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Meth is a powerfully intense stimulant that creates a euphoric and energetic feeling. It releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. A cocaine high lasts about 15-20 minutes, while a meth high lasts 2-14 hours. On the street it is known as crank, speed, crystal or ice. It can be a whitish or pale yellow crystal-like powder that can be chewed, ingested, injected, snorted or smoked.

Meth is highly addictive, personality altering and can cause violent, bizarre behavior. Other effects on the central nervous system include irritability, insomnia, confusion and paranoia. Meth robs the body of calcium and appears to have a neurotoxic effect, damaging brain cells that contain dopamine and serotonin, another neurotransmitter. Over time meth appears to cause reduced levels of dopamine, which can result in symptoms like those of Parkinson’s disease and type-two schizophrenia. Meth causes increased heart rate and blood pressure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes. Other effects of meth include respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat and extreme anorexia. Its use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death.

Meth can act as an analgesic. Therefore men on speed are less sensitive to pain and may be inclined to engage in more aggressive sex for longer periods of time. Many times meth users will take the bot­tom (receptive) position during anal sex. Sex on meth may last for long periods of time and cause condoms to break. Sex on meth decreases the fear of con­tracting HIV, which may lead to riskier sexual behavior.