Methamphetamine is made in illegal laboratories and has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Street methamphetamine is referred to by many names, such as "speed," "meth," and "chalk." Methamphetamine hydrochloride, clear chunky crystals resembling ice, which can be inhaled by smoking, is referred to as "ice," "crystal," and "glass."
The central nervous system (CNS) actions that result from taking even small amounts of methamphetamine include increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, hyperthermia, and euphoria. Other CNS effects include irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Hyperthermia and convulsions can result in death.
According to the 1996 US National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), 4.9 million people (aged 12 and older) had tried methamphetamine at least once in their lifetimes (2.3 percent of population). This is not a statistically significant increase from 4.7 million people (2.2 percent) who reported using methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime in the 1995 NHSDA.