Methamphetamine is a drug that has been taken by drug users worldwide for many years, often with devastating effect on the communities where it’s used.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth or crank, is a stimulant drug first used by athletes and students to help raise physical and mental performance. A development of amphetamines, the chemical structure of meth is very similar. However, the main difference between methamphetamine and amphetamines is the strength – methamphetamine is a lot more powerful than amphetamines.
Some common slang names for methamphetamine include: meth, speed, ice, crystal, glass, and crank
Methamphetamine in the UK
In the UK, methamphetamine was relatively unknown until just a few years ago. The television programme, Breaking Bad, has changed all that and now Methamphetamine, or crystal meth as it is more frequently called, is now known to many in this country. However, for many people in this country, watching meth on a television screen is probably the nearest that they will get to the drug.
The UK does not have much of a methamphetamine problem. In 2013, Home Office figures estimated that 17,000 people aged 16-59 in England and Wales were using methamphetamine – a lot less than for any other drug recorded. Compare this to the estimated two million cannabis users and you get an idea of how much lower usage of meth is compared to the more popular drugs.
What Does Methamphetamine Look like?
Methamphetamine tends to look like a shiny powder. This is what people refer to commonly as crystal meth. It starts off as a chunk of rock, but is flaked down for usage. This tends to look like flaked off glass. It is usually a white, or mildly yellow, colour depending on how pure the drug is.
How Is Methamphetamine Used?
In a powder format, methamphetamine tends to be either swallowed or snorted – which, like cocaine, can damage your nose badly with overuse. You can also cut your throat if swallowed. However, the powdery form tends to smoked via a pipe or similar paraphernalia, and is thought to be the most addictive way of using methamphetamine.
The powder format can also be liquidised and then injected, like heroin. However, the injection of drugs, especially drugs as powerful as methamphetamine, is extremely dangerous. The use of unclean needles is a common cause of H.I.V. infection, by people sharing needles. If you ever have, use a clean needle under every circumstance – and never, ever share.
What Are the Effects of Methamphetamine?
Powerful and extremely effective, meth gives you an extremely positive feeling, a new level of confidence and improved awareness of your surroundings. This may sound good, but do not be fooled. Methamphetamine also suppresses your appetite, which is why it is commonly used by people at festivals, so they do not have to stop partying.
Depending on how you take the drug, it can be felt either right away or up to half an hour later. The effects can last for anything from six to eight hours. You can experience bouts of depression that can last as long as three days afterwards. Methamphetamine also causes headaches, hot flushes, blurred vision, and dizziness.
What Are the Long-term Effects of Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is extremely addictive, and you can develop a quick tolerance to the drug, meaning you require more to satisfy your cravings and to reach the same plateau of effect. There are many health risks involved with taking methamphetamine, including increased anxiety and periods of depression, paranoia and fatigue.
Methamphetamine can also cause violent mood swings, causing people who are usually never violent to act in an aggressive ways. It can also cause hallucinations, and heart problems due to the increase in your blood pressure. You also will go through withdrawal symptoms if you try and stop after a continued period of usage. You will go through periods of fever, cramp, fatigue, hunger and depression.
Overall, methamphetamine is an extremely potent and dangerous drug if used too much.
What Class Drug Is Methamphetamine?
By law, methamphetamine is a class A drug. If found in possession (being caught with an illegal drug for your own use) of a class A drug there is a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison and/or a fine. However, possession with intent to supply has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and/or a fine.
Where Can I Buy a Drug Test for Methamphetamine?
Zoom Testing is a leading supplier of drug tests in the UK, supplying the NHS and the UK Prison Service. We can supply single, urine drug tests for Methamphetamine. We can also supply multi-panel drug test kits that will test for Methamphetamine at the same time as other drugs of abuse.
As well as urine drug tests for methamphetamine, we can also supply saliva drug test kits and drug identification test kits for methamphetamine. We supply quickly and discreetly to the UK and worldwide. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Photo by DEA
Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.
This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been updated regularly since.