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									  CRYSTAL METH
A Presentation By Heather Balogh, BSc, BSP student
            Stueck Pharmacy, Leader, SK
•   Background on its use in SK
•   The high
•   Short and long term consequences
•   How it is made
•   Associated crime
     Crystal Meth Street Names
• Current: girls or jib or ladies
• Smoked form: crystal, ice, glass, tina
• Other street names: crank, yaba, gak, meth,
  speed, poorman’s coke, duck, yak
              Patterns of Use
• After its first known appearance in 2000, crystal
  meth use escalated in Saskatchewan at an
  alarming rate of 200% per year
• Currently, the use of crystal meth is
  Saskatchewan is considered steady
• Although use is not declining, it is also not
  escalating as dramatically in previously years
• This does NOT mean it will stay that way
                 Who is it?
• In 2000, crystal meth was mainly being used by
  middle to upper class Caucasians
• The rave scene
• Approximately 15-25 year old age range; but this
  is not exclusive
• Now, IV drug users and the sex trade industry
  are turning to crystal meth
• Urban AND rural settings!
             Crystal Meth High
• Crystal meth is a stimulant drug
• The high lasts considerably longer compared with
• Euphoria: an marked feeling of being well; elation
• Decreased need to sleep, loss of appetite, muscle
  twitching, faster heart rate, faster breathing rate, higher
  body temperature, paranoia, hyperactivity
• Pupil dilation           pupil constriction
• Crashing or ‘tweaking’ phase
        The “Tweaking” Phase
• Coming down from the high or crashing
• 2-15 days since the last time they slept
• Users want another hit of crystal meth, but cannot
  regain the original high at this point
• Leads to frustration, paranoia, and violence
• Marijuana or benzodiazepines are often used to combat
  the insomnia
• Users will crash and sleep continuously for up to 2 days
       Appearance of „Tweakers‟
• Crystal meth addicts do not   • Scabs on skin from obsessive
  perceive themselves as any      picking
  different than they were      • Scabs between the knuckles
  before they began using         from snorting
• They look in the mirror and   • Skin and bones
  do not see any changes in     • Hair thinning
  their appearance
                                • Deterioration of the teeth
                                • Dark circles under the eyes
                                • Strong odor
                                • Raw throat and nose
The Change
3 years and 5 months
        Forms of Crystal Meth
• Crystal meth can be smoked, ingested, injected,
  or snorted
• AKA: puddling, parachuting, banging, knuckling
• Crystal meth can be used on its own, but is
  often found laced in other drugs: ecstasy or
  cocaine pills, cigarettes and marijuana joints
• Laced marijuana: very chemical-like odor and
  taste; the high will be a combination of a
  marijuana high and a crystal meth high
Appearance of Crystal Meth
Appearance of Crystal Meth
Appearance of Crystal Meth
Appearance of Crystal Meth
Appearance of Crystal Meth
Appearance of Crystal Meth
Appearance of Crystal Meth
Appearance of Crystal Meth
 “Well, I just want to try it once!”
• After one use, it will take your brain up to TWO
  YEARS to repair itself
• It’s like trying to eat just one potato chip!
• If one hundred people were to try crystal meth
  together, ninety of those people would be
  addicted to the drug after ONE SINGLE USE!
„Their souls seem to have left their
  The Long Term Consequences
• It is becoming increasingly common for people
  who have abused crystal meth in the past to be
  diagnosed with psychiatric disorders
• This includes bipolar disorder, schizophrenia,
  and chronic short term memory loss
Damaged Brain Cells Do NOT
Vascular Damage
Irreversible Damage and Scarring
And the Other Arm…
Irreversible Gum and Enamel
• Present to hospital with
  same signs and
  symptoms as a heart
• Increased heart rate,
  increased breathing rate,
  chest pain, confusion, a
            Kicking the Habit
• The detoxification phase takes 28 days
• Treatment of the addiction takes 170 days
• Addiction treatment facilities in Saskatchewan
  have programs that are 28 days long
• The addict therefore gets time to detoxify, but
  then is sent back out into the community
  without treatment of the actual addiction
            Kicking the Habit
• Bottoming out
• Family and friends must not condone nor enable the
  drug use
• Enabling the drug use includes giving them a place to
  live, allowing the user to continue to steal from you
• Most abusers hit bottom when they become homeless
  or are prosecuted for petty crimes
• Pressing criminal charges or kicking them out of the
  house may seem harsh, but may also serve as a wake up
  call to the addict.
            The Rural Setting
• Crystal meth is penetrating into farming
• There is usually at least one person in the area
  who will go into the city and experiment with
  crystal meth. It is then introduced into the
  community and surrounding area
• Crystal meth labs are easy to set up…and they
  go easily undetected in a rural setting
                 Meth Labs
• The ‘Nazi’ method…it only takes 45 minutes
  from start to finish to make crystal meth on a
  small scale
• Nothing fancy is required for a meth
  lab…crystal meth can be made in a truck!
• No large scale meth lab have been located as of
  yet in Saskatchewan. Currently, the meth labs
  are small scale productions…hence, easily
  mobile and hard to bust
Mobile Meth Lab
Crystal Meth in the Making
      Crystal Meth in the Making
• Pseudoephedrine or
  ephedrine (cough and cold
• Anhydrous ammonia (kitty
• Sulfuric Acid (drain cleaner)
• Muriatic acid (pool cleaner)
• Battery acid (lithium
• Ether (quick start for motors)
• Red phosphorous (road
Crystal Meth in the Making
             Crystal Meth Labs
• 3-4 suspected in the province; 2 of those are confirmed
• Acute risk of fires and explosions that can wipe out
  entire apartment buildings
• Result in permanent damage to buildings
• Inhabitants of houses/hotels previously used as meth
  labs are presenting with rashes and asthma symptoms
  due to the chemical irritants that are soaked into the
  walls, ceilings, and carpets
• Often requires gutting of the building
               What to look for
• Discarded, red-stained     • Discarded jugs and bottles.
  coffee filters               propane torches, rubber
                               tubing and gloves, cheese
• Discarded coffee filters     clothe, aluminum foil, lab
  with white rock              beakers
                             • Red stained glassware
       Crime and Punishment
• Possession: ‘slap on the hand’
• Courts have failed to be aggressive in jailing
  persons caught in possession of crystal meth
• Saskatchewan courts have yet to try a cystal
  meth lab
• Problem: the courts are not educated in how to
  deal with the issue of crystal meth
• Lots of regulations but very little to back up
  those regulations in the form of laws
                Petty Crime
• Although crystal meth is also referred to as
  poorman’s cocaine, cocaine and crystal meth
  actually sell for about the same price
• Addicts often resort to petty theft (vehicle and
  house break and enters) to fund their use of
  crystal meth
• Women especially turn to the sex trade to fund
  their addiction
                       Stay Away!
• Do not hang out with people who do crystal meth; the more you
  are around it, the more you may be tempted
• Do not experiment: crystal meth has a 90% addiction rate!
• The solution is not is rehabilitation after the fact…it is in never
  starting to use crystal meth AT ALL
• Talk to someone (parents, teachers, health care professional) if
  you have an questions or concerns
• If you see signs of crystal meth labs, report it to the local RCMP
• Be very weary of marijuana
• If you have friends or family who are users, do not enable them
• Constable Joanna Small bones, Saskatoon Drug Unit
• National Institutes on Drug Abuse:
  mine.html. Accessed Feb. 20, 2006.
• The Faces of Meth:
  Accessed Feb 20, 2006.
• Accessed Feb 20,

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