Common Meth Slang Names
Meth vs Crystal Meth. Brief History of Meth. Meth Slang Names in Combination With Other Drugs. Meth Addiction Statistics. Health Effects of Meth Use. Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Meth Addiction
What is Meth?
Methamphetamine or commonly known as meth, and its other forms, such as crystal meth and methamphetamine tablets, are the most widely used synthetic drug globally  Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system (CNS). Crystal meth addiction has devastating effects. It can cause lung disorders, kidney damage, hyperthermia, substance-induced psychosis, stroke, and cardiac arrest. In addition, methamphetamine physically alters one’s facial appearance through the physical and psychological side effects. Oral or dental disease, including meth mouth, was one of the most prevalent (41.3 percent) medical comorbidities in meth users.
Methamphetamine can kill you. High doses can cause the body to overheat to dangerous levels. Methamphetamine overdose nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019 among people ages 18-64 in the United States. Meth addiction can be hard to beat. However, meth addiction treatment programs can help users break their physical and psychological dependence on the drug.
Meth is made from a mixture of household products and agricultural chemicals with pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, a decongestant found in over-the-counter cold remedies like Sudafed. What does meth feel like? Meth gives the user a rush of energy and intense feelings of pleasure. This is mainly due to the rush of dopamine produced by the drug. Dopamine is a chemical that’s not only responsible for inducing feelings of euphoria.
This drug is commonly taken in a binge pattern. It can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally and is often used with other substances. Meth abuse use can have a profound impact on the users’ sleep. This is because meth releases a surge of chemicals known as serotonin and dopamine into the body. This is why most people who are “high” can’t sleep after meth use.
Meth vs Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is a very pure form of meth, which forms in a crystalline structure. It’s traded this way to prove that it is pure. However, it’s the same substance you’d get in a powder, putty, or tablet. The effects are the same, although more robust. Therefore, crystal meth can stay in the system longer than a weaker form of the same drug. The question is, how long does meth stay in your system? One of the main reasons to be aware of how long meth remains in the system is the risk of overdose.
Brief History of Meth
Methamphetamine or N-methyl-1-phenylpropan-2-amine was first synthesized from the naturally occurring alkaloid ephedrine by Japanese chemist named Nagai Nagayoshi in 1893 while researching the structure of ephedrine.
By the 1950s, stimulants became a regular part of the American routine, and a flourishing black market in diverted pharmaceuticals soon developed. This supply began to shrink in the 1960s as law enforcement prosecuted over-prescribing doctors and placed pressure on pharmaceutical companies to withdraw certain products. Many believe the first clandestine labs originated in the California bay area from this environment around 1962.
From the 1960s to the mid-1980s, enterprising biker gangs who dominated the trade mostly ran the clandestine methamphetamine production and operation. The slang term “crank” for methamphetamine allegedly originated from Biker’s transporting meth in the crankshafts of their bikes.
Common Meth Slang Names
Many users will talk about meth using what are called street names or meth slang names to cover up their drug use or addiction. As the effects of meth use are severe, it’s crucial to stay educated on the latest meth slang names and street names for meth, particularly if you’re concerned that a family member or a friend may be using or abusing this drug. Understanding how to spot the signs can also help in decision-making if you are considering seeking treatment for them.
As many meth users try to hide their drug use, one way that you can clue yourself into a loved one’s meth use is by being aware of common meth slang names, slang for being high on meth or for meth users, and meth slang names in combination with other drugs
Currently, known common meth slang names include:
- Bathtub crank (low-quality meth)
- No doze
- White cross
- Cotton candy
- Rocket fuel
- Scooby Snax
Meth Slang Names in Combination With Other Drugs
While meth use is dangerous on its own, combining meth with other drugs is especially hazardous. The use of more than one drug, also known as polysubstance use, is common. This includes when two or more are taken together or within a short time period, either unintentionally or intentionally. Mixing drugs is never safe because the effects of combining drugs may be stronger and more unpredictable than one drug alone, and even deadly.
Common slang names for drug combinations involving meth:
- Shabu or Croak – Cocaine and Meth
- Biker Coffee – Coffee and Meth
- Speedball – Fentanyl and Meth
- Twisters, Fire, or Mexican Speedball – Crack and Meth
- Jet Fuel: PCP and Meth
- Hugs and Kisses – MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly) and Meth
- Party and Play – MDMA, Meth, and Viagra
- Screwball – Heroin and Meth
- Five Way – Meth, Heroin, Cocaine, Rohypnol (the “date rape drug”), and Alcohol
Crystal Meth Slang Names
Crystal meth – also known as ice – is a form of methamphetamine or, to give it its technical name, n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine. Instead of being produced as a powder (as amphetamine, or speed) it’s made as large chunks that look like crystals. Producing it as a solid lump can change the way methamphetamine is absorbed by our bodies.
The popular TV show Breaking Bad has put crystal meth use at the front and center of TV watching the public’s mind. The show pulls few punches and is extremely graphic in its portrayal of drug addiction—specifically crystal meth addiction. This begs the question, does the TV show glamorize the use and sale of crystal meth? Or does the show provide a proper deterrent for young people who are considering taking the drug? The answer can be a mixture of both.
TV shows like Breaking Bad give us ideas on how street drugs like crystal meth are traded and why slang names are given to illicit drugs. Slang names exist for all types of drugs, from prescription medications to illegal substances. Knowing street names for various drugs, particularly meth slang names, can help people identify substance abuse and prevent it from evolving into an addiction.
Crystal meth slang names include:
Slang for Meth Use, Being High, or Meth Users
In addition to meth slang names, meth users typically have a variety of slang used to describe being high, getting high, the effects of meth, etc.
- Hot Railing: Heating crystal meth in a tube and then using the tube to inhale the drug.
- Box or Rolling Labs: Small, mobile laboratories used to manufacture meth.
- Hot Rolling: Liquifying meth inside an eyedropper in order to inhale the drug.
- Tweaking: Typically happens at end of high when the user engages in compulsive behaviors and may be irritable, paranoid, and violent.
- Meth Mites: Sensation where meth users feel bugs are crawling under their skin.
- Crank Craters or Meth Sores: Sores on the body and face caused when meth users pick at skin due to tweaking or feeling of meth mites.
- Tweaker, Meth Head, or Speed Freak: A regular meth user or addict.
- Getting Glassed: Snorting meth.
- Chicken Flippin’: Smoking crystal meth.
Meth Addiction Statistics
The past 25 years have seen a significant increase in the public health concerns associated with the production and use of methamphetamine in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , based on meth addiction statistics from 2015 to 2018, an estimated 1.6 million U.S. adults aged ≥18 years, on average, reported past-year methamphetamine use; 52.9% had a methamphetamine use disorder, and 22.3% reported injecting methamphetamine within the past year. Co-occurring substance use and mental illness were common among those who used methamphetamine within the past year.
According to the Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2019 meth addiction statistics by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) , the so-called “club drugs” (like ecstasy, meth, cocaine, ketamine, and LSD) are mainly used by young people in higher-income brackets. Meth and fentanyl are seen as the most significant threats in western and midwestern areas of the U.S.
Meth addiction statistics in 2020 show that more than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, marking the largest one-year increase in overdose deaths ever recorded. Overdose deaths involving psychostimulants, and particularly methamphetamine, have also risen steeply in recent years, and many of these deaths involved the use of an opioid at the same time.
Health Effects of Meth Use
The exact mechanism whereby illegal stimulants like meth produce euphoria (the pleasurable high) are still poorly understood. But along with euphoria, meth use releases very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the reward circuit, which “teaches” the brain to repeat the pleasurable activity of abusing the illegal drug. Dopamine is involved in motivation and motor function. Its release in the reward circuit is a defining characteristic of addictive drugs. The release of dopamine produced by meth is also thought to contribute to the harmful meth effects on nerve terminals in the brain.
Health Effects of Meth Use on the Brain
Chronic and long-term use of meth can alter brain functioning, leading to memory loss, altered moods, poor decision-making, and impulsivity. It can potentially damage the central nervous system. Crystal meth use disorder is a complex brain disease that affects a person’s well-being and affects their entire family. Treatment for crystal meth addiction is possible with active engagement, incentive-based approaches, and timely access to appropriate and structured treatment, including family-centered treatment.
Meth often causes neuropsychiatric symptoms like psychosis, anxiety, and hallucinations. Meth’s effects on brain cells can further lead to psychosis, with symptoms such as paranoia and hallucinations that are very similar to those of schizophrenia. Although these symptoms may resolve over 1–6 months after quitting, some crystal meth users find that they persist in the long term, and relapse of psychotic symptoms can occur even after a long period of abstinence.
Health Effects of Meth Use on the Lungs
Meth addiction has a mixture of effects on the respiratory system and the lungs. The stimulant effects of meth lead to accelerated breathing, potentially causing fainting and lightheadedness. Smoking this drug can also result in coughing up blood due to bleeding in the alveoli, the portion of the lungs responsible for gas exchange with the blood supply.
Crystal meth use is more associated with pulmonary hypertension because of the destruction of small pulmonary blood vessels and pulmonary edema. Snorting this drug can lead to severe coughing and respiratory trauma, such as a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) and air release into the body outside of the lungs (pneumomediastinum). When meth is inhaled, its contaminants can be collected in the lungs, forming granulomas and leading to interstitial lung disease.
Health Effects of Meth Use on the Heart
Meth’s stimulant effects can heavily raise the person’s heart rates, and over time, chronic and excessive use of this drug can result in heart palpitations. This alarming symptom is usually experienced as a powerful pounding feeling in the neck or chest. Crystal meth use can also lead to arrhythmia, also known as an irregular heartbeat.
These can feel like a “skipped” heartbeat, and if the arrhythmia becomes severe, it can lead to collapse, lightheadedness, or even cardiac arrest. In addition, overuse of meth can raise blood pressure, and over time, chronic high blood pressure can damage arteries, causing them to harden and block blood flow to various organs. Unfortunately, the symptoms can be silent as the damage transpires, and meth users may not be aware of the harm to their bodies until it’s too late.
Effects of Meth Use on your Physical Appearance
Meth face is the name for the decline in physical appearance in the face of many meth addicts, especially those who have a prolonged history of abuse. Meth face usually includes dental problems, skin issues, sores, false aging, and an overall deterioration of the face. The adverse effects of meth on the face typically get worse with heavier and more frequent use. When meth use stops, many of these effects can be reversed, but these changes often take time, effort, and professional help.
Meth Premature Aging
Chronic meth use causes people to age beyond their years. A person may look haggard as their skin becomes leathery and takes on a grey cast. As an individual’s skin loses its elasticity, they may have more wrinkles than a person typically should at their age.
Meth has also been linked to the development of certain diseases that are associated with aging, including coronary artery atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and liver steatosis (fatty liver disease). Recent research has found that meth can cause cellular aging and inflammation, factors that may contribute to these problems.
Meth mouth is a term used to describe the visible effects of oral disease in a person who uses meth because of the widespread tooth decay that often happens with the drug’s use. People who use meth may have blackened, stained, broken, or rotting teeth, both due to side effects of meth itself and related lifestyle factors. The typical decay pattern involves the maxillary and mandibular teeth’ facial and cervical areas with eventual progression to frank coronal involvement. Eventually, the best course of treatment for someone struggling with oral disease caused by meth use, such as meth mouth, is to treat the addiction.
Meth Sores on the Mouth
The mouth is a common location for meth users to develop sores. Here a the common sores caused by meth:
- Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that appears red and swollen. Untreated meth sores can develop into cellulitis, which is a bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis is common but can cause dangerous health complications if left untreated.
- Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are more likely to occur in people who use meth than in non-drug users. The infection starts as painful red bumps that become abscessed and require medical care to be drained.
- Abscesses are pus-filled sores caused by a bacterial infection. They usually appear red, raised, and painful to touch. Abscesses can be treated with antibiotics and by draining the infected area.
Meth Mites and Crank Bugs
Meth can cause tactile hallucinations, which is when a person feels something that doesn’t exist. Long-term meth abuse may make a person feel as if they have insects crawling on or burrowing beneath their skin. Referred to as “crank bugs” or “meth mites,” the scientific term for this is formication. The sensation is most commonly experienced on the face and neck.
In an effort to relieve the sensation or get rid of the perceived bugs, people will pick at the skin. This skin picking can become an obsessive behavior and render the skin scaly, dry, irritated, and covered in sores. The more someone continues to pick at sores, the longer it will take to heal, and there is an increased risk of infection.
Skin Picking Disorder
When someone finds an imperfection on their skin, such as a scar or scab, they may develop skin picking disorders. They begin picking at the spot, causing more damage to the area and preventing healing. This leads to a vicious cycle in which the skin-picking addiction wins. Skin picking is particularly dangerous for those suffering from meth mites (also known as meth sores) or heroin itching.
Irritation from meth mites can cause skin sores to worsen, and someone with a skin picking disorder will continue to pick at them. Worse yet, the stress of withdrawal may cause someone to pick at their sores, scabs, or skin even more, especially if they have anxiety or skin picking disorders.
Because crystal meth weakens the immune system, the body has a difficult time fighting off infections. Someone with low immunity and poor personal hygiene is a perfect candidate for meth rash. Meth rash can occur on the face, but it usually develops under the arms, on the back and shoulders, and between the legs. This is because the sweat that is filled with the toxins from the drug sits on the skin and festers. When there is friction (like under the arms), it helps to grind bacteria back into the skin, which produces a bright red, itchy, bumpy, burning rash.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Meth Addiction
First and foremost, if you think that a loved one is abusing meth, you should first research meth and the addiction associated with it, including the meth slang names and how the drug impacts the body so that you can better understand what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, make sure that you offer compassion and support instead of judgment.
Lastly, offer your support throughout the entire treatment process. In addition, prolonged meth use can have severe physical and psychological effects, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you get through the early stages of withdrawal promptly. We Level Up treatment rehab & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from Meth addiction with professional and safe treatment.
Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.
Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
- Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
- Solution Focused Therapy – is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to medically assist your recovery. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.