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What Does Meth Look Like?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

March 28, 2019

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug most commonly found in a white powder form or crystal form. Someone addicted to meth will likely need formal treatment to successfully overcome addiction.

Methamphetamine is an illegal stimulant that is highly addictive and potentially dangerous. Meth is most commonly found in powdered or crystal form (crystal meth) but is also available in tablets.

No matter what form of the drug is taken, people using meth will likely experience an intense and addictive high. Increased energy, feelings of confidence, and hyperactivity are also common side effects of this drug. The effects of meth typically last six to eight hours, but some people can feel the effects for up to 24 hours.

Most people snort, inject, or smoke methamphetamine. This drug is used by people of all ages and backgrounds but tends to be seen most often on the party scene. Regardless of how or where it is taken, meth is a potent drug that can be addictive from the first use.

What Are The Different Forms Of Meth And What Do They Look Like?

Powdered Meth

Meth is most commonly found in white powder form. It is odorless, tastes bitter, and can be dissolved in alcohol or water. Meth may also be found in different colored powders, such as pink, orange, brown, yellow, or grey. The color is dependent on what the drug is cut with.

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Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is the drug in crystal form. This form of the drug looks like pieces of glass or rock salt. Crystal meth is created by dissolving the powdered form of the drug with a solvent like alcohol. This causes crystals to form.

Meth Tablets

Meth is also available in a tablet form and referred to as yaba. In pill form, the meth is mixed with caffeine and is usually an orange or green color. Yaba is most commonly found in Asia but has recently become popular in the party scene in the United States.

Liquid Meth

Meth is sometimes converted to liquid in order to be smuggled. It is a syrup-like liquid that is often dark yellow. After the drug is trafficked, it is typically put back into powder form.

Getting Help For Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine is highly addictive. People using this drug can become physically and mentally dependent on it in a short period of time. Overcoming meth addiction will likely require an intensive and multi-faceted approach.

Treatment for meth addiction will likely begin with a medically monitored detox program. These programs help individuals safely and successfully withdraw from methamphetamines. They also provide any needed medical support to help ease symptoms of withdrawal.

After someone has completely withdrawn from meth, a formal treatment program will likely be recommended. Inpatient treatment programs have shown to have great success in the treatment of addiction.

People who are addicted to meth will likely need long-term support and treatment to remain sober. This can include intensive outpatient programs, aftercare programs, sober living, and support groups such as 12-step meetings.

Drug-Free World - The Truth About Crystal Meth

Drug Enforcement Administration - Methamphetamine

Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Drug Identification Chart: Methamphetamine

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