delusional thoughts. The threshold for falling into a psychotic state can be very low for some users, and may not be experienced ever by other users.
*Can be positive to some users purely due to fascination.
Serious Health Effects:
Methamphetamine's have not been in popular usage for as long as most other mainstream drugs. Because of this, the long term effects of meth aren't as well understood as they are for other drugs. The following are serious health effects that are caused by meth. The frequency, and probability of experiencing these effects are not yet fully understood.
Lung and kidney complications, which can be fatal.
Meth can wreak havoc on ones circulatory system, and can increase likelihood of heart attack.
Meth can spawn permanent mental disorders in some cases.
Weakened immune system.
Joint and muscle pain.
Methamphetamine is generally found in one of two optical isomers, or a mix of the two, called a racemic mixture. The configuration is relative to the order of placement of the groups on a chiral carbon of the compound.
The D and L are the optical isomers associated with methamphetamine and are defined based on how polarized light deflects them. The deflection of light is either positive (dextrorotory) or negative (levorotatory). These isomers do not change the entire configuration of the molecule, but do change the order in which they make the molecule appear in a 3D image of the compound. These two isomers are also found in MDMA and amphetamine and are often dictated by the manufacture process and the intermediates used in that process.
Ephedrine used as a precursor to meth will produce the less desired l-methamphetamine, whereas methamphetamine produced with P2P (phenylacetone), will produce the longer lasting, psychoactive d-methamphetamine. Old timers in the meth scene will attest to the desire of using d-meth over the more commonly found l-methamphetamine.
The way the different isomers of meth effect the body is relative to the way they bind to the receptors on the brain as d-meth will bind more efficiently than the l-meth. When the remnants of l-meth does not bind as nicely as d-meth, it is metabolized faster than the d-meth (which is still hard at work pleasuring the user) and is broken down faster to hydroxyl substituted compounds and excreted out of the body faster.
Meth can be found in different physical consistencies. These are relative to the way the chemist (or cook in most cases) goes about forming the crystal during the last stage of the production process. Meth that is powdery in consistency is likely produced when the freebase oil of meth is gassed into the hydrochloride salt of the compound. Meth that is produced by acid titration will yield a more solid crystal of the compound. If however, the methamphetamine that is gassed out of solution from the freebase oil is recrystallized using a solvent (generally methanol) the result is a dense crystal rock, similar to that of rock candy.
Meth that has a color to it, is not considered to be "pure" meth, as a impurity has resulted. A prime example is the blue meth depicted in AMC's hit T.V show Breaking Bad. In this example, a food coloring agent has been added during the final stage of crystallization. In this scenario, the purity is decreased so little, it could still be considered "pure" meth, as it's negligible due to the small amount used.
Other colors, such as pink or slight green could also be a coloring agent, but likely un-reacted precursor or intermediate used in the manufacturing process. -HOH
We begin with the discovery in China of a stimulant that was in a rare herb called Ma huang. This stimulant was used in Chinese medicine for over 5000 years. Its not until the late 1800 that scientists are able to isolate the source of the stimulation. Nagayoshi Nagai was able to isolate ephedrine as the source of the stimulant properties of the Ma huang. 2 years later in 1887 Lazar Edelano is able to synthesis an ephedrine like amphetamine called phenyisopropylamine. This and other findings and experiments lead to the creation of Methamphetamine in 1893 by none other than the one able to isolate the ephedrine to begin with, chemist Nagayoshi Nagai. Its not until 26 years later that Akira Ogata was able to create crystallized Methamphetamine.
American Gordon Alles of UCLA is able to reproduce Edelanos results and synthesise phenyisopropylamine in America. This patent is then sold to Smith, Kline and French and marketed as Benzedrine. The public is able to freely abuse Benzedrine throughout the great depression and WWII. Benzedrine is reformulated into tablet form as a treatment for narcolepsy in 1937 and one year later Methamphetamine is released to the German public as Pervitin. Most countries involved in WWII on both sides experimented and gave Meth to soldiers to increase alertness for long missions and battles. This was taking place in the late 30s and quietly at present day methamphetamine and amphetamines are used by most militaries throughout the world.
The first meth epidemic takes place in Japan between 1945-50 it spreads to Guam and the US Marshal islands. Later on in the 50s and 60s meth is marketed throughout the world as pep pills and sold for non-medical reasons. Also in the 50s Methamphetamine was used by Korean doctors to treat soldiers morphine addiction not to mention during the 60s that San Francisco drug clinics prescribed injections of Methamphetamine to treat heroin abuse.
It wasnt until 1970 that the US Congress decided to regulate Methamphetamine and other drugs Through passage of the Controlled Substances Act (basically the beginning of the drug war) this had an effect of forcing use and creation of the drug underground. It was during the 1980s that new syntheses were discovered and smokeable forms of the drug were introduced to the world. This went on into the 1990s when The US Congress again moved on Methamphetamine when in 1996 the comprehensive Methamphetamine control act was passed regulating mail orders and the precursors necessary to produce Methamphetamine.
As of 2000 to present The US and the World have chosen Methamphetamine as the hard drug of choice, surpassing Crack Cocaine and Heroin
Popularity of Methamphetamine over time:
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