What it is: Crystal methamphetamine is a colorless, odorless form of d-methamphetamine, a powerful and highly addictive synthetic stimulant. Crystal meth usually resembles small fragments of glass or shiny blue-white 'rocks' of various sizes.
How it is abused: Crystal meth typically is smoked using glass pipes similar to pipes used to smoke crack cocaine. It may also be injected, snorted, or ingested. A user immediately experiences an intense sensation followed by a high that may last 12 hours or more.
The risks: Crystal meth use is associated with numerous serious physical problems. The drug can cause rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain—which can lead to stroke. Chronic use of the drug can result in inflammation of the heart lining. Overdoses can cause hyperthermia ( elevated body temperature ) , convulsions, and death. Users can also experience paranoia, anorexia, irritability, and physical aggression.
Crystal meth users who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks, including contracting HIV ( human immunodeficiency virus ) ; hepatitis B and C; and other viruses.
Street terms: Batu, blade, Cristy, Crystal, Hanyak, meth, hot ice, L.A. glass, quartz, shards, stove top, Tina, zip.
Legality: Crystal meth is illegal. Crystal methamphetamine is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and PCP, have a high potential for abuse, which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Sources: National Drug Intelligence Center; Test Positive Aware Network.