Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it has a high potential for abuse and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.

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What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is commonly known as "speed meth and chalk." In its smoked form it is often referred to as "ice crystal crank and glass." It is a white odorless bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. The drug was developed early in this century from its parent drug amphetamine and was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers.

Methamphetamine's chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine but it has more pronounced effects on the central nervous system. Like amphetamine it causes increased activity decreased appetite and a general sense of well-being. The effects of methamphetamine can last 6 to 8 hours. After the initial "rush there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior.

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it has a high potential for abuse and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled. There are a few accepted medical reasons for its use, such as the treatment of narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder, and - for short-term use - obesity; but these medical uses are limited.

Methamphetamine Abuse, long reported as the dominant drug problem in the San Diego, CA, area, has become a substantial drug problem in other sections of the West and Southwest, as well. There are indications that it is spreading to other areas of the country, including both rural and urban sections of the South and Midwest. Methamphetamine, traditionally associated with white, male, blue-collar workers, is being used by more diverse population groups that change over time and differ by geographic area.

NIDA's Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG), an early warning network of researchers that provides information about the nature and patterns of drug use in major cities reported in its June 2001 publication that methamphetamine continues to be a problem in Hawaii and in major Western cities such as San Francisco Denver and Los Angeles. Methamphetamine availability and production are being reported in more diverse areas of the country particularly rural areas prompting concern about more widespread use.

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