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Crystal meth (crystal methamphetamine) is a powerful stimulant that, even in small doses, can cause insomnia, increased physical activity and decreased appetite. It is a member of the amphetamine family of drugs that also includes speed. Crystal meth usually comes in ice-like crystal chunks or in a coarse powdered form. It’s made from a highly volatile combination of substances, which can include household cleaning products. It can be smoked, eaten, snorted or injected and the effects can last anywhere from two to 20 hours. Crystal meth started out as a drug used primarily by the gay community but is now slowly entering the mainstream in the UK.

Short-term effects:

  • Sharpened attention
  • Increased libido
  • Euphoria
  • Insomnia
  • Increased activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased heart rate/breathing
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth

Long-term effects:

  • Mood disturbance
  • Dependence
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Severe insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Stroke

The risks:

The greatest risk of the drug is the increased chance of contracting HIV and other STIs from unprotected sex while under the influence. The drug has the effect of dramatically reducing inhibitions and can produce a feeling of invincibility. This, combined with the effect of massively increasing the sex drive, can mean that safe sex is forgotten and sexual activity is greatly increased;

The effects and chances of becoming dependant on crystal meth are similar to that of speed but as crystal is much stronger, the risks of overdose are greater. Taking crystal meth can cause irreversible damage to the immune system. Some people have died after taking small doses of the drug.

The law:
Crystal meth is a Class A drug. It is illegal to produce, supply, or possess. It is also illegal to allow premises to be used for supplying or producing crystal meth.

If you’re planning to take crystal meth:

Don’t mix your drugs.The greatest danger to your health is from mixing crystal meth with cocaine or ecstasy. The first is an unlikely combination because they have such similar effects. This pairing brings a danger of increased toxicity and strain on the heart;

Mixing crystal meth with ecstasy puts extra strain on the heart and you will be at risk of over-heating. Mixing crystal meth with Viagra is also very dangerous;

As crystal meth decreases inhibitions and increases the sex drive, safe sex can become an after-thought. It is essential to stay safe during sex so always carry -and use- condoms. In the US almost half the new cases of HIV infection have crystal meth as a factor;

Don’t take too much. It is possible to overdose on crystal meth, which can lead to permanent damage or death;

If you are using crystal meth over long periods of time you are advised to take multi-vitamin and calcium supplements, as well as keeping a check on your body weight;

Avoid injecting crystal meth. This can damage your body and sharing needles can pass on diseases such as HIV;

If you have schizophrenic tendencies there are real dangers that even the mildest use of crystal meth could push you over the edge.