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Crystal Meth

The effects and implications of this illegal drug

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Updated April 26, 2010

Abuse of crystal meth (crystal methamphetamine) is increasingly common in the U.S. Let’s review this drug’s effects.

Use and Effects of Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is snorted, injected, or smoked in a pipe. It is taken to produce feelings of euphoria or a“ high” that can last between two and 16 hours. People abuse crystal meth, which is a central nervous system stimulant, to stay awake for long periods or make them feel confident, energized, euphoric and disinhibited.

Crystal meth use has many adverse effects on the mind and body. Most common are:

  • insomnia
  • agitation
  • irritability
  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • palpitations

On crystal meth, the body temperature increases, as does breathing and heart rate. Blood pressure rises too. People with cardiac and blood pressure problems who use crystal meth can cause further damage to their cardiovascular systems.

Crystal meth can cause behavioral problems, paranoia and psychosis, especially when used frequently and in individuals with a predisposition to mental illness.

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