by Isabel Vondermuhll
Crystal meth is methamphetamine hydrochloride, the street form of the drug methamphetamine that comes in clear, chunky crystals and is heated and smoked. It is commonly known as crystal, ice and tina.
As for the science behind it, methamphetamine is a chemical stimulant which is similar to amphetamine, but creates a much stronger effect on the central nervous system. In its legal form, it can be used to treat ADD, narcolepsy and, for short periods of time, obesity. Mostly, however, it is used illegally for recreational purposes, for weight loss, and to maintain alertness, focus, motivation, and mental clarity for extended periods of time. Methamphetamine releases high levels of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasurable or rewarding experiences. Meth users tend to display OCD behavior such as obsessive and repeated cleaning. In withdrawal, meth users show depression-like symptoms, excessive sleeping and eating, anxiety, and drug craving.
What made me decide to write about Crystal Meth was an acquaintance of mine who has since passed away as a result of his substance abuse. When I was in high school I interviewed him about crystal meth for a health class presentation. Click “more” to read some snippets: