Methamphetamine is a very powerful manmade central nervous system stimulant. It is highly addictive. Due to this, it is classified by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II controlled substance. Methamphetamine has some medical uses and can be prescribed by doctors in very limited quantities with no refills.
Methamphetamine is usually injected or smoked and the initial high lasts longer than many other stimulants.
Methamphetamine is a type of amphetamine and has been around for many years. Amphetamines were first discovered in the late 1800's, and methamphetamine was developed around 1918. Methamphetamine was used widely during World War II to keep soldiers awake and to make them feel powerful.
In the United States, methamphetamine was popular in the 1960's among outlaw biker gangs on the west coast. They made it, used it, and sold it. While methamphetamine has been in the midwest for many years, it wasn't until the 1990's that it became a serious problem. Much of this was due to the introduction of clandestine labs - small hidden laboratories were methamphetamine is made. Methamphetamine cooks learned how to make the drug from common household items and chemicals. This spurred a tremendous increase in meth use and manufacture, which created health and safety problems in many communities.
To learn more about how meth effects people go to the "Effect of Meth" page.