Methamphetamines are a type of stimulant, which means it increases a user’s energy level. There are legal and illegal types of amphetamines. An example of a legal methamphetamine is Ritalin and an example of an illegal type of methamphetamine is “speed” (Parlons Drogue).
- Since methamphetamines can produce a powerful and intense high, users often suffer a “crash” when coming off the drug which brings on physical consequences (Parlons Drogue).
Tablets: pill, pep pill, wake-up, speed, peach, peanut, pink
Powder: Crystal, chalk
Crystalline: Crystal Meth, crank, ice, tina, glass (RCMP: Drug Indentification Chart)
How it works
Methamphetamines travel to the brain through the bloodstream. Once in the brain, they release a chemical that is responsible for “pleasure”, which explain the “high” created by the drug.
Methamphetamines can be swallowed, smoked, injected or snorted. The timeline for the effects depends on the method of ingestion and the amount ingested.
Methamphetamines produce an increased alertness and energy. For example, someone might become very talkative and excited; they will feel good, powerful and superior. It can also cause rapid heart beat, irregular breathing and increased blood pressure. In large doses, meth can cause tremors, paranoia, frightening hallucinations and can even result in death.
Long-term use of meth could also result in malnutrition, amphetamine psychosis and other physiological conditions such as kidney, lung and heart failure. The use of syringes also increases the chance of severe infections such as HIV and Hepatitis.
When methamphetamines start to wear-off, the user enters the phase called “tweaking”, which involves a combination of anxiety, irritability, aggression, paranoia and hallucinations. These individuals are at high risk for injury or violence (Health Canada).
Tolerance and Dependence
Most users of meth have no idea how addicting the drug can be until after they become addicted themselves. Your body becomes dependent on it very fast. When a person quits using meth, the withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe. Physical and psychological symptoms can include: extreme tiredness, restlessness, dry mouth, headaches, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, paranoia, loss of motivation and energy, etc.
In Canada, methamphetamines are governed by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Unlawful possession, traffic, production, and any other related drug activities are considered criminal offences.
What you can do
If you have more questions regarding methamphetamines, please talk to your doctor, community health center, a parent and/or school counsellor. If you or someone you know has an addiction to amphetamines, call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868; they will know how to help you to where to guide you for help.