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Methamphetamine Fact Sheet

Methamphetamine is a very potent form of the stimulant amphetamine. Sometimes referred to as "crank" or "crystal meth," methamphetamine is typically a yellowish, brownish, or off-white powder, although it will be closer to a pure white powder depending upon its purity and the integrity of the cooking process used to produce it.

Amphetamine, methamphetamine, and dextroamphetamine are so similar that conclusively determining which of these a given substance is requires laboratory analysis. All of these drugs share one characteristic: an ability to speed up the body and overload the central nervous system. This has two basic effects on the body: appetite reduction and increased alertness.

Amphetamines were first used in medicine in the 1930's to treat narcolepsy, sometimes called "sleeping sickness," and are now used today to treat a variety of ills including narcolepsy, obesity, and attention deficit disorders in children. While prescription uses of amphetamines are typically 2.5 to 15 milligrams per day, abusers on a "speed binge" often consume up to 1,000 milligrams every three hours. This triggers an intense wave of physical and psychological exhilaration, usually referred to as a "rush." This rush is the main reason people continue to use stimulants such as methamphetamine despite the damage which accompanies long-term use.

Crystal methamphetamine in Oklahoma is produced by clandestine laboratories, both in and out of our state. In the late 1980's, Oklahoma ranked 4th nationally for the number of speed laboratories seized each year. This number drastically declined due in large part to the passage of state and federal laws regulating the chemicals needed to cook "crank." However, in the early 1990?s a new recipe using the drug, Ephedrine, surfaced. Because the recipe is easy to follow and the ingredients can be purchased over the counter, methamphetamine production has reached new record-levels.

Methamphetamine is usually injected or snorted. It is sometimes available in a rock, smokeable form known as "Ice." (not to be confused with smokeable cocaine known as "crack") Regardless of the form in which it is ingested, methamphetamine causes agitation, increased body temperature, paranoia, and may even lead to a condition known as "amphetamine psychosis" or death.

Prescription names include: Dexedrine, Biphetamine, Desoxyn. Street names include crank, speed, crystal meth, and meth.