Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates the central nervous system. It can be smoked, snorted, orally ingested, and injected. It is available in many different forms and may be identified by color, which can range from white to yellow to darker colors such as red and brown. Methamphetamine comes in a powder form that looks like granulated crystals and in a rock form known as “ice,” which is the smokeable version of methamphetamine.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, accompanied by functional and molecular changes in the brain. In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic abusers exhibit symptoms that can include anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. They also can display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects creeping under the skin). Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after methamphetamine abuse has ceased, and stress has been shown to precipitate spontaneous recurrence of methamphetamine psychosis in formerly psychotic methamphetamine abusers.