METHAMPHETAMINE FAST FACTS
WHAT IS METHAMPHETAMINE?
Methamphetamine is a synthetic (man-made) stimulant that is highly addictive.
The drug is abused because it produces euphoric effects -- sometimes described
as a sense of well-being--that can last up to 24 hours. Methamphetamine is
inexpensive and relatively easy to produce -- making it affordable and readily
available to teenagers.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Because methamphetamine can be produced using many different methods, its
appearance can vary dramatically. The drug may be sold either as a powder --sometimes crystalline-- or as rock-like chunks. The color of methamphetamine likewise varies: white, yellow, brown, gray, orange, and pink all have been observed.
HOW IS METHAMPHETAMINE ABUSED?
Methamphetamine can be injected, smoked, snorted, or ingested orally.
injecting or smoking the drug produces an immediate and intense rush. The
euphoric effect that results from snorting or ingesting the drug is not as
intense and requires more time to take effect -- 3 to 5 minutes for snorting and
15 to 20 minutes for oral ingestion.
WHO USES METHAMPHETAMINE?
In the past the typical methamphetamine user was an adult male with a lower than average income. However, now individuals of all ages and economic status use methamphetamine. Data reported in the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that an estimated 9.6 million U. S. residents Aged 12 to 17 and 1.5 million individuals aged 18 to 25 used the drug at least once.
Methamphetamine use among high school students is a particular concern. Nearly 7 percent of high school seniors in the United States used the drug at least once in their lifetime, and nearly 2 percent used the drug in the past month, according to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey.
WHAT ARE THE RISK?
Methamphetamine use is associated with many serious physical problems. The drug can cause rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain --which can lead to stroke. Chronic use of the drug can result in inflammation of the heart lining. Overdoses of methamphetamine can cause hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), convulsions, and death.
Individuals who abuse Methamphetamine also may have episodes of violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. Methamphetamine also can produce psychotic symptoms that persist for months or years after an individual has stopped using the drug.
Methamphetamine abusers who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks, including contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C, and other blood borne viruses. Chronic users who inject methamphetamine also risk scarred or collapsed veins, infections of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and liver and kidney disease.
WHAT IS IT CALLED?
The most common names for methamphetamine are crank, meth, and speed. (Please see the Street Terms Text Box below for additional names.)
STREET TERMS FOR METHAMPHETAMINE
IS METHAMPHETAMINE ILLEGAL?
Yes, methamphetamine is illegal. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and PCP, have a high potential for abuse. Abuse of these drugs may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Information above was provided by the National Drug Intelligence Center
Methamphetamine Laboratory Identification and Hazards Fast Facts
WHAT IS A METHAMPHETAMINE LABORATORY?
A methamphetamine laboratory is an illicit operation that has the apparatus and chemicals needed to produce the powerful stimulant methamphetamine. (see list of products and equipment) These laboratories vary dramatically in size and output. Large laboratories, known as super labs, produce 10 pounds or more of the drug per production cycle. Much smaller laboratories sometimes called box labs--produce as little as an ounce or less of the drug and are small enough to fit in a box or backpack.
HOW COMMON ARE THEY?
Methamphetamine laboratories are increasingly prevalent throughout the United States. In 2002 more than 7,500 laboratories were seized in 44 states, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) El Paso Intelligence Center National Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System. While methamphetamine production remains most common in the western portion of the United States, particularly California, seizures of methamphetamine laboratories in the west central part of the country have become more commonplace.
WHERE ARE METHAMPHETAMINE LABORATORIES FOUND?
Methamphetamine laboratories may be located virtually anywhere. Laboratories have been found in secluded rural areas as well as in residential, commercial, and industrial districts. Law enforcement officers have seized laboratories at private residences, commercial properties, hotels, and motels, and outdoor locations. Mobile laboratories have been discovered in automobiles, boats, and luggage.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT A METHAMPHETAMINE LABORATORY MAY BE PRESENT?
The following, often in combination, may indicate the presence of a methamphetamine laboratory:
WHAT HAZARDS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THEM?
The chemicals used to produce methamphetamine are extremely hazardous. some are highly volatile and my ignite or explode in mixed or stored improperly. Fire and explosion pose risks not only to the individuals producing the drug but also to anyone in the surrounding area, including children, neighbors, and passerby.
Even when fire or explosion does not occur, methamphetamine production is dangerous. Simply being exposed to the toxic chemicals used to produce the drug poses a variety of health risks, including Intoxication, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, lack of coordination, pulmonary edema, serious respiratory problems, severe chemical burns, and damage to internal organs.
Inhaling chemical vapors and gases resulting from methamphetamine production causes shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain. Exposure to these vapors and gases may also cause intoxication, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, lack of coordination, pulmonary edema, chemical pneumonitis, and other serious respiratory problems when absorbed into the body through the lungs.
The chemicals used to produce methamphetamine may cause serious burns if they come into contact with the skin.
Toxic Chemicals can be ingested either by consuming contaminated food or beverages or by inadvertently consuming the chemicals directly. (Young children present at laboratory sites are at particular risk of ingesting chemicals.) Ingestion toxic chemicals --or methamphetamine itself -- may result in potentially Fatal poisoning, internal chemical burns, damage to organ function, and harm to neurological and immunologic functioning.
In addition, methamphetamine production threatens the environment. The average methamphetamine laboratory produces 5 to 7 pounds of toxic waste for every pound of methamphetamine produced. Operators often dispose of this waste improperly, simply by dumping it near the laboratory. This can cause contamination of the soil and nearby water supplies.
WHAT CAN I DO?
If you suspect that someone in your neighborhood is operating a methamphetamine laboratory, report your concerns to the local police department or sheriff's office immediately. For you own safety, do not investigate the suspected laboratory or confront the occupants. In addition to the hazards discussed above, many laboratories are equipped with security devices or booby traps that could cause serious injuries or death.
PRODUCTS USED IN METHAMPHETAMINE PRODUCTION
EQUIPMENT USED IN METHAMPHETAMINE PRODUCTION
Information above was provided by the National Drug Intelligence Center
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METH LAB INVESTIGATIONS