Pure methamphetamine, commonly known as ‘P’ in New Zealand, is a powerfully addictive synthetic stimulant, which dramatically affects the central nervous system.    Methamphetamine was first synthesized in Japan in 1893 from ephedrine and by World War II it was being widely used to combat battle fatigue. (Pervitin)  Post war in the United States methamphetamine was commonly  prescribed and used for ailments such as weight loss and depression until the early 1960s. After being banned by health officials in 1963, the first Clandestine Laboratory for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine was discovered in the United States.

Behaviours:

• Unpredictable, changeable moods
• Severe depression – loss of will to live
• Repetitive, meaningless, purposeless
• Paranoid
• Delusions of grandeur / power

• Disinterest in previously held interests
• Confused / disorientated

Physical:

• Skin sores, spots, leathery grey/pale skin
• Sunken eyes, dilated pupils
• Rotten, discoloured teeth, lip biting, tongue clicking, teeth grinding
• Speaking quickly, incessant talking, voice quiver
• Sensitive to noise and light
• Excessive sweating
• Tremors /convulsions
• Inability to sleep followed by very long periods of sleep
• Extreme weight loss
• Burns to finger tips
• Presence of: glass pipes, light bulbs, syringes, discarded point/gram bags, electronic scales etc

Cycle of Use

• RUSH 5-30 min
Extreme pleasure, elevated heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism

• HIGH 4-24 hrs

Delusions of grandeur, argumentative, ’10 foot tall and bullet proof’

• BINGE 3-15 days
Trying to maintain high, constant use, extreme hyperactivity without sleep

• TWEAKING 3-15 days
Following binging user can become extremely agitated, violent and unpredictable. Psychosis leads to severe hallucinations and paranoia, and behaviour becomes ‘driven’

• CRASH 1-3 days
User becomes almost lifeless and sleeps for very long periods

• WITHDRAWAL 30-90 days
(up to 18 months)
After the crash users experience severe depression, lethargy, meth cravings, suicidal thoughts. They are unable to experience normal pleasures.