Methamphetamines

Speed, Crystal Meth, Ice, Tik

When taken, it creates a false sense of well-being and energy. It is mainly sold in crystal form but could be diluted with household ingredients which gives it different colour variations.

Signs and Symptoms

Methamphetamines is a potent stimulant which increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter responsible for everything from reward to motivation and pleasure. Due to its chemical makeup, it results in an intense high which remains in the brain longer than most other recreational drugs. Over time, the warning signs become more apparent as the health problems become more severe.

Typical signs and symptoms may include the following:

  • increased attention and decreased fatigue

  • increased activity and wakefulness

  • increased talkativeness

  • decreased appetite

  • increased respiration

  • violent or reckless behaviour

  • changes in physical appearance, such as skin sores or tooth decay

  • presence of paraphernalia such as glass pipes, aluminium foil or needles/syringes

  • twitching, facial tics or jerky movements

  • burns on their lips           

  • thinning hair and weight loss

Methods of Use

  • Injected

  • Smoked

  • Snorted

  • Orally

Adverse Effects

  • Erratic behaviour

  • Hallucinations

  • Panic and psychosis

  • Disorientation

  • Apathy

  • Depression

  • Loss of appetite

  • Increased heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure

  • Disturbed sleep patterns

  • Nausea

  • Convulsions

  • Seizures

  • Severe tooth decay

  • Damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy

Overdose Potential

Knowing the drug’s strength or purity is a major risk factor with overdose. During an overdose psychotic episodes or suicide ideation may occur. In rare cases a person may experience seizures or a coma.

Withdrawal

Withdrawal involves physical and psychological symptoms which depends on factors such the severity of the dependence. Research suggest withdrawal symptoms typically begins within the first 24 hours and peaks at around 8-10 days. Symptoms usually subsides after 15-20 days. Some people may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), resulting in symptoms lasting for months.

Typical withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression

  • Dry mouth

  • Fatigue

  • Carb cravings

  • Psychosis

  • Anxiety