Facts You Should Know About Meth - DHS 4495

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State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Facts You Should Know about Methamphetamines (METH)

Illinois Department of Human Services

Methamphetamines (MA) are synthetic amphetamines or stimulants that are produced and sold illegally. MA is a crystal-like powder substance often made in clandestine laboratories from relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. This drug strongly activates certain systems in the brain.

Slang Terms:

  • Meth
  • Crank
  • Glass 
  • Crystal
  • Fire 
  • Ice
  • Crypto 
  • Speed
  • White cross 
  • Chalk

Methods of Intake:

  •  Smoked Swallowed
  •  Snorted Injected


Immediately after smoking or injecting MA, the user experiences a sensation of extreme pleasure called a "rush" that can last as long as 20 minutes. The rush is followed by changes in thought wherein the user feels powerful, clever, smart, and funny. These feelings can last between 18 and 24 hours. The abuser maintains the high by injecting or smoking more MA trying to recapture the initial rush. Each time the abuser smokes or injects more of the drug a smaller euphoric rush occurs until finally there is no rush and no high. This may go on for a few days to a couple of weeks. If MA is swallowed or snorted, the user does not experience the rush.


Tweaking occurs at the end of the high when nothing the users do will take away their feelings of discomfort. MA triggers a number of unpleasant effects. Prolonged use is often associated with violent and anti-social behavior. MA users may have psychological symptoms such as delusions of insects under their skin. In an effort to remove the imagined insects, the users scratch their skin obsessively. Often, the users thoughts become quite paranoid. Some users are unable to pay attention to any one thing while others become obsessed with a single thought, like taking apart a clock for 10 hours at a stretch. This tweaking period concludes when the users cannot stay up any longer, and they crash entering a deep sleep for 1 to 3 days.

Side Effects:

  •  Impaired speech 
  •  Aggression  
  •  Hallucinations 
  •  Increased heart rate
  •  Acne or sores 
  • Memory loss
  •  Violence
  •  Irritability
  •  Paranoia 
  • Insomnia
  •  Psychotic behavior
  •  Loss of appetite
  •  Nervousness
  •  Anxiety 

Withdrawal Symptoms:

 Insomnia Depression

 Mental Confusion Restlessness


- http://www.drugfreeamerica.org/methamphetamine.html ;

- http://www.lec.org/DrugSearch/Documents/Meth.html

- http:


If you would like to know what substance abuse treatment providers are in your community, contact one of the following helplines:


1-800-662-9832 (Espanol)

1-800-228-0427 (TTY)

OR, visit the following website: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/TreatmentLocator If you have any questions about alcohol or other drugs, call:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

  • 1-866-213-0548 (toll-free Voice)
  • 1-866-843-7344 (toll-free TTY)

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to

go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

  • 1-800-843-6154
  • 1-800-447-6404 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays).

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer and Provider Assistance
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4495 (R-04-14) ­Drug Series - Meth

Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.

200 copies P.O.#14-1080