Crystal meth is a highly addictive, illegal stimulant drug that has a long-lasting euphoric effect. Known informally as meth, ice, or glass, it resembles shiny “rocks” or fragments of glass of varying sizes. It is known more formally as crystal methamphetamine. The drug is an odorless, colorless form of d-methamphetamine, a synthetic psychostimulant. It is made in illegal labs in the United States (U.S.) and abroad, often by combining ingredients derived from over-the-counter (OTC) drugs with toxic substances. The Drug Policy Alliance maintains that 11 million Americans, on at least one occasion, have tried methamphetamine.
Crystal meth is popular among young adults at dance clubs and parties. It is taken for its euphoric effects. Some people take it because it can lead to rapid weight loss, although most of the lost weight tends to return when a person stops using the drug. The body also gradually becomes tolerant to crystal meth, reducing the weight-loss effect over time. Some people prefer crystal meth to other illicit drugs because the sense of euphoria it gives can last for up to 12 hours. This is a much longer duration than cocaine, a drug with similar effects. People with depression may choose to take crystal meth for its mood-enhancing properties. Others may be attracted by the increased libido and sexual pleasure often associated with this drug.
Crystal meth is most commonly smoked in glass pipes, but it can also be snorted, injected, swallowed, or inserted into the anus or the urethra.