An unbearably, awesomely euphoric stimulant. The holy grail of stimulants, it's stronger and longer lasting than both regular amphetamine and cocaine. Methylphenidate doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence.
Although the stereotype perpetuated by the American media is that meth is a drug exclusively used by toothless white trash cooking up pseudoephedrine in their bath tub, the drug has has a wide appeal around the world (and with good reason). From Hawaii to New Zealand to Australia and Mexico, from white collar workers trying to keep up with their 80 hour work week to the club scene, where the euphoria, hypersexuality and intense sociability make it the ultimate party drug, meth has something for everyone.
Widely maligned (and not always unfairly), meth is also highly addictive and incredibly toxic when used regularly. Malnutrition, tooth decay, insomnia, anxiety, brain damage, psychosis and death all await the meth user who doesn't treat the drug with a serious level of respect. This isn't a drug for the weak willed or faint hearted, but if you have the self control and love riding the thin line between the ultimate hedonistic indulgence and the road to self destruction, then meth can take you into a whole new world of intensity and excitement.
 The Basics
Like most stimulants, meth works by increasing levels of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. These account for the effects of the drug, which include -
- Physical and Mental Stimulation
Side Effects Can Include -
- Jaw Clenching (Bruxism)
- Appetite Suppression
- Shadow people
These will generally increase when excessive doses are taken, or when the drug is binged on or abused chronically over a long period of time. Also like most stimulants, the initial high is generally followed by a 'crash' period, when depletion of these neurotransmitters leads to a rebound period of depression and lethargy, while residual stimulation prevents sleep despite an overwhelming feeling of fatigue. It's common for meth users to try and avoid the comedown by redosing, leading to binges that can last days. Try to avoid this, it goes without saying, but it's really fucking unhealthy to binge on meth. The 48 Hour Rule especially applies to Methamphetamine. Decide on a predetermined time limit, (which should be under 48 hours) and force yourself to stop redosing at this point. Your best weapons against a bad crash are strong CNS depressants. Benzodiazepines are the most common choice, although opiates also do the job quite effectively. Booze is generally not so effective, since the appetite suppression can make it hard to force alcohol beverages down, and drinking on an empty stomach (which you'll likely have unless you were sensible enough to force yourself to eat while high) can be uncomfortable. As always, be careful combining CNS depressants, since the effects of different depressants can compound each-other, and the effect of the meth can mask them. A dose of depressants that could be barely noticeable while high could render you unconscious or even cause respiratory arrest once the meth wears off. Don't pull a Heath Ledger/DJ AM.
Another effective choice is the antipsychotic Seroquel. Antipsychotics are both sedating and function by reducing dopamine levels in the brain, effectively halting meth in its tracks. Unless you have a friend with schizophrenia or severe bipolar, this might be kind of hard to locate, and if you do, I hope you're not giving them meth.
 Appearance and Consistency
Good meth will look like shards of ice or crushed glass, be almost clear, maybe a slightly foggy white, and have no more than a slight odor. If it has a strong chemical scent or is colored, that can indicate impurity, though even a relatively minor impurity can cause discoloration or a strong scent and it's often just byproduct of the cooking process, so it could still be good product, it's just less likely. If it's a more grainy consistency, or damp or soggy, then that would again indicate impurities or a shoddy cooking process. Such a product could still be strong, but again it's less likely. Crystal isn't the only form of meth. It often comes in a powder or a substance with a damp/pasty consistency, sold as speed/whiz/goey/base*/whatever your local slang is. This kind of product is generally less pure than crystal (and subsequently cheaper). Generally unsuitable for smoking, and often for IVing as well.
- Technically inaccurate, since methamphetamine freebase is actually an oily liquid quite unsuited to any kind of recreational use and unlikely to be found outside a meth lab, but it persists as a slang term.
Worth noting as this product is often sold under those slang terms in an attempt to differentiate it from methamphetamine (and the associated stigma), or give the perception that it is another, less dangerous chemical. If you live in an area where meth is prominent (North/Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and certain parts of Eastern Europe), then you should operate under the assumption that any 'speed' purchased is methamphetamine, not amphetamine sulphate. The latter is generally only found as a street drug in Europe. Methamphetamine is also available as a prescription pharmaceutical in America, under the name Desoxyn and generally prescribed for severe narcolepsy or people who are really good at faking ADD. Trying to score a desoxyn script is like the hell mode of doctor shopping, good luck!
Eating is generally prefered by new or occasional users, or those using meth to supplement other drugs. The bioavailability is lower (somewhere in the range of 40 - 60%), but the high is longer lasting, often extending out to 8 hours or more.
Snorting is also a popular choice, combining convenience with a slight rush upon ingestion and a longer duration than smoking or IVing. Bioavailability is higher than eating, at 70 - 80%. It hurts like a bitch, but that's how you know it's good, right?
Smoking is probably one of the most popular ROA's. First it's worth mentioning that smoking meth does 'not' involve burning the drug, and anybody who tries to smoke meth by sprinkling it on top of weed should be slapped for wasting drugs. 'Smoking' meth actually involves vaporizing it, most commonly in a glass pipe with a long stem and a bulb at the end designed especially for that purpose, but in a pinch a home made pipe can be constructed with a light bulb, or it can be smoked off foil.
Although not as intense as IVing, smoking provides a much greater rush than either eating or snorting, and is subsequently more addictive. The bioavailability is generally around the 90% mark, with a duration of 5 hours or so, give or take half an hour. The technique of smoking meth is in itself a lot of fun, and actually requires a fair bit of practice and skill. Some starter tips include:
- use a bic lighter, some people like to use jet lighters or large torches, but these will heat the bowl up too fast and result in wasted meth.
- Hold the lighter a couple inches below the bowl. The flame itself shouldn't go anywhere near the pipe.
- twirl the pipe around slightly as the meth melts, letting the meth spread over the bowl and maximizing exposure to the heated glass.
- Don't hold the lighter to the bowl constantly, once the meth has started melting pull it away, then reapply until it starts smoking, then pull away etc. the bowl will stay hot for a good 10 seconds or so after you pull the lighter away, if you want to keep inhaling, you can put the lighter back under the bowl for a few seconds to warm it back up
- Likewise, pull the lighter away about 10 seconds before you can no longer inhale, the bowl will stay hot and the meth will keep vaporizing, if your lungs reach capacity and the bowl is still hot, meth will float into the air and be wasted.
- Along that note, meth 'smoke' isn't smoke at all, it's a vapor. Any vapor that floats up from the pipe, or any vapor you exhale, is wasted meth. For this reason you should practice inhaling slowly and holding your breath for a while afterwards, 10 seconds or so should suffice to let most of the meth be absorbed in your lungs.
- No, meth won't recrystallize in your lungs, that's a bullshit urban legend, your lungs are warm and damp, and meth is both water soluble and has a low melting point, it would dissolve instantly.
IVing is well, IVing, fairly standard, provides the best rush, a 100% bioavailability, and a 4 - 5 hour high. Nowhere near as fun as smoking in this speedfreaks humble opinion, but if needles are your thing, go nuts. But for the love of god, use safe rigs, HIV is not cool.
Plugging is also an interesting one, the bioavailability is up there with smoking or IVing, but the duration is similar to eating, you get the best of both worlds, with the tradeoff of having to stick drugs up your pooper. Instructions for properly plugging drugs can be found with 2 seconds on google, if you don't mind the whole process it's a great way to get the most out of your meth.
 How to score meth in a gay club
Don't just ask up front. Look for people obviously on some kind of stim (big pupils, grinding their teeth, twitchy and energetic) and start up a conversation with them. After chatting for a bit just ask casually if they know where you can find any. Slang varies from city to city. If you don't know what it's generally called, asking for 'tina' or 'crystal' in a gay club would be a good bet, as those are the two terms gay men seem to use a lot -- though if there's some slang specific to your city, try that instead. However, it is not advised to call it 'meth,' as that sounds very suspect. It is available by prescription as Desoxyn, in 5mg tablets for extreme cases of narcolepsy and ADHD.
 Preventing permanent brain damage
Some can use heavily for a year or two and seem to recover more or less fully; others who use far less can seem to "change" much more from their use. If you live healthily, only use once every month or two and stick to the 48 hour rule, the damage is unlikely to be serious.
In order to prevent damage from meth use, dose up on antioxidants before/during/after taking meth. Methamphetamine neurotoxicity is caused by oxidative stress, so antioxidants will counteract that. A dose of vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, acetyl-l-carnitine, and some green tea extract for good measure (all available at health food or body building stores) every few hours until you sleep again will go a long way towards countering the stress meth puts on your mesolimbic pathway, melatonin is an especially good option as it is both an extremely strong antioxidant and it also helps you sleep, consider taking 1mg an hour during a session.
Other things that will help abate any damage include staying hydrated, forcing yourself to eat (meth puts enough strain on your body without adding dehydration and malnutrition to the mix) and trying to keep your body temperature from going too high (hard when tweaking, even harder if tweaking while having sex, or clubbing, or working, or anything really, but try).
Also, try to avoid combining meth with MDMA if possible. The combination severely compounds the neurotoxicity of both. It's fun as hell, yeah, but it's not worth the potential emotional or cognitive malfunction it can cause. A lot of MDMA pills come with meth in them, if you can avoid them, do, though low doses in a pill probably aren't too serious if it's as infrequent as possible. Don't get into the habit of taking high doses of meth concurrently with or right after MDMA, your brain will hate you for it.
Yes, meth is neurotoxic, but so are a lot of popular drugs (alcohol, ecstasy, amphetamine sulphate, cathinones, etc etc). Like a lot of drug side effects, it's not a big issue if you practice harm reduction and don't use in excess. You won't become some fried out, paranoid schizophrenic tweaker by smoking a few points every month or two, any more than you'll give yourself liver failure by getting drunk once or twice a month. Moderation, people!
Meth is largely considered by the members of the 420chan drug board to be the most destructive drug, beating out crack and heroin by the accounts of both /stim/ and /opi/. Unless you hate your life and are interested in going out in a blaze of AWESOME, it's probably best to take steps to do it safely, or else find something somewhat similar, yet safer, like crack.
 Things not normal to do
There are a lot of things that aren't normal to do; interestingly, on meth, they are. Some masturbate uncontrollably near windows, or out doors in hopes that someone is secretly watching and on meth also. This gives the user an even more intense rush of pleasure. You get the picture.
 See Also
Amphetamine for more methods on preventing neurotoxicity.