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NIDA. (2004, May 1). NIDA Community Drug Alert Bulletin - Club Drugs. Retrieved from

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Slang or Street Names: Speed, Ice, Chalk, Meth, Crystal, Crank, Fire, Glass

Methamphetamine is a toxic, addictive stimulant that affects many areas of the central nervous system. The drug is often made in clandestine laboratories from relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. It is used by diverse groups, including clubgoers, in some areas of the country. Methamphetamine has been available in western and southwestern regions of the country for several years, but appears to be increasingly available in other regions.

  • Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested orally. It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that dissolves easily in beverages.
  • Methamphetamine is typically sold through networks; not on the street like many other illicit drugs.
  • Methamphetamine abuse is associated with serious health consequences, including memory loss, aggression, violence, psychotic behavior, and cardiac and neurological damage.
  • Methamphetamine abusers typically display signs of agitation, excited speech, decreased appetite, and increased physical activity levels.
  • Methamphetamine is neurotoxic. Abusers may suffer significant reductions in dopamine transporters and receptors.
  • Methamphetamine abuse can contribute to higher rates of infectious disease transmission, especially hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.
  • NIDA's 2003 MTF study found that 3.2 percent of 12th-graders, 3.3 percent of 10th-graders, and 2.5 percent of 8th-graders had used methamphetamine within the past year.

*CEWG cities in which methamphetamine abuse has been reported include: San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, and Dallas. Methamphetamine abuse has also been reported in many rural areas of the country.