Methamphetamine or Meth or Crank is a chemical popularly 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.
Chemically, Methamphetamine is very similar to adrenaline. It may be taken orally, 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.
The pharmacological effects of methamphetamine are very similar to those of similarly structured molecules. The making of Meth involves a number of toxic chemical reactions. A typical meth lab will use 5000 ephedrine pills, three gallons of anhydrous ammonia, 40 lithium batteries, four gallons of starter fluid, a bottle of sulfuric acid, and a ball of aluminum foil. Once the casing from the batteries has been removed, the lithium strips are put into a five gallon bucket with the starter fluid, anhydrous ammonia, and ephedrine pills. Typically, a hole big enough to fit a long rubber hose in a two liter glass bottle is used. The sulfuric acid is put into the bottle along with the ball of aluminum foil. The free end of the hose is put into the bottom of the bucket. Once the bubbling stops, the solution is stirred and left to sit for four hours. The liquid is poured off and the the solid left at the bottom of the bucket, once dried, should equal four ounces of Meth.
Methamphetamine is highly addictive, and 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.