methamphetamine, and their various salts are collectively referred to
as amphetamines. In fact, their chemical properties and actions are so
similar that even experienced users have difficulty knowing which drug
they have taken. Methamphetamine is the most commonly abused.)
Street terms for
methamphetamine: Meth, poor man's cocaine, crystal meth, ice, glass, speed1
What Does Methamphetamine
- Typically meth is a white powder that easily dissolves in water.
- Another form of meth, in clear chunky crystals, called crystal meth,
- Meth can also be in the form of small, brightly colored tablets.
The pills are often called by their Thai name, yaba.
What are the methods
- Oral ingestion
Who uses methamphetamine
- During 2000, 4%
of the U.S. population reported trying methamphetamine at least once
in their lifetime.3
- Abuse is concentrated
in the western, southwestern, and midwestern United States.
How do methamphetamine
and amphetamines get to the United States?
- Clandestine laboratories
in California and Mexico are the primary sources of supply for methamphetamine
available in the United States.
- Domestic labs
that produce methamphetamine are dependent on supplies of the precursor
chemical pseudoephedrine, which is sometimes diverted from legitimate
sources. It is smuggled from Canada, and to a lesser extent from Mexico.
- Domestic independent
laboratory operators, mostly in the western, southwestern, and midwestern
United States, also produce and distribute methamphetamine but on a
- Yaba (meth in
tablet form) is most often produced in Southeast Asia and sent by mail
or courier to the United States.4
How much do methamphetamine
and amphetamines cost?
- Prices for methamphetamine
vary throughout different regions of the United States.
- At the distribution
level, prices range from $3,500 per pound in parts of California and
Texas to $21,000 per pound in southeastern and northeastern regions
of the country. Retail prices range from $400 to $3,000 per ounce.5
What are some consequences
of methamphetamine and amphetamine use?
- Effects of usage
include addiction, psychotic behavior, and brain damage .6
- Withdrawal symptoms
include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, and intense
- Chronic use can
cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, auditory hallucinations,
mood disturbances, delusions, and paranoia. 8
- Damage to the
brain cause by meth usage is similar to Alzheimer's disease, stroke,
of National Drug Control Policy, Street Terms: Drugs and the Drug
2Drug Enforcement Administration,The
Forms Of Methamphetamine, April 2002
3Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,
Summary of Findings from the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug
Abuse, September 2001.
4Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug
Trafficking in the United States, September 2001.
6Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug
Facts: Methamphetamine, May, 2002.
9National Institute on Drug Abuse, Methamphetamine:
Abuse and Addiction, April, 1998. What are the Effects of