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A powerfully addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system. The drug is made easily in clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. These factors combine to make methamphetamine a drug with high potential for widespread abuse. 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 (methylamphetamine or desoxyephedrine), popularly shortened to meth, is a psychostimulant and sympathomimetic drug. It is prescribed for severe cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy under the brand name Desoxyn. It is also used illegally for recreational purposes. "Crystal meth" refers to the crystalline, smokeable form of the drug and is not used for the drug in pill or powdered form.
Illicit methamphetamine has become a major focus of the 'war on drugs' in the United States in recent years. In addition to federal laws, some states have placed additional restrictions on the sale of precursor chemicals commonly used to synthesize methamphetamine, particularly pseudoephedrine, a common over-the-counter decongestant.
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