“When I took those off-white crushed shards up that blue, cut plastic straw—well, my whole world pretty much changed after that. There was a feeling like — my God, this is what I’ve been missing my entire life. It completed me. I felt whole for the first time.” These are the words of Nic Sheff describing his experience with methamphetamine in his autobiography, Tweak.
Known by street names like speed, ice, biker’s coffee, tweak or crystal, methamphetamine — or meth for short — is made in a home or lab. It comes in a white powder or pill form and is bitter-tasting. The form that Nic describes is crystal methamphetamine and looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks. It is a stimulant like caffeine and cocaine, although far more powerful.
Why is Meth is Experiencing a Resurgence?
In February 2018, The New York Times ran a story, “Meth, the Forgotten Killer, Is Back. And It’s Everywhere.” And it seems that it is. Government actions in 2006 restricted access to pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used in making meth, resulting in a temporary decline in use. However, meth is on the rise again, largely smuggled in from Mexico. According to the DEA’s 2017 threat assessment, its purity has been steadily climbing and is now well above 90 percent. It’s also cheap, at $5 per hit.