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Methamphetamine (crystal meth/ Tina)

CRYSTAL METHWhat it is and how it comes

  • Methamphetamine (crystal) is a powerful amphetamine - an upper/ stimulant (speeding up the body’s reactions and functions).
  • Other names include ‘Tina’, ‘meth’, ‘ice’, ‘crystal’, ‘crank’, ‘yaabaa’.
  • Usually comes as colourless crystals; also a whitish powder/ pills (which may include a colourant).
  • Under UK law the drug is classified as Class A (Misuse of Drugs Act 1971).
  • Crystal releases the brain’s stress hormone norepinephrine and ‘feel-good’ chemicals dopamine and serotonin.

How it's taken

The time it takes to reach a desired high will often depend on your size, weight and metabolism; what you have already taken; and purity of the drug and the dose amount.
Reducing drug harm and risks | MEN R US

  • Slamming injecting
  • The powder is dissolved in a liquid (eg: water) and injected into a vein.
  • Smoking
    The crystals are heated in a glass pipe and smoked.
  • Snorting 'sniffed', 'keyed' or 'bumped'
    Snorted up the nose in powder form through a straw or a rolled-up banknote.
  • Booty bumps
    Powder form dissolved in a liquid (eg: water), drawn up into a syringe without the needle, and injected up the arse hole. Alternatively, a finger is dabbed in the powder and then put up the arse hole.
    Orally and swallowing 'bombing'
    A finger is dabbed in the powder and rubbed it onto the gums inside your mouth. Alternatively, the powder is wrapped a toilet or cigarette paper and swallowed.

Safer use

Safer use | Friday/ Monday | THT
Safer play | SX Scot
Crystal and our bodies | Tweaker | US
Crystal meth | Antidote

Reducing drug harm and risks | MEN R US
Safer injecting | MEN R US
Safer slamming (film) | MEN R US
Click here if you would like a copy of our Safer Chemsex Pack.

Safer drug use, or harm reduction, and why it matters | MEN R US
Drug harms | MEN R US
Reducing drug harm and risk | MEN R US 


  • Check with your sexual health or HIV clinic.
  • Check out HIV Drug Interaction Checker: comprehensive, user-friendly drug interaction charts providing clinically useful, reliable, up-to-date, evidence-based information.

Interactions between HIV treatment and recreational drugs | NAM aidsmap
Recreational drugs and HIV meds | i-base
Recreational drugs and HIV | Terrence Higgins Trust

Desired highs

  • Feeling alert, awake, confident, empathic, euphoric, full of energy, happy, disinhibited, (very) horny, an intense and focused sex drive, impulsive, sociable and talkative.

Sex on crystal

  • Suppresses the need for sleep or eating, sometimes for days.
  • May result in more extreme sex; eg: fisting and/ or involve 'riskier' sex you might not otherwise consider making
  • Erections can be difficult/ impossible (also known as ‘crystal dick’). Some take erectile dysfunction medication to counteract this 
  • May result in compulsive/ repetitive wanking (masturbation) because you are so horny
  • May be difficult and/ or impossible to shoot your load (orgasm)
  • Longer and rougher sex can increase the likelihood of condom failure, and tears/ sores/ bleeding (cock/ arse/ dick/ mouth) which may not be noticed at the time. 
  • Less likely to feel pain

Using T and the comedown

  • The comedown can feel overwhelming: exhaustion, tiredness, depression, difficulty sleeping/ chronic insomnia, difficulty focusing and/ or concentrating. Also, the strength of the comedown will be worse the more you use it.
  • Aggressive behaviour, paranoia, and  (in some cases) suicide.
  • Not eating or lack of food can result in acid reflux and gastritis
  • Crystal messes with your body temperature, increasing your heartbeat/ blood pressure, risking stroke, heart attack, coma and death
  • Long(er) term use can result in obsessive/ repetitive behaviour, psychosis, paranoia, and long term mental health issues
  • A high risk of psychological dependence, tolerance builds up quickly, and users need more to get the same high.

Addiction, dependency and other issues

  • It’s easy to keep using more... and become dependent
  • High risk of psychological dependence,  tolerance builds up quickly, and users need more to get the same high
  • Slamming gives a faster rush but the high is usually shorter than say booty bumps or snorting
  • Like other amphetamines, using crystal can result in memory loss, paranoia, and fits
  • You can lose track of time, also forgetting to take your HIV medication on time, as prescribed
  • Rubbing meph into your gums and can cause damage both to your gums and teeth
  • Snorting meph can damage to your nasal passages and cause nose bleeds
  • Nose, mouth and lung damage depending on how much you take
  • Taking meph up the arse (booty bumping) can damage the lining of your anal canal increasing the risk of HIV, STI and HCV transmission
  • Injecting can cause vein damage, vein collapse, sepsis (blood poisoning), and other infection (eg: ulcers, gangrene) 
  • Crystal can screw with your body's ability to regulate temperature leading in over-heating
  • There are reports that a cocktail of crystal and other drugs can result in overdosing and death

Further information

Crystal meth | Tweaker
Crystal meth | Wikipedia
Crystal meth | Erowid
Crystal meth | Release

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