Last Updated on by Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley
Do you have a loved one who you suspect of meth use? Maybe you’re wondering.. what does meth look like ? This guide explains how to identify meth.
Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that’s very addictive and can have deadly consequences. People of all walks of life can fall into the habit, whether they’re rich or poor, female or male.
What Does Meth Look Like in Powder Form?
Meth frequently comes in the form of a crystalline powder. Generally, this powder is odorless and it has a bitter taste to it.
It can be dissolved in water or alcohol, meaning some users like to inject it. Some people also swallow to ingest it. Or you might snort it into the nose.
Meth in its powder form can take on a wide range of appearances. For example, it can resemble chalk dust.
Generally, the powder is white or off-white, but it can have a whole range of different colors depending on how it was manufactured. For example, sometimes, meth powder is pink or yellow. Some meth might be produced using red pseudoephedrine tablets, which would give it a reddish color.
Alternatively, camping stove fuel might be used in the manufacturing process. This would give the meth a bluish tint to it.
In some cases, meth might smell like rotten eggs or urine. But usually, powdered meth doesn’t have any discernible scent to it.
What Does Meth Look Like in Crystal Form?
Sometimes, meth comes in crystal form. This is a stronger, harder-hitting version of the drug.
Generally, these crystals resemble shiny pieces of glass or rock salt. As with the powdered version of the drug, crystal meth can look very different depending on how it was manufactured.
To produce these crystals, powdered meth is dissolved in a solvent such as acetone. As this mixture evaporates, you see crystals start to form around the edges of the container.
Typically, this type of meth is smoked or injected. You can expect this form to give a much stronger and longer lasting high than powdered meth.
In the United States, crystal meth is the most popular form of taking methamphetamine. In some other parts of the world, meth pills are more popular.
For example, meth pills are often manufactured in Burma and sold in Asia, particularly in Thailand. These pills generally contain caffeine and methamphetamine. They’re known locally as “Yaba” and are sometimes stamped with an R or WY.
Occasionally, these pills make their way to the United States. In some cases, they’re sold to users who believe they’re buying MDMA.
The main way to consume meth in pill form is to swallow it, but some users prefer to melt the pills down and inhale the vapor. You can also crush and snort the pills. Some users even dissolve and inject it.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Yaba pills are becoming more common in the USA and they’re particularly popular among the rave subculture.
Liquid meth is one of the rarer forms of methamphetamine. Meth traffickers often traffic the drug in liquid form. But it’s rare to purchase the drug in this form on the street.
Liquid meth is a dark yellow liquid that has a syrup-like consistency. The vast majority of the time, dealers will boil liquid meth to make it back into powder.
What Drugs Could Be Confused for Meth?
It can be hard to identify whether or not something is meth with absolute certainty. This is because there is a wide range of different drugs that look basically identical.
For example, MDMA often comes in crystal form, so you could easily confuse it for crystal meth. In its powder form, meth could also be confused for cocaine.
What Does a Meth Pipe Look Like?
Using a meth pipe is one of the most common ways of consuming the drug. A lot of meth pipes are long glass cylinders that have a rounded bulbous end.
Users place meth inside the end of the pipe and heat it using a lighter. These kinds of pipes are often sold at gas stations. They often contain a fake rose as a cover for what the gas station is selling.
A meth pipe that’s been used will have burn marks on the underside. If there is meth residue inside the pipe, it’ll look waxy and yellowish.
Most meth users will prefer to smoke meth using a pipe, but if one isn’t available, they may resort to more improvised methods. For example, they might make a pipe out of aluminum foil. Users will also use aluminum drink cans to make improvised pipes.
When meth users choose to snort their meth, they’re likely to use a drinking straw or an empty pen. This is because powdered meth has a tendency to stick to things like rolled-up bank notes, whereas it doesn’t stick to plastic.
Does My Loved One Have a Meth Problem?
Meth can be very addictive. If your loved one has a meth problem, you probably won’t need to see their meth to know. Meth usage can make people incredibly erratic and it’s very difficult to hide meth use from others.
Meth users who are high are incredibly energetic and hyperactive. They may have trouble staying still and may talk quickly and semi-nonsensically. You might also notice that they have dilated pupils.
Meth users can quickly run out of money, so they might start asking you to borrow some to pay for their habit. If someone’s addicted to methamphetamine, the best course of action is inpatient rehab.
When someone goes to inpatient rehab, they’re monitored 24/7 and all of their needs are seen to. If they experience any methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms, they may be given medication to make them less severe.
Be Supportive of Your Loved One
It’s important to keep this in mind: you should never try to force anyone to go to rehab. When people are forced into a rehab program, the chances of them successfully beating their addiction are very slim. Instead, be supportive so you can be there for them when they’re ready for rehab.
Now that you know the answer to “what does meth look like?”, you can keep an open eye out and be prepared if your family member or friend has an addiction.
Need some guidance on how to be supportive? Here are five ways to do so.
Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley is the CEO and Founder of Revive Detox, a Joint Commission Accredited and Legit Script Certified Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in Los Angeles in 2007 and has extensive experience working in the addiction and recovery field and the LGBT community. To learn more about Dr. Calvert-Conley click here.