Meth Base is a damp or oily substance with a white to yellow or brown colour with a higher purity than powder. It can vary a lot in its appearance and is known by a range of terms, including ‘pure’, ‘paste’, and ‘wax’. This form is typically injected and sometimes swallowed. Base is sold in ‘points’, which weigh about 0.1 grams.
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant drug that dramatically affects the central nervous system. It is usually illegally produced and distributed.
Meth can be taken by swallowing, snorting, smoking, or injecting it with a hypodermic needle.
HOW IS METH MADE?
Unlike drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, which are derived from plants, meth can be manufactured using a variety of store bought chemicals.
The most common ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, commonly found in cold medicine. Through a cooking process the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is chemically changed into meth. The ingredients that are used in the process of making meth can include: ether, paint thinner, Freon®, acetone, anhydrous ammonia, iodine crystals, red phosphorus, drain cleaner, battery acid, and lithium (taken from inside batteries). Meth is often manufactured or “cooked” in very crude laboratories. Many of these labs are not sophisticated operations and do not require sophisticated chemistry equipment. And the people who cook the meth usually do not have any chemistry training. Cooking meth is relatively simple, but highly dangerous and toxic.
The typical dose of methamphetamine is a ‘point’ (0.1 grams) of base or ice, or half a gram of the lower purity powder, which is taken once or twice over the course of an evening or a day. Methamphetamine is typically injected by dissolving the drug with water in the small resealable plastic bag in which it is sold. A syringe is used to measure the amount of water and withdraw the dissolved drug from the bag. Ice is smoked using a glass pipe, or less commonly a water pipe or ‘bong’. Ice is heated in the bulb of the pipe until it vapourises and it is then inhaled. When people smoke ice they often share it among friends, passing the pipe around, and letting the methamphetamine re-crystallise in between being used. People who snort or swallow methamphetamine usually take the powder form of the drug.
What are the effects?
Methamphetamine can produce: – a sense of well-being – energy – euphoria (or high) – confidence – alertness Signs of methamphetamine intoxication include: – sweaty/clammy skin – dilated or large pupils – agitation – talkativeness
Who uses methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is used by a wide range of people for a variety of reasons. Common ‘types’ of methamphetamine users include: – young ecstasy users who will snort speed or smoke ice on weekends with their friends – older injecting heroin users who will also inject methamphetamine – people who regard methamphetamine as their drug of choice, who tend to inject the drug once to several times a week People usually take methamphetamine at home in the company of their friends, often before going out to socialise.