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What are the possible causes of ADD/ADHD behavior?


Will being ADOPTED make adolescence  harder for my child?


How can I deal with the ANGER

 in our family?


Is my teen's BEHAVIOR just normal teenage rebellion?


What do parents and teachers need to know about BULLYING?




How can I help my OVERWEIGHT



Help!  My teen is a RUNAWAY


My teen is cutting.  What do I need to know about  SELF-INJURY?


What is 'normal' teen SEXUAL BEHAVIOR and what is cause for concern?


How can I help my teen adjust to our STEPFAMILY?


What are the signs of TEEN DRINKING and SUBSTANCE ABUSE?







More Information on Meth  -  Drugs and Teen Substance Abuse

When You Lose Your Child to Drugs  - How You Can Help Your Addicted Teen



Methamphetamine is a powerfully addictive stimulant

that dramatically affects the central nervous system.



Methamphetamine is commonly known as speed, meth, chalk, Christina or Tina.  In its smoked form it is often referred to as ice, crystal, crank, and glass.  (More slang words for Meth)


It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.




The drug is made easily in clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. These factors combine to make methamphetamine a drug with high potential for widespread abuse.


Methamphetamine's chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine, but it has more pronounced effects on the central nervous system.  Like amphetamine, it causes increased activity, decreased appetite, and a general sense of well-being.


The effects of methamphetamine can last 6 to 8 hours.  After the initial "rush" or "flash," there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior.


Methamphetamine users can be identified by:

  • Signs of agitation

  • Excited speech

  • Loss of appetite

  • Increased physical activity levels

  • Dilated pupils

  • High blood pressure 

  • Shortness of breath 

  • Nausea and vomiting 

  • Diarrhea

  • Occasional episodes of sudden and violent behavior

  • Intense paranoia

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations

  • Bouts of insomnia.

  • A tendency to compulsively clean and groom and repetitively sort and disassemble objects, such as cars and other mechanical devices


Short-term effects can include:

  • Increased attention

  • Decreased fatigue

  • Increased activity

  • Decreased appetite

  • Euphoria and rush

  • Increased respiration

  • Hyperthermia


Long-term effects can include:

Dependence and addiction psychosis, such as:

  • Paranoia

  • Hallucinations

  • Mood disturbances

  • Repetitive motor activity

  • Stroke

  • Weight loss or anorexia 

Methamphetamine users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.


Methamphetamine is an increasingly popular drug at raves (all night dancing parties), and as part of a number of drugs used by college-aged students.  Marijuana and alcohol are commonly listed as additional drugs of abuse among methamphetamine treatment admissions. 


Most of the methamphetamine-related deaths (92%) reported in 1994 involved methamphetamine in combination with at least one other drug, most often alcohol (30%), heroin (23%), or cocaine (21%).


The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are cognitive behavioral interventions. These approaches are designed to help modify the person's thinking, expectancies, and behaviors and to increase skills in coping with various life stressors.


Family-focused prevention efforts have been found to have a greater impact than strategies that focus on parents only or children/adolescents only.


Support groups also appear to be helpful, along with behavioral interventions, to long-term drug-free recovery.  Helping and support organizations are listed on the FocusAS page, Substance Abuse.


To learn more about methamphetamine and other drugs of abuse, contact the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) at 1-800-729-6686.



Is There a Meth Lab in Your House?


Here are some of the materials that are used for the production of meth:

  • Coleman stove fuel

  • Iodine

  • Denatured alcohol

  • Hydriodic acid (used in disinfectants)

  • Hydrogen chloride gas

  • Lye

  • Freon

  • Pseudoephedrine (sinus decongestant)

  • Ephedrine (found in some diet herbal aids)

  • Anhydrous ammonia

  • Red phosphorus (used in fireworks and matchbook strike pads)

  • Batteries

  • Coffeepots, glass flasks

  • Coffee filters

  • Bed sheets for straining

  • Rubber gloves

  • Respirator masks

  • Styrofoam cooler

  • Duct tape

Because methamphetamine can be made with readily available inexpensive materials, there is great variation in the processes and chemicals used.  This means that the final product that is sold as "meth" may not be methamphetamine at all, but rather a highly altered chemical mixture with some stimulant-like effects.  Uncertainties about the drug's sources and the pharmacological agents used in its production make it especially difficult to determine its toxicity, and resulting consequences and symptoms.


ALERT  New Meth Formula Avoids Anti-Drug Laws ~ Recipe avoids the need for an elaborate lab



More Information


1 in 4 Teens Say Meth is Accessible, Has Benefits ~ According to a nationwide survey, nearly a quarter of teens say it would be "very easy" or "somewhat easy" to gain access to meth.  One in three teens also believes there is only a "slight risk" or "no risk" in trying meth once or twice.  Twenty-four percent of teens agreed with the statement that meth "makes you feel euphoric or very happy," while 22 percent said meth "helps you lose weight" and 22 percent said it "helps you deal with boredom."


1 in 33 Teens Admit Trying Meth ~ Students who admit to ever using meth say they first tried meth at age 12, on average.


Crystal Meth - Maximum Speed ~ While it's hard to find fault with wanting to eat less and stay awake more, wanting to do either behind a hit or two of prescription speed or crystal meth can be a bigger problem than being overweight or tired. Way bigger.


If You Think Your Teen is on Methamphetamine~ How to respond responsibly to your teen's methamphetamine use.


Jenny's Journey ~ The true story of a daughter's drug addiction with articles and helping resources.  Not even 'the good life' shields against meth abuse.


KCI - The Anti-Meth Site ~ Comprehensive site on methamphetamine, including research, letters, stories, message board, and recovery chat room.


A Madness Called Meth ~ California's social, medical, and environmental nightmare.


Meth's Deadly Buzz: The Hidden Drug Crisis ~ Though meth has been around for decades, the latest crisis has spread among white, usually rural Americans.  This Special Report from MSNBC gives a first-hand look at this drug crisis.


Yaba - Meth Pills ~ The tablets, often called by their Thai name, yaba, are a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine.  Yaba is taken orally and comes in tablets small enough to fit in the end of a drinking straw.  Yaba use, popular throughout much of Southeast and East Asia, is too new in the United States to yield much information about distribution patterns, although it is found in the Asian communities of northern California and Los Angeles areas.


Your Brain on Meth ~ Brain scans show methamphetamine abusers' brains have damage similar to dementia, as well as considerable brain inflammation.



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