Meth is a man-made, white, bitter-tasting powder. Sometimes it’s made into a white pill or a shiny, white or clear rock called a crystal. Most of the meth used in the United States comes from “superlabs” – big illegal laboratories that make the drug in large quantities. But it is also made in small labs using cheap, over-the-counter ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, which is common in cold medicines. Other chemicals, such as muriatic acid and battery acid, are also involved in making methamphetamine.

Some of the effects of meth on the user can cause euphoria, however long-term use can cause many health problems. The release of dopamine in the brain causes several physical effects, similar to those of other stimulants like cocaine. These include:

  • Feeling very awake and active
  • Fast heart rate and irregular heartbeat
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Higher body temperature
  • Increased risk for HIV/AIDS or hepatitis (a liver disease) from unsafe sex and shared needles

Effects of Long-Term Meth Use

Continued methamphetamine use may cause effects that last for a long time, even after a person quits using the drug. These effects include:

  • Anxiety and confusion
  • Problems sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Violent behavior
  • Psychosis (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Skin sores caused by scratching
  • Severe weight loss
  • Severe dental problems, known as “meth mouth”
  • Problems with thinking, emotion, and memory