Methamphetamine (also called meth or crank or ice) is a highly addictive drug, known for its stimulating properties in the human body. It is frequently confused with other drugs that share similar effects, including amphetamines, ephedrine, caffeine, and other chemicals, both legal and illegal. Crystal meth refers to the smokable, crystal-like form of the drug.
The chemical name of methamphetamine is N-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine or d-N,alpha-dimethylphenethylamine .
Methamphetamine is illegal in most countries. In the United States, methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Meth is still, however, sold with a prescription under the name Desoxyn. In 2005, Congress passed laws restricting the sale of methamphetamine ingredients, such as ephedrine, which is used in cold remedies, and has led to people being arrested for purchasing allergy remedies.
Chemically, methamphetamine is very similar to adrenaline. It may be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected. Onset occurs immediately, and the effects generally last 4-8 hours. Users of this drug usually feel euphoric, excitable, and extremely nervous. Sweating, dizziness, insomnia, and restlessness may also occur. Due to increases in mental clarity sometimes associated with Meth, it has been prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other disorders.
Methamphetamine is highly addictive, particularly when it is injected or smoked. Withdrawal is usually intense and relapse is common. Doctors sometimes prescribe less volatile forms of amphetamine to break the addiction cycle.
Main article: Homosexuality and Illegal Drug Use
Methamphetamine use is very common in the homosexual community, demonstrating the destructive effects of the gay lifestyle.  The Los Angeles Times reported in 2007 that the frequency of methamphetamine use is twenty times greater among homosexuals than in the general population. With the increased abuse of methamphetamine among the general public, the proportion of methamphetamine users among homosexuals has also surely increased. In fact, gay and lesbian high schoolers in Washington, DC are 10 times more likely to have used methamphetamines than their peers, indicating that the abuse among homosexuals runs strongly all the way to its roots.
- 2006 National Drug Threat Assessment of Meth
- New law could mean bad news for allergy sufferers
- More Gay Men Using Meth, Study Finds, by R. Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, April 11, p. B6.
- Methamphetamine and amphetamine use is on the rise, StopDrugs.org
- Current.com Gay DC highschoolers use meth