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Methamphetamine, or meth for short, is an addictive synthetic drug that can sometimes be used to treat ADHD or for short-term weight loss.

Unfortunately, often, it is distributed illegally in the United States and abused for its stimulating and euphoric effects. In 2017, 1.6 million people in the United States admitted to using meth in the past year.1 Because its abuse may be more popular than you realize, our inpatient detox center in Pennsylvania is explaining everything you need to know about crystal meth versus meth and what negative consequences the abuse of either could have on your body.

What Is the Difference Between Crystal Meth and Meth?

Standard meth and crystal meth are more alike than many people realize. They are both stimulants with similar chemical makeups that are highly addictive. The biggest differences between meth and crystal meth are their potency and consistency. Typically, meth comes in the form of a white powder, but crystal meth is a purer and more potent form of methamphetamine that comes in what looks like glassy fragments.

More About Standard Meth

Meth is an addictive stimulant drug that is known by many street names including chalk, crank, fast, and crink to name a few. In the same drug class as cocaine, methamphetamine gives users a powerful and euphoric rush including a boost in energy. It typically comes in the form of an odorless powder that users snort or will sometimes dissolve into a liquid for injection. There are also meth pills that people can take as is or crush up for other routes of administration. Like with other drugs of abuse, taking too much meth at once comes with a risk of overdose.

More About Crystal Meth

With powdered meth’s rise in popularity, a new form of meth was created that came in crystalline and rock-like structures. It was eventually named crystal meth for its unique appearance. Often called ice on the street, crystal meth is created in super labs. The biggest difference between ice and meth in its powder form is the strength. Crystal meth is the purest and most potent form of methamphetamine. Not only does it create a stronger high than regular meth, but the high typically lasts hours longer than with standard powder meth. With this increased potency, also comes a higher risk of overdose.

When comparing powder meth versus crystal meth, it is also important to note that because of its higher potency, crystal meth can be more addictive. Some people may even become hooked to crystal meth after their first use. For this reason, crystal meth tends to be one of the most difficult drugs for people to quit. It often requires both a medically monitored detox and supplement treatment to get people to stop for good.

Side Effects of Meth & Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine and crystal meth are both dangerous. Similar in chemical properties, they also have similar effects, but because of its high potency, the effects of crystal meth may be more severe.

Some of the short-term effects of meth and crystal meth include:

  • increased energy levels
  • heightened awareness
  • rapid heart rate
  • increased body temperature
  • decreased appetite
  • insomnia
  • aggression or violent behavior
  • paranoia or anxiety
  • hallucinations

Regardless of whether you are using crystal meth versus meth, over time, these short-term effects can translate into long-term problems as well. Long-term effects of meth can include sores, skin infections, and severe damage to internal organs. Regular crystal meth use may cause these problems to develop faster than with standard meth use.

If you are struggling with an addiction to meth, you do not need to go through this alone. Get help today at our meth treatment center in Luzerne County. The sooner you act, the easier it will be to quit. You may even spare yourself some serious health problems.

At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we want to help you regain control and begin your journey to sobriety. To learn more about our various programs and treatment therapies, call now at 570-536-9621.



  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse – What is the scope of methamphetamine misuse in the United States?
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