What Are The Different Types Of Meth?

Methamphetamine, a type of amphetamine with a different chemical construction, is an addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. This is a Schedule II controlled substance, so any form of meth is illegal, but street vendors produce many different types of meth for illicit use.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Before diving into the different types of meth, it’s important to look at what forms they take in order to better understand how the substance is used.

There are three main forms of meth — powder, crystals, and rock. The powder is an odorless and bitter-tasting substance and is easily soluble in water, alcohol, and other liquids.

The last two are more closely related but are used differently. Crystals are generally highly potent, almost always smoked, and nicknamed ‘ice.’

Rock, the last form of meth, is a less pure substance and is generally taken orally as opposed to snorting or smoking.

Common Types Of Methamphetamin

Studies performed by individual and government medical institutions have found crystal meth to be among the most commonly used forms of methamphetamine.

This is thanks in part to its availability, being one of the most widely produced types of meth, both in superlabs south of the equator as well as in kitchens across the U.S.

However, the other types of meth are the freebase form, generally considered to be the least potent, and the ‘dirtier’ yellowish rock form.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a white crystalline or shardlike type of meth that is usually snorted, injected, or smoked.

Because of the potency of this meth variant, it can be extremely addictive. Methamphetamine use can cause intense cravings even after the first instance of drug use.

Prescription Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)

One of the only forms of regulated and permissible methamphetamines, Desoxyn can be administered to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

This central nervous system stimulant can speed up the process of neurotransmitter activity in the brain, as well as regulate the release of dopamine and other hormones.

This can make it beneficial for those with ADHD, as it can boost cognitive function levels, but misuse can lead to addiction.

In fact, independent studies have found that over 62% of college students have been offered prescription amphetamines, as the rate of prescription drug abuse continues to climb.

Blue Meth

Blue meth is an ironic variation of crystal methamphetamine, having been popularized by TV shows that showed the blue crystalline substance.

Since 2010, law enforcement officers have noted an uptick in seized blue meth parcels while noting that it is up to 50% more expensive than traditional clear meth.

However, it is not any more potent, nor any purer — it is simply a result of adding in chemicals to change the appearance of the substance, which are reportedly making people sick.

Pink Meth

Strawberry meth, also known as quick meth or pink meth, began a drug scare in the early 2000s due to its appearance to strawberry-flavored pop rocks, a common candy.

Drug dealers began to add food coloring and other products not only to disguise the appearance of the drug but also to make it more appealing to children.

P2P Meth

P2P meth came into existence as a reaction against the crackdown of ephedrine, a drug used to lower blood pressure during anesthesia, which also found use as an ingredient in meth.

Replacing ephedrine in the chemical construction process, drug dealers have found alternative ingredients, such as lye, mercury, and sulfuric acid.

This type of meth is just as potent but has a higher concentration of the isomer known as d-amphetamine. This difference in chemical construction produces extremely negative side effects.

Whereas traditional meth produces a sociable, energetic, and euphoric feeling, P2P meth can induce mental illness problems including hallucinations and long-lasting psychosis.

Liquid Meth

There is no single kind of liquified meth, as most forms of meth can be dissolved into water and other liquid solutions.

However, the most common forms of liquid meth stem from dissolving the white powder into liquid, which is by far the easiest method as opposed to dissolving crystal meth shards.

Colored Meth

The color and effects of methamphetamine are closely tied to what ingredients were used in its construction.

Many people who operate meth labs change their products based on the availability of certain ingredients, including many over-the-counter cold medications.

The color and appearance of meth can be influenced by ingredients such as:

  • cold medications
  • battery acid
  • decongestants
  • drain cleaner
  • Antifreeze

Fake Meth

People who use methamphetamine may find that their product has been cut or faked in an attempt for street dealers to maximize their profits.

Cheaper ingredients, or simply running short of the potent base, can result in a far less potent, cut, or ‘faked’ product that many people are unable to distinguish from the real thing.

Since meth can take a variety of forms and appearances — while usually being odorless — it can be difficult to differentiate real meth from fake without the help of a test kit.

How Are Different Types Of Meth Used?

Meth, in whichever form it comes in, can be dissolved into water and injected. This can lead to collapsed veins, cardiovascular problems, and hepatitis.

It can also be snorted, rubbed into the gums, smoked, or taken orally.

Generally, the form of the drug constitutes the way in which it is used — powder for inhaling, liquid for injecting, and so on.

Do Different Forms Of Meth Have Different Effects?

Yes. The long-term effects of meth variants are substantially different in some areas. For instance, P2P meth has a history of causing severe mental health disorders.

There are also less potent forms of meth. The white powdery form is generally the least potent, with injectable meth or crystal meth being among the highest concentrated forms.

However, even though some forms are less potent than others, they all pose the same risk for meth addiction.

Most Types Of Meth Lead To Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms

Many types of illegal drug use, especially opioids, MDMA, and meth, lead to severe short-term withdrawal symptoms — some of which can be fatal.

Withdrawal symptoms from meth include:

  • anxiety
  • psychosis alongside visual or auditory hallucinations
  • fatigue
  • severe weight loss
  • increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • erratic or violent behavior
  • depression
  • increased body temperature
  • red and itchy eyes
  • paranoia

Treatment Programs For Methamphetamine Abuse

Fortunately, meth addiction is reversible, and a number of effective addiction treatment programs exist today to help facilitate recovery for people who need it.

Some of the substance use treatment programs for meth include:

  • inpatient and outpatient treatment
  • detox
  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • therapy and counseling
  • residential treatment
  • mental health services
  • vocational and educational programs

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or a loved one are in search of addiction treatment for meth, call our free helpline today to discuss enrollment at Bedrock Recovery Center.

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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