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How Is Methamphetamine Used?

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Updated March 20, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: How Is Methamphetamine Used?
Answer: Because methamphetamine is produced in several different forms, it can be smoked, snorted, injected or swallowed. Currently, the most common method of abusing meth is by smoking it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Community Epidemiology Work Group. data.

But, the method of using methamphetamine can vary by geographic region.

Injecting or smoking meth gives the user the biggest and quickest "rush" or "flash." Snorting methamphetamine results in effects within three to five minutes, while oral ingestion brings effects within 15 to 20 minutes.

Snorting or oral ingestion does not produce an intense rush, but rather an euphoric high, unlike smoking or injecting the drug. The rush or the high produced by meth lasts for only a few minutes.

Many methamphetamine abusers use the drug in a pattern known as "binge and crash," because the effects of the drug wear off before the level of the drug in the blood stream significantly decreases. Users try to maintain the high by taking more of the drug.

Some abusers go on a "run," which is a form of a binge during which they don't eat or sleep for up to several days at a time.

Back to: Methamphetamine FAQ

Sources:

National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Methamphetamine." Research Report Series Updated September 2013

The Partnership at DrugFree.org. "Methamphetamine." Drug Guide. Accessed March 2014.

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