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What are the signs and symptoms of Crystal Methamphetamine Abuse?

Methamphetamine appeared in the US by way of Asia to Hawaii and the US West Coast about 1987. It can be produced by someone with minimal skills. It can be cooked in a crude bedroom meth lab for small scale production, or in more sophisticated lab for larger scale meth production. The base ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine are readily available at a department store, and include items like car batteries (for sulfuric acid) drain cleaner (for sodium hydroxide) and matches (for red phosphorous). Typically methamphetamine is 98-100% pure, unadulterated active drug. 

What is Crystal Methamphetamine?

Crystal methamphetamine is Powdered methamphetamine which has been rendered into a crystallized form in a solvent bath to make it into a smokable form. The crystalline pieces may be clear, which is called Window pane is considered the highest quality, They may be opaque, like chips of ice or smoke colored chips.

How is Crystal methamphetamine used?

Typically crystal methamphetamine is smoked. Chips of crystal meth are placed in a glass pipe, a flame is applied, and the fumes are inhaled. It can also be dissolved in liquid and taken intravenously.  It can be swallowed, but the taste would be horrid beyond description.

Effects of Crystal methamphetamine on the user: 

  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Eyes clenched shut or wide open, and bulging
  • Anger and rage
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Paranoia 
  • Delusions, or bizarre beliefs and ideas
  • Hallucinations of your name being called, or parasitosis, the sensation of insects or parasites crawling on or under your skin
  • Senseless repetitive movements. 
  • Dangerously high blood pressure
  • Elevated hear rate
  • Pupils dilated 

How long Crystal methamphetamine takes to work, and how long it lasts?

Crystal methamphetamine is very long acting. The most intense effects will be experienced for about 12 hours. The aftereffects of insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness can persist for up to 72 hours. Crystal methamphetamine users can stay high much longer for less money than if they use crack cocaine, which makes this drug preferable to cocaine for many users. 

Short-term and long-term risks of using Crystal methamphetamine:

Prolonged abuse of Crystal methamphetamine will produce numerous physical as well as the psychological effects listed above:

  • Dry skin and hair
  • Neglect of personal hygiene and ones living environment
  • Scratching, digging and picking at the skin, in an effort to remove the imagined insects crawling on or under the skin
  • Infection form scratching and digging at dirty skin, with dirty fingernails
  • Malnutrition, vitamin deviancies. and profound weight loss. Typically the only cleric intake will be from sugary soft drinks and sugary snacks. 
  • Prolonged insomnia
  • Elevated blood pressure and heartrate
  • Burned fingers from handling hot meth pipes
  • Jaw grinding, or bruxism
  • The notorious meth mouth. Loss of teeth from a combination of jaw grinding, weakened immune system, dry mouth and high sugar intake providing an ideal environment of bacterial growth, and neglect of oral hygiene. 

In addition: 

  • Neglect of children and pets
  • Abandonment of adult responsibilities and obligations such as work or school. 
  • Complete loss of self-respect

Effects of Overdosing on Crystal Methamphetamine are severe: 

  • Grand mal seizure
  • CA (Cardiac Arrest)
  • CVA (Cerebrovascular Accident) [stroke] 
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Hyperthermia (dangerous increase in body temperature)
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening condition in which muscle protein breaks down, gets into kidneys, leading to kidney failure


Crystal methamphetamine is an extremely dangerous drug. It can result in either sudden death, or gradual physical breakdown resulting in death. It can produce psychosis, and at the very least, grossly diminishes the user’s quality of life, as well as having a major impact on the family. There are no safe amounts to use, or any safe method to use it.