There are three different types of Amphetamines: speed,meth-amphetamines,and ice. Speed is cheap and the less potent of the three because of its low purity percentage. Meth-amphetamines is almost twice as stronger and therefore more potent than speed. It is called meth-amphetamines because there's an extra hydrogen group attached to it. Its effects last longer (about 8 to 12 hours). Ice which is the most potent of the 3 is very pure meth (almost 100% purity). It is called ice because it resembles white crystal rocks.
Methamphetamine also referred to as meth, chalk, crystal, crank, glass, speed and ice on the street can be traced to large scale production of amphetamine in the 1930s. It was first made in Japan. In early 1930s, amphetamines were medically prescribed for a variety of clinical conditions including epilepsy, asthma, obesity, narcolepsy, schizophrenia and hyperactivity especially in children.
During World War II meth was used to help soldiers stay awake not to mention productive, and much later by drivers on long-distance operations. After the World War, use of meth became almost an epidemic in Japan, as supplies meant for the military were made available on the black market. After the tightening of laws and regulations to reduce supply people naturally turned to illegally produced meth. It was during this time that the addictive properties of meth were recognized.
In late 1960s and early 1970s, intravenous meth became increasingly accessible and so did concerns about the buoyant increase in popularity of the meth drug. This led to even more severe restrictions. Subsequently, the market for illicit meth grew as prices increased. During the beginning of the 1980s, a more potent form of the methamphetamine became widely available. This contributed heavily to re-emergence of the meth in the 1990s after it had faded away to near oblivion in 1975.
Today methamphetamine is cheap to acquire and easily accessible. This has contributed to meth being used extensively in both urban and rural areas.
Chemically methamphetamine exists in 2 major forms: l-methamphetamine and d-methamphetamine. The 2 forms have been combined to produce d1-meth, another form of methamphetamines. Another form of D-methamphetamine (also d-meth) was synthesized in the 1990s in the US. An important distinction between the 2 addictive doses of drugs is that new d-meth uses pseudoephedrine or ephedrine as the precursor. This new form was almost twice as strong as its predecessor and comparatively easier to produce.
Methamphetamine is similar chemically to amphetamine, but it has more effects on the human nervous system. Nature and onset of the high varies according to the method of administration but is almost immediate and lasts up to twelve hours. New users can get a high by ingesting only 125mg of meth, while a regular user might ingest more to get the same effect (about 250 mg). On binges which last several days, the addict may ingest multiple milligrams of meth.
However on the street Meth comes in various colors and textures, and can also be ingested several different ways through inhalation, intravenously via needles, smoked and even in pill form.
It mainly comes in crystallized and or powdered form. The structure (chemical) of the 2 forms is the same. Crystal meth, however, is highly priced because it is believed, albeit falsely, to be the most pure.
Crystal meth also known as ice is a freebase form of methamphetamine that is smoked. It is originally from Hawaii but is now quite common in the US. It comes in large crystals or rocks similar to crack-cocaine. When smoked, its effects are also similar to crack in intensity but are much longer lasting. However some users prefer to snort or inject crystal meth instead of smoking it for a faster high.
It is highly addictive, since it directly affects production of dopamine by the brain. High dopamine levels in the brain triggers cravings. Meth releases extremely large amounts of dopamine (nearly 600 times which is usually the expected amount). It affords the addict a sense of utter well-being and pleasure that lasts between 8 and 12 hours. Once cravings start, the person using meth gets caught up in the cycle of addiction: Use meth, Experience the rush associated with use. After the initial drug induced rush, there is usually a state of agitation that in other cases leads to extremely violent behavior. Some addicts repeatedly use meth over several days to maintain the high (euphoria). These binges continue even when hallucinations and agitation replace the emotions of exhilaration. Afterwards addicts come down from the high followed by cravings.
The common effects of methamphetamine that make it so popular include increased attention, decreased appetite, increased activity, decreased fatigue together with its comparatively low price and a variety of routes of administration and easy manufacture make it a choice drug for partygoers and street youth.
However unlike many other drugs that are commonly abused, methamphetamine (meth) is a toxin that attacks the nervous system. This means that not only does it affect the release and re-uptake of chemicals found in the brain, but it also damages the brain tissue within the nervous system. Exposure to methamphetamine damages brain areas related to memory and cognition. In most cases, many years after discontinued drug use, normal brain functioning cannot be fully restored to pre-methamphetamine levels especially after prolonged use.
Since meth causes severe brain damage, symptoms include prevalent short term memory loss, disorganization and poor judgment. An user is easily recognized by sickly body weight, dilated pupils, abhorring teeth and skin sores. Skin sores are induced by the addicts themselves, who will pick and scratch uncontrollably at their skin. However, most noticeably, meth effects are seen on teeth. Addicts usually have Meth Mouth. This is cracked, brown and yellow teeth, including gum disease and lip lesions.
Another major effect of meth is that it weakens the user's immune making it impossible to fight off diseases as well damage his/her liver. It other cases methamphetamine has been reported to cause stroke.
When recovering from addiction, it is very important for meth addicts to avoid other drug addicts and the drug itself. Positive interactions are found in 12 Step plans and around non-drug users. Brains of addicts usually become normal within 2 years after the last use. However for many, permanent damage can remain.