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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation


What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Crystal methamphetamine is a form of the drug that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks. It is chemically similar to amphetamine, a drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder.

Short-Term Effects

Taking even small amounts of methamphetamine can result in many of the same health effects as those of other stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines. These include:

  • increased wakefulness and physical activity

  • decreased appetite

  • faster breathing

  • rapid and/or irregular heartbeat

  • increased blood pressure and body temperature

Long-term methamphetamine use has many other negative consequences, including:

  • extreme weight loss

  • addiction

  • severe dental problems

  • intense itching, leading to skin sores from scratching

  • anxiety

  • changes in brain structure and function

  • confusion

  • memory loss

  • sleeping problems

  • violent behavior

  • paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others

  • hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they aren't


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