Methamphetamine, or meth, is a powerful stimulant drug known for its euphoric effects and the energy it triggers in users. The drug comes in a number of forms, including pills and an odorless powder that can be snorted or dissolved in liquid. Some abusers also smoke a more potent version of this drug, that comes in a form similar to crystals or ice. Crystal meth, or ice, as it’s commonly called, are the same drug as meth, but in a more potent, distilled form.  

The Difference Between Ice and Meth

Meth is a stimulant that directly affects the central nervous system, influencing brain chemicals responsible for brain overactivity. It was originally used in nasal decongestants in the early 20th century, and has since been used to treat patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Because of its weight loss effects, doctors prescribe methamphetamine as an aid for extreme cases of obesity.

Though intended for medical purposes, it is used recreationally for its euphoric effects and long-lasting highs stimulating users for up to 12 hours. Meth is a fast acting drug with more than double the potency of cocaine, a quality that dangerously increases the likelihood of addiction and overdose. It is usually cut with other additives and substances to increase product sales.

Methamphetamine is known on the street by a number of names. Some of the most common include:

  • Beannies
  • Chalk
  • Crank
  • Speed
  • Crystal meth
  • Glass  
  • Ice

Ice, or crystal meth, is the purest and most potent version of methamphetamine, usually in the form of crystalline rocks. Rather than being snorted, crystal meth is commonly smoked and gives an amplified version of euphoria to users. This version can also be injected, as the “ice” turns to liquid once heated.

Because it is more pure than regular meth, ice is more addictive and creates an extended high that users can feel up to 24 hours after use. It is typically manufactured in chemical “super labs” that can preserve its potency with little to no additives.

Using methamphetamine in any form can result in a number of harmful side effects and health risks. Some of the most common symptoms of meth abuse include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Anxiety
  • Teeth grinding
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Meth sores
  • Meth mouth
  • Kidney failure
  • Bacterial infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Overdose
  • Death

Methamphetamine addiction does not have to be a journey taken alone. With help from resources like The Recovery Village, you will be one step closer to a healthier life and a successful recovery. Let our team of trained medical professionals guide you to the best treatment program to address your needs. In time and with support, you too can gain the skills necessary to help overcome your addiction.

If you or a loved one live with methamphetamine addiction or are using methamphetamine recreationally and want to stop, it’s time to seek professional help. The Recovery Village® provides care to those struggling with methamphetamine. Reach out to one of our knowledgeable representatives today to learn how you can start on your path to recovery.

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National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013, September). What is methamphetamine? Retrieved from

Sky News. (2015, July 8). Inside Mexico’s Infamous Meth ‘Super Labs’. Retrieved from