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What Is Crystal Meth (and What Does It Look Like)?

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Meth actually looks pretty in crystal form.

Meth actually looks pretty in crystal form.

What Is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth is a medley of assorted household and commercial chemicals. It is a central nervous system stimulant that is much stronger than cocaine. When ingested, smoked, snorted, or injected, it gives the user a euphoric, energetic high that can last for hours or even days. Crystal meth is said to be highly addictive because of how much dopamine it releases in the brain.

Meth is extremely addictive, and relapse rates are very high for those that try to quit. Meth destroys your body, mind, family, and life!

How Is Meth Used?

Crystal meth can be smoked, usually with a pipe, foil, or a light bulb. It can be snorted like cocaine. It can be injected with a needle and syringe. And it can also be ingested orally (mixed with coffee or other beverage) or inserted anally into the body.

What Does It Look Like?

For being such a nasty mixture of chemicals, crystal meth in truth is quite pretty; however, the appearance will change depending on the form you are seeing it in.

  • Solid Form: This is when the drug appears rather beautiful. It has a quartz-like appearance, or it may look like icicles, rock candy, or glass.
  • Powder Form: As a powder, meth resembles cocaine, ground-up chalk, or crystallized dust with a yellow, white, or reddish tinge. It is odorless and will taste bitter. The yellow hue will range from dark yellow to a champagne color.
  • Liquid Form: As a liquid, it is yellow or reddish and can easily be dissolved and transported in any kind of container, or it can be put into a syringe and injected. When transported mixed with water, the water can then be boiled away, leaving meth in a solid form. It can also be applied to paper as a liquid, and then all the user has to do is tear off a piece and ingest it to get high.

Street Names for Crystal Meth

Crystal meth has a lot of different street names. You may hear it being mentioned by others under the following names:

  • Crystal
  • Tina
  • Bump
  • Chrissy
  • Crank
  • Yaba
  • Glass
  • Ice
  • Trash
  • Yellow bam
  • Poor man's cocaine

What Does It Smell Like?

Meth that is very close to the chemical formula—meaning it's close to purity—doesn't have an odor. Impurities, adulterants, and other elements are what create a detectable scent.

It is more likely that the meth users around you will smell from their bodies trying to expel toxins. Some people compare the smell to nail polish remover (acetone), oven cleaner, burning plastic, rotten eggs (sulfate), cat urine, ammonia, or sickeningly sweet and bitter.

Meth users

Meth users

Signs Someone Is Using Meth

Pay attention to the people you are around, especially if they are new acquaintances. People on meth are jumpy, alert, often do repetitive tasks, and are unable to sit still. People do all sorts of strange things when they are addicted and high on drugs.

There are also physical signs to look for. Meth users will usually have dilated pupils, could appear anorexic (depending on how long they've used), have bad teeth, body odor, and breath, and may have scabs on their skin from picking at themselves.

Listen to the terms they use when describing the drug.

Don't Do It!

Meth is a nasty drug that can quickly sweep away the life you once knew. This is not a drug worth trying. You are not invincible or protected from the devastation it can cause. This is not a drug that can be used casually, and although some can control usage for a short time, most are swept away in its path.

If you find yourself at a party where this drug is being used, it is highly advised to kindly excuse yourself and avoid being associated with it ever again. Stay away from it.

Further Reading

  • Know the Risks of Meth | SAMHSA
    Methamphetamine (meth) is a powerful, highly addictive drug that causes devastating health effects, and sometimes death, even on the first try.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.