When we talk about anything with a pop culture aspect we use coded language. And when we do that there are always regional differences, cultural differences and subcultural differences to contend with. Crystal methamphetamine goes by lots of different street names: Crystal Meth, Crystal, Crissy, Tina, Crank, Speed, Shards, Glass, Ice, Go, Whizz, Dope… you get the picture. Whatever name it goes by, crystal is a stimulant – an ‘upper.’

Just like when you use other uppers -caffeine, chocolate, cocaine – using crystal induces a chemical “fight-or-flight” response and changes a whole host of bodily functions: your heart rate goes up and thus your blood pressure increases, the pupils in your eyes open up wide, you feel more alert and as though you have more stamina, you get a sense of physical motivation and you definitely have increased verbal activity even though some of what you’re saying might not make sense to other people. Meanwhile, other functions decrease, like the sense of hunger and thirst or the need for sleep, you know, things that will get in the way of this “fight-or-flight” action.

The color of meth can vary a lot, depending on its purity. In its cheapest and less processed form called crank, the drug takes on varying shades of greasy-brown, sometimes with black flecks. Meth gets its nickname crystal because of the appearance of its most sought after form. Usually, it’s found, seen or acquired as a clear-to-white crystalline substance that can look like long, thin shards of broken glass. The crystals can be swallowed or smoked as is, crushed into a powder for snorting or dissolved in a liquid before swallowing, injecting or booty bumping.