Crystal meth / Tina

What is crystal meth?

Methamphetamine is a chemical with a stimulant effect. It is also known by the following names: meth; speed; crystal; Tina; glass; crank; tweak; yaba; and Desoxyn® (this can be prescribed for people who suffer severely from ADD and ADHD). Methamphetamine usually comes in odorless, bitter-tasting, and white powder form, but is also available in pill form, capsules, and larger crystals.


Effects

Crystal meth is a stimulant.

The effect of a substance is determined by the properties of the substance itself, but also by the user’s set and setting. Here we describe the effects of crystal meth in general.

Using crystal meth increases your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Pupils get bigger and you get a dry mouth. You have to urinate more often, you sweat more and you have stiff jaws due to increased muscle tension. Breathing is easier because your bronchi (airways) expand. Hunger and tiredness disappear like snow in the sun. You feel cheerful and full of energy, you feel like talking a lot and quickly, you are alert and you can dance or have sex all night long. You have more stamina and muscle strength. Some become more confident. Others feel restless, anxious, paranoia, irritable, or aggressive. What is also typical are the repeated movements and the moving and putting back of objects.

Because of the energetic feeling you get from the drug, you stay awake for a long time and your feeling of hunger disappears. Eventually you become overtired and exhausted. Then there is no longer much sex because it becomes difficult to get or keep a boner. Because you can not only last a very long time, but also stay super horny, you run a high risk of tissue damage which can result in easy HIV and other STD transmission.

Crystal meth can slow you down to such an extent that you can no longer think critically. This way you can easily go beyond your own limits and do things that you wouldn’t otherwise. This can result in an unwanted sex experience and you can get a big hangover from that. It can also mean that you have unprotected sex when you would not allow it in a sober state.

Positive effects (negative) Side effects

Energetic feeling

You have feelings of being energized. Sitting still is sometimes more difficult and this energetic feeling is often expressed through the urge to dance or move.

Increase in blood pressure and heart rate

Due to increased cardiac stimulation, heart rate and blood pressure rise.

Alertness

This drug can make you more active than usual. You are feeling sharp, awkae and it is easy to focus your attention on the things that are happening around you.

Increased body temperature

Stimulants cause increased activity in muscles, and increase the “base temperature” of the body. This causes the body temperature to increase.

Increase in self-confidence

You feel more confident. It may be easier to ignore the opinions of others, and you will feel less self-conscious about yourself and your own actions.

Jaw clenching

Increased muscle tension can cause the jaws to clench together. As a result, the teeth are firmly pressed together and it is possible to bite your tongue and/or cheeks.

Need for contact, conversation and intimacy

Having a good conversation with someone, or cuddling, can be very pleasant and interesting.

Insomnia

Some drugs keep you from falling asleep. Stimulants often have this effect, but even after using psychedelics or downers, sleep is disrupted and it is possible that you can’t sleep.

Changes in perception of time

The passage of time could feel altered during ketamine use. Some parts of the evening fly by, while some parts feel a lot slower. When you are feeling comfortable, it can be nice that the feeling does not seem to stop. But if you feel uncomfortable, this can be a bothersome experience. So this effect can work both ways.

Decreased appetite

Stimulation of the fight-or-flight response in the body can suppress appetite.

Mood swings

Using this drug may cause mood swings in users. These mood changes may be either positive or negative, and often alternate between extremes.

Craving

Feeling a (strong) need to take more when the effect wears off.

Increased libido

Increased sexual desires. You feel more attracted to others and feel a stronger need for sexual intimacy.

Confusion and restlessness

Confusion and restlessness

Accelerated thoughts

Thinking seems to go faster. It’s also easier to think clearly. You can go through certain steps in your head faster and make choices faster.

Irritable

You are easily irritated or agitated.

Pressure on the chest/ heart palpitations

Pressure on the chest / heart palpitations

Erection problems

Problems getting an erection.

Nausea/vomiting

An uneasy and tense feeling in the abdomen, which may cause discomfort. Nausea often precedes vomiting.

Dizziness

Head ache

Sorry, this entry is only available in Dutch.

Increased sweating

In response to the increased stimulation and changes in body temperature, the skin will start to secrete sweat to cool the body temperature back to normal levels.

Dilated pupils

Due to an increased noradrenaline level in the body after taking certain drugs, the pupils become larger. The pupil size is influenced by many different processes. Increase in noradrenaline plays a role in some of those processes.

Dry mouth

Stimulation of sympathetic pathways decrease saliva production, this causes the mouth to feel dry.

Accelerated breathing

The airways open further, making breathing easier and faster.

Pain reduction

You feel pain stimuli less. People sometimes use drugs to ease certain complaints they are experiencing. This can provide some relief.

But because of the inhibitory effect of the drug, you will, for example, feel less of a collision or fall or of too much movement. This can cause extra physical damage, for example, because you continue to dance when you should have rested. For example, you may not realize that a bruised ankle hurts.

Hallucinations

In hallucinations you perceive things that are not there. It really is an observation that seems to be real. For example, you may hear sounds (auditory hallucinations) or see something or someone (visual hallucination). This is in contrast to a change in sensory perception where normal perception is distorted. Think of a person’s voice that sounds higher or lower or a face that seems to have a big nose.

Hallucinations can be both desirable effects (with psychedelics) and unwanted side effects (with high doses of MDMA, or with being awake for too long).

Increased muscle tension

Tense muscles and jaws (biting your tongue or cheek)


Dose and route of administration

Crystal meth can be snorted (nasally); smoked; injected (‘intravenously’ into the veins, ‘muscling’ into the muscles, ‘skin popping’ under the skin), plugged (rectal, ‘booty bumping’ without needle insertion anal) and swallowed (orally).

If you take methamphetamine orally you can dissolve a little powder in a drink, or you can put a little powder in a paper, close it and swallow (bomb). Methamphetamine also sometimes comes in pill form. In Thailand it is sold as a pill under the name Yaba.

When smoking, the methamphetamine is put in a glass pipe and heated with a lighter. Methamphetamine is also more suitable for injecting than amphetamine. This mainly happens abroad and more specifically in the US and Australia.

Dose for swallowing
Light dose 5 – 15 mg
Medium dose 10 – 30 mg
High dose 20 – 60 mg
Dose for snorting
Light dose 5 – 15 mg
Medium dose 10 – 40 mg
High dose 20 – 60 mg
Dose for smoking
Light dose 10 – 20 mg
Medium dose 10 – 40 mg
High dose 30 – 60 mg
Dose for injecting
Light dose 5 – 10 mg
Medium dose 10 – 40 mg
High dose 30 – 60 mg

See Drugs and testing for more information about the drug checking service and find one in your area (Netherlands only).


Duration

Duration for swallowing
Effects start after 20 – 70 min
Peak effect 3 – 5 hours
Coming down 2 – 6 hours
Worn off after 12 – 24 hours
Duration for snorting
Effects start after 5 – 10 min
Peak effect 2 – 4 hours
Coming down 2 – 6 hours
Worn off after 12 – 24 hours
Duration for smoking
Effects start after 0 – 2 min
Peak effect 1 – 3 hours
Coming down 2 – 4 hours
Worn off after 12 – 24 hours
Duration for injecting
Effects start after 0 – 2 min
Peak effect 4 – 8 hours
Coming down 2 – 6 hours
Worn off after 12 – 24 hours

Risks

Methamphetamine is an addictive drug. The method of use plays an important role here. The faster the effect comes on, the more addictive it is. Smoking, injecting and snorting are therefore more addictive than swallowing.

Methamphetamine users quickly develop a high tolerance. Tolerance occurs for the psychological effect and for the appetite suppressant effect, but not for the blood pressure increasing effect. People who are really addicted sometimes take a dose 5 to 6 times higher than someone who takes it for the first time. This can lead to two serious situations in which death is a possible consequence. Firstly, someone who has used heavily for a while and has stopped, but he takes the same dose as before, can overdose, resulting in death. Second, new users may self-administer the same dose as experienced users. Death occurs from uncontrollable hyperthermia (overheating), seizures, hypoxia and cardiovascular complications.

Taking crystal for days in a row without sleeping, resting and eating exhausts your body and therefore psychosis is lurking. Should your sex partner or someone close to you react psychotic and anxious? Then help that person by stopping what you were doing (music, TV off for a while) and looking for another setting where that person can get some rest. Speak calmly, be understanding and, if necessary, go outside together. Do not deny or confirm any delusions and if it does not get better, do not hesitate to call the general practitioner. They are there to help you and can, if necessary, consult or write a prescription or provide care in another way.

The days after use, users often feel overtired, listless, depressed and restless. After a day or two, the lost sleep is made up and the appetite greatly increases. When long-term users stop, these symptoms are intensified. They feel exhausted and depressed. All too often a reason to use again. Physical withdrawal symptoms are relatively mild.

Risico’s op korte termijn

Overdose

You can overdose on a drug. This can make you nauseous and vomit, develop a very high fever and become overheated. You can also develop liver disorders, your kidneys can no longer work properly, you can have an epileptic seizure. An overdose can lead to a comatose state and possibly even death.

Triggering a drug-induced psychosis

Frequent and high-dosage ketamine use can increase susceptibility to developing psychosis. During a psychosis, you may suffer from delusions, hallucinations, losing your grip on reality, and you could become very anxious. It becomes difficult to differentiate between reality and your thoughts. Your behaviour and thought patterns are often erratic and chaotic.

It is still unclear whether this can only be triggered in people who are already predisposed to psychosis, or whether regular drug use and an unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. little sleep) by itself can induce psychosis.

Using ketamine consecutively for days without sleeping, resting and eating exhausts your body, and therefore increases the risks of psychosis. Does someone in your environment react erratic and anxious? You can help that person by removing distractions (music, TV off for a while) and finding another environment where that person can get some rest. Speak calmly, be understanding and, if necessary, go outside together. Do not deny or confirm any delusions and if it does not get better, call a general practice centre. Medical staff are there to help you and can, if necessary, arrange a consult, write a prescription or provide care in another way.

Read more about psychosis in this article.

Vasoconstriction (blood vessel contraction)

Stimulation of the sympathetic (fight-or-flight response) nervous system causes blood vessels supplying some organs to constrict, in order to increase relative blood flow to the muscles.

Overheating

Overheating (hyperthermia) can occur when your body temperature rises too high. Using drugs in a hot, humid, crowded environment (such as a club or indoor party, or in the sun at an outdoor festival) will raise your body temperature even further. Combined with intense, long, uninterrupted dancing, overheating can occur.

Early symptoms of overheating;

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Stiff muscles
  • Dizziness

These are all symptoms that can also fall under the “normal” side effects of a drug. If the body temperature does not drop, the following symptoms may also occur:

  • Shivering
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Pale appearance
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If the body temperature rises to 40-41 degrees Celsius, the situation is life-threatening:

  • Breakdown of muscle tissue
  • Blood clotting throughout the body
  • Impaired functioning of kidneys and liver
  • Epileptic seizure

 

Depending on circumstances, overheating may also occur with “normal” doses of a drug.

Overheating is very dangerous and difficult to treat. Attempting to cool down, resting, and drinking enough water (no more than one glass per hour) is necessary to prevent overheating. Sweating is also an important way to cool down: by evaporating the sweat on your skin, it cools down slightly. But if the ambient humidity is very high (when condensate drops fall from the ceiling), sweat can’t evaporate well enough and therefore your body can’t cool down properly.

Epileptic seizure

Taking this drug increases the risk of having an epileptic seizure if you are prone to it.

Acute confusion / excited delerium syndrome

An acute arousal state is also called an excited delerium syndrome. It is a state of being that is usually caused by excessive drinking or drug use. Often stimulants are involved, like cocaine. The excited delerium syndrome is a life-threatening situation that requires immediate intervention by professional care providers. You can recognize it by very restless and aggressive motorically behaviour. The victim flails around and is unable to calm down. The aggression is not directed, but at random. You can’t make contact with the victim. The victim keeps fighting even when he/she is overpowered by police or security.

Because someone behaves like this, it is easy to imagine that security or police want to overpower someone by pressing him or her down or holding him/her (fixation). However, this is dangerous and can lead to death. The moment you stop someone with excited delirium syndrome, the person will only resist harder, causing the heart rate/blood pressure to continue to rise dangerously.

Overheating

Overheating (hyperthermia) can occur when your body temperature rises too high. Using drugs in a hot, humid, crowded environment (such as a club or indoor party, or in the sun at an outdoor festival) will raise your body temperature even further. Combined with intense, long, uninterrupted dancing, overheating can occur.

Early symptoms of overheating;

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Stiff muscles
  • Dizziness

These are all symptoms that can also fall under the “normal” side effects of a drug. If the body temperature does not drop, the following symptoms may also occur:

  • Shivering
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Pale appearance
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If the body temperature rises to 40-41 degrees Celsius, the situation is life-threatening:

  • Breakdown of muscle tissue
  • Blood clotting throughout the body
  • Impaired functioning of kidneys and liver
  • Epileptic seizure

 

Depending on circumstances, overheating may also occur with “normal” doses of a drug.

Overheating is very dangerous and difficult to treat. Attempting to cool down, resting, and drinking enough water (no more than one glass per hour) is necessary to prevent overheating. Sweating is also an important way to cool down: by evaporating the sweat on your skin, it cools down slightly. But if the ambient humidity is very high (when condensate drops fall from the ceiling), sweat can’t evaporate well enough and therefore your body can’t cool down properly.

Risico’s op lange termijn

Psychological dependency

When someone has a psychological dependency, they are convinced that they cannot function without using the substance.

However, there is no physical change in body chemistry that would produce bodily side effects from quitting the substance.

Mental problems

Mental complaints can arise or already existing psychological complaints can worsen. Feeling gloomy or anxious, not feeling well and poor concentration.

Increased chance of heart arrhythmias, heart attack and stroke

Increased chance of heart arrhythmias, heart attack and stroke.

Exhaustion and trouble sleeping

Exhaustion and trouble sleeping

Weight loss

When using stimulants, you usually don’t eat very well (or at all), and you are often moving around a lot on the dancefloor. Combined with higher energy requirements from your body during stimulant use, this causes you to use more energy than you take in, which leads to weight loss.

Unhealthy skin

After prolonged use, the skin often looks less healthy. You are also more likely to suffer from pimples or other skin conditions.

Damage to nasal mucosa

Snorting drugs can damage the nasal mucosa. This can manifest itself in a reduced sense of smell and taste. It can also lead to chronic colds and nosebleeds.

Brain damage

Brain damage

Deterioration of teeth and gums

Using this drug has a negative influence on your teeth. Your teeth can discolour, but the risk of inflammation or cavities also increases.

HIV and hepatitis infection (only with injecting)

When injecting drugs you run an increased risk of HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne infections. Injecting is strongly discouraged for this reason. If you do decide to inject, make sure you don’t share equipment such as needles with others and that you use a clean needle every time.

Brain damage

Brain damage

Liver damage

Amphetamines (MDMA, speed, meth) can affect liver function in a multitude of ways. These include cell damage because of overheating, toxic metabolites, and increased blood clotting.


Interactions

Combining different types of drugs can be risky and unpredictable. When you combine drugs you can have a higher risk of health problems. In the following paragraphs you can read about the effects and the risks of a number of combinations that occur frequently and also a about few that are extra hazardous. Also check our theme combining drugs.

Methamphetamine and cannabis

Sometimes people smoke weed after or while taking methamphetamine to calm down or fall asleep more easily. Cannabis can soften the methamphetamine buzz, especially towards the end. However, this is not recommended for everyone, some people may feel anxious or restless. It can increase paranoid thinking. If you suffer from insomnia after using methamphetamine, it is advisable to time your use better. Keep in mind what time you want to go to sleep and do not take any more about 12 hours before you want to go to sleep.


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