Peanut butter crack, Crystal meth and poor man's dope are the common names for Meth. This is a very addictive drug sold in the form of a powder or as crystal-like rocks. The name "peanut butter" may describe impure rocks cut with various chemicals used to synthesize the drug, as the color of the drug is a similar tannish brown. Use of meth is similar to crack or marijuana, with the meth rocks or crystals placed atop a surface that is heated with a cigarette lighter. Using a small pipe or cylinder, the user inhales the smoke to achieve the high.
When smoked or inhaled, meth attacks the brain by causing a soaring rise in seratonin and dopamine, creating a heightened sense of euphoria that the user never wants to end. To this end, meth is very addictive, and can cause some very painful side effects during withdrawal. Abuse of meth can lead to a number of body and mental dysfunctions, including kidney failure, permanent brain damage, increased paranoia and hallucinations, and heart failure. Frequent use of meth also decreases saliva production, which can lead to tooth decay. People who abuse meth are known to go to great lengths to continue their habit, in some cases committing crimes to afford their next hit.
If you suspect a loved one is abusing methamphetamine, look for these signs:
Agitated personality, always irritable; Dilated pupils; Loss of appetite, rapid and unexplained weight loss; Withdrawing from friends, bouts of depression; Rapid, unexplained tooth decay (known as meth mouth); Increased thirst and craving for sugary drinks; Increased acne and skin lesions. Users of meth should be made aware of the risks of addiction and possible health damage. Parents should look for the signs and contact professional help as soon as possible if they suspect their young children of abusing the drug.