Methamphetamine Use Among Teens

Methamphetamine use among teens can come about from many different reasons. Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that affects mood, appetite, and many other physical and mental areas. Approximately 5% of teens have tried methamphetamine and between 3-4% are frequent users. The trend of methamphetamine use appears to be declining; however the drug continues to be prevalent in areas of low income and rural communities. Methamphetamine is produced through a series of simple chemical reaction steps.

Everything you need to make methamphetamine is at your local store and many items can be found around the home. Methamphetamine is made up of pseudoephedrine and a combination of other substances (i.e. iodine crystals, bleach, drain cleaner, battery acid, red phosphorous, anhydrous ammonia, and many others). Methamphetamine can be made into a liquid, powder, waxy solid, or rock. Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted, injected, and ingested. Methamphetamine can be called: (non-extensive list)

  • Crystal Meth
  • Meth
  • Crank
  • Glass
  • Pep Pills
  • Speedball
  • Tweak
  • Ice
  • Whitecross
  • Windex
  • Poor Man’s Cocaine

Why use Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is often used to increase energy and productivity. Methamphetamine users often believe they can get many more tasks finished if they use the drug than when they do not. Methamphetamine is also often used to lose weight. Due to the appetite suppressant qualities of methamphetamine and its ability to increase energy, many teens use methamphetamine to lose weight and remain active and less fatigued. Most often methamphetamine is used because it is a “cheap” drug, found many places, easy to manufacture, and lasts longer than many other stimulant drugs. Because of the distorted perceptions many teens have about their own bodies, methamphetamine helps the user to believe they can “fit” into skimpier clothing and look better overall. Overweight teen girls fall hard and fast for the “quick fix” to looking “good”.

Methamphetamine Use Among Teens – Signs, Symptoms, and Risk

Methamphetamine use creates a false sense of energy, pushing the body to go faster than it is meant to go. Methamphetamine use can lead to stroke, heart attack, organ failure, and damage to blood vessels in the brain. Methamphetamine also impairs the judgment of the user, leading to poor decisions involving driving, sexual activity, and many others. Methamphetamine use has also been linked to an increase in HIV infection for some populations. This may be due to lowered inhibition and heightened pleasure feelings. Methamphetamine users may also show signs of:

  • Excessively happy mood
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Little ability to sit still/increase in physical movement/fidgeting
  • Picking or scratching at skin
  • Quick mood swings
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Incessant talking
  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Grinding teeth/decaying teeth
  • Increased sensation of pleasure