Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “meth,” is a highly-addictive neurotoxic stimulant that is often referred to as “the most dangerous drug on earth,” due to the wide availability, ease of use, and ability to manufacture the drug out of ordinary household products. Most often, methamphetamine comes in two forms, “Crystal Meth” and “powdered meth,” both produce similar effects on the user.
Crystal methamphetamine, the more pure form of the drug also known as “ice,” “crystal,” “crystal meth,” is an opaque crystalized rock that is abused in various methods. Powdered methamphetamine, aka “speed” or “tina,” is less potent and is created to form a white, bitter-tasting, odorless powder that can be snorted, smoked, eaten, dissolved in a drink, or heated and injected.
What is common among both forms of methamphetamines is that it produces a false sense of wellbeing and happiness. It gives the user a rush, and an increase in feelings of energy, confidence, and wakefulness. These effects generally last six to eight hours, but can be sustained for upwards of twelve hours.
Methamphetamine is simply and cheaply made using various household products in about two days – start to finish. The key ingredient in methamphetamine is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, both of which are found in a wide variety of over-the-counter cold remedies. Other cheap items are used to isolate the active ingredient – pseudoephedrine or ephedrine – cook it, and process it for consumption. These readily available materials can include anhydrous ammonia, lye, and red phosphorous (found by scraping matchbook covers). Cooking meth is a dangerous pursuit as the ingredients are highly toxic and the fumes produced by “cooking meth” can lead to toxic vapors and explosions.