Crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is a glass-like substance that is smoked in a pipe but may also be snorted or injected. It is a stimulant drug that lifts mood, increases energy, and makes users feel more alert. It is very addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as depression, cravings, and nervousness.1
Producing the drug is relatively easy. There are few special ingredients required and few technical skills needed. Once the production process is complete, people have a drug that is both powerful and cheap. However, the chemicals used to make meth are toxic and dangerous and can harm people near the production area as well as the environment.
Over the past decade, production of meth has shifted from domestic labs to Mexico, largely due to crackdowns on pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth found in cold medicines.
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