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Methamphetamine ("crystal meth") is a synthetic stimulant drug which induces a strong feeling of euphoria and is highly addictive. Pure methamphetamine is a colorless crystalline solid, sold on the streets as glass, ice, or crystal. It is also sold as less pure crystalline powder termed crank or speed. Methamphetamine was first synthesized in 1919 in Japan by chemist A. Ogata.

(S)-N,a-dimethylbenzene-ethanamine; d-N-methylamphetamine
CAS number
ATC code
Chemical formula C10H15N
Molecular weight 149.24
Bioavailability ?
Metabolism ?
Elimination half life ?
Excretion ?
Pregnancy category ?
Legal status Schedule II (USA)
Class B (oral) (UK)
Class A (injectable) (UK)
Delivery 5mg tablets
Indicated for:
Recreational uses:
Other uses:
  • ?
Side effects:
Severe: (with chronic use)


Endocrinal: Eye:
  • dilated pupils

Gastrointestinal: Neurological:
  • altered brain chemistry

Psychological: Skin: Miscellaneous:
In some instances, these substances when found on the street are diluted or cut with inert substances like mannitol or Vitamin B12. In most instances, the methamphetamine is usually of a pure nature, but diluted mainly with the chemicals that were used to synthesize it.

Table of contents
1 Production
2 Military use
3 Legality
4 Effects
5 Street names
6 Yaba
7 Books
8 See also
9 External links


Methamphetamine is structurally similar to methcathinone, amphetamine, and other CNS stimulants. The reduction of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine will produce methamphetamine.

Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride and ephedrine hydrochloride are commonly available decongestant drugs without strong euphoric effects. There are many different syntheses for conversion which can be found on the internet, although these sources are sometimes not trustworthy, and most experienced 'cooks' learned from either chemistry classes or other 'cooks' in person. The synthesis usually involves moderately dangerous chemicals which are generally used by people without laboratory training.

This can result in highly dangerous situations which can be environmental hazards, as the byproducts of production are highly toxic in most syntheses, and are sometimes dumped in unsafe places. An example is Phosphine gas, which can be produced when the reaction is allowed to overheat, and which has killed operators of illegal "clan" (clandestine_chemistry) or "meth" labs.

Methamphetamine can also be made from phenylacetone and methylamine, which are currently DEA List I chemicals.

Military use

Methamphetamine is often given to fighting troops and pilots during wartime by their government. During World War II, it was widely used by Germany and its allies under the name Pervitin. It has been recently discovered that Hitler was a methamphetamine user by IV Injection. During World War II, methamphetamine was passed out to Japanese kamikaze pilots.


Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II substance by the DEA in the United States. While there is technically no difference between the laws regarding methamphetamine and other controlled stimulants, most medical professionals are averse to prescribing it due to its status in society. Further, there is some anecdotal evidence that the DEA audits such prescriptions on a far more regular basis than similar drugs. Methamphetamine is legally marketed in the United States under the trade name Desoxyn, manufactured by Ovation Pharma. A generic formulation is also produced by Able Laboratories, Inc.

In some of the United States, manufacturing methamphetamine is punishable by a mandatory 10 year prison sentence. In some cases, however, judges have ruled for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In the UK, methamphetamine is classified as a Class B drug (under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act). The maximum penalty for possession is five years imprisonment, and the maximum penalty for supplying is 14 years. If methamphetamine is prepared for injection, it is re-classified as a Class A drug. The maximum penalty for possession is then seven years imprisonment, and the maximum penalty for supplying is life.


Methamphetamine can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected. The potential for addiction is a greater when it is delivered to the brain in a quicker manner, as seen with nicotine or cocaine addiction.

A dose of methamphetamine will usually keep the user awake with a feeling of euphoria for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours depending on how much is ingested.

Users often experience feelings of extreme power in their minds. This power is usually not false when the user starts off the day's use with a good night's sleep. The initial methamphetamine high is usually very clean; meaning that it makes you think faster, and on a higher, clearer level. It is only after sleep deprivation sets in that the methamphetamine user begins to get confused, or starts 'losing control'.

Jaw clenching is a common side effect of methamphetamine; this is one reason why methamphetamine addicts lose their teeth so fast. Twitching, jitteriness, and repetitive behavior are other common side effects of methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine is commonly smoked in glass pipes, or in tin foil without direct flame. Methamphetamine must be heated to put off the desired smoke; not burned. Smoking methamphetamine is probably the most impure form of ingestion, since it is very damaging to the lungs. Methamphetamine users who smoke it sometimes experience mild asthma, which can be helped by inhaling salbutamol aerosol, or epinephrine aerosol. Methamphetamine is a powerful nasal decongestant, so methamphetamine users who snort it often have very clear nasal cavities. It is debated what the healthiest form of ingestion is for methamphetamine -- many users believe that the cleanest form of ingestion is by injection. Methamphetamine is soluble in water, injection users usually dose 0.2 grams in 3ml of water through a small needle.

Street names

Methamphetamine has many street names, including glass, ice, or crystal for purer forms, or as less pure crystalline powder termed crank or speed. "Crystal meth" is the crystalline form of methamphetamine. In its purest form, it is commonly referred to as "glass" or "ice". This is because it appears to be broken shards of glass, or crushed ice. The term ice has also been used for a less common illicit stimulant, 4-methylaminorex, which often causes confusion.

Nazi Dope generally refers to methamphetamine made with anhydrous ammonia, since it is rumored that this was the way the Nazis synthesized it in World War II. This same method is sometimes called annie's dope or just annie.


Yaba are methamphetamine tablets, often colored and candy flavored. Yaba means "crazy drug" in the Thai language and is popular in East Asia and Southeast Asia, where the drug is produced.


See also

External links

Meth is also the Hebrew word for death.

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