Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on September 10, 2021.
Methamphetamine, more commonly referred to as meth, is an illegal stimulant that delivers an intense and energetic high. This substance makes users feel exhilarated due to its effects on the brain chemical dopamine. Those unnatural levels of dopamine make meth highly addictive. People crave that euphoric state, which can lead to binge-like behavior and dangerous meth addiction.
If you suspect that a loved one is using methamphetamines, read more about the four types of this addictive stimulant.
All forms of meth can cause dangerous side effects and even lead to death. However, meth manufacturers and drug dealers produce the substance in different ways, changing how it looks and is ingested. Here are the four most common types of meth.
Powdered meth is a crystalline powder. It can be snorted, swallowed or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected into a vein.
The look of powdered meth depends on the production method, ranging from a coarse to a very fine powder. Often it resembles cocaine or chalk dust and has a white or off-white color. Powdered meth can also appear in various shades of brown, yellow, orange, grayish or pink.
Dissolving powdered meth in alcohol or another solvent creates crystal meth, the most potent form of the drug. After the mixture evaporates, crystals form around the edges of the mixing container.
Crystal meth resembles chunks or fragments of glass, ice, quartz or rock salt and tends to be flaky. The color ranges from translucent to white or bluish-white. Users typically inject or smoke this form of the drug and may experience a longer, more pronounced high.
Some drug traffickers dissolve powdered meth in water for easier transport. The meth turns the liquid a dark yellow color with a syrupy appearance. Methamphetamines are rarely sold in liquid form. Typically, manufacturers boil the meth back into a powder for use or sale.
Although rare, there is a legal, FDA-approved version of methamphetamine sold under the brand name Desoxyn. This highly controlled substance is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.
There are also illegal powdered meth tablets sold as party drugs. These tablets often contain other substances and can vary in shape, size and color. Yaba is a popular meth pill that contains meth and caffeine and is usually reddish-orange or green in color.
If you or someone you know struggles with meth addiction, recovery is possible. At Diamond House Detox, our inpatient meth rehab program offers a relaxed, comfortable environment where you can heal from the ravages of meth addiction. You'll receive the support you need to take your first steps toward recovery and a meth-free life. Contact us today to learn more.