Crystal Methamphetamine

All About
Crystal Meth

Drug Class


Common Terms

Tina, T, crank, crystal, ice, jib, meth, speed.

Consumption and Standard Dose
  • Crystal is typically sold as clear/clearish crystals, which are be crushed into a powder, which can be administered in several different ways
  • It is typically smoked from a tempered-glass or Pyrex® pipe. It can also be injected, snorted, booty bumped (placed up the ass), or swallowed in pill form
  • Effects can last up to 24 hours. Doses are typically repeated every 3 – 8 hours to stay awake/for energy enhancement, or every 30 minutes to 4 hours to remain high
  • Using meth is also called tweaking
  • There are different levels of risk involved with each method of consumption:
    • Swallowing is the safest and least addictive ways to use meth. The come-on and overall high is less intense, and the come-down and hangover are less harsh than with other methods of consumption. Liver, kidney and digestive functions help eliminate some of the toxins that are commonly in meth.
    • Snorting has a faster come-on and more intense euphoric rush. Effects come on and peak in 15 minutes. You can get little cuts in your nose and pass Hep C between the people you share snorting paraphernalia with. Avoid sharing bumpers, bills or straws used for snorting. Use your own, unshared snorting devices.
    • Smoking provides an intense euphoric rush and instant high, which increases the urge to use more and the likelihood of addiction. The comedown cam be rougher than other methods. Smoking damages your lungs and dries out your mouth and lips. Use lip balm and avoid sharing pipes.
    • Booty Bump damages the mucosal lining inside of your rectum (ass), increasing your risk of transmitting HIV, Hep C and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if you’re getting fucked
    • Injecting, also called slamming, provides the most intense euphoric rush and instant high. Along with smoking, it increases the likelihood of addiction, and has a rougher comedown and hangover. Use unused/unshared injecting drug gear every time you use to avoid the risk of transmitting HIV, Hep C and other blood-borne infections. Learn methods of safer injection before injecting meth or any drug: Click here to learn how to inject more safely.

The Buzz
  • Effects are similar to, but 3 times stronger, and much longer-lasting, than cocaine
  • It dramatically increases energy levels and alertness
  • Feelings of intense euphoria, invigoration, heightened-to-near-invincible feelings of confidence
  • Increased sense of focus, assertiveness and aggression
  • Extremely horny, sexually excited and eager
  • Prolonged and extremely pleasurable sex; “marathon sex” sessions
  • Diminishes shame and guilt in having different kinds of sex (e.g. kinkier sex)
  • Diminishes inhibitions, discretion and personal standards in selection of sex partners
  • Increases desire to talk, socialise, and dance
  • Increases interest in and enjoyment of mundane, menial and repetitive tasks
  • Suppresses appetite, increases metabolism
  • Sudden increases in heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and breathing

Overdose and other negative effects

Meth can have more numerous, and more intense negative health impacts than some of the other drugs on this site. These include:

  • Addictive. Meth is highly addictive and it is easy to become physically and psychologically compulsive with it
  • Intense Crash follows the intense high, and can last for several days
  • Urge to use more often accompanies crashing
  • Crystal Dick or erectile difficulties are common
  • Sexual Compulsivity that also feels robotic, cold, detached and even violent can be experienced
  • Seizures, shakes, heart attacks, difficulty breathing, strokes can happen in high doses, even among in experienced users
  • Jaw-clenching, teeth grinding and drying up of the mucosal membranes in the mouth can cause dental problems.
  • Days of not sleeping or not eating. Try to rest in the dark with your eyes closed, in a calm environment even if you cannot sleep. Consume Gatorade® or other electrolyte drinks, Ensure®, Boost® and other liquid nutritional supplements to keep your caloric intake at a steady level. This will decrease the intensity of your crash, and reduce psychosis (see below).
  • Psychosis: a mix of symptoms including depression, agitation, anxiety, mood swings, paranoia and even feelings of suicide. Exacerbated by lack of sleeping and eating. This can last for a length a time, the cure for which is sleep and food
  • Lung damage from smoking
  • Injecting can cause skin and vein damage, abscesses, blood clots and increases the risk of overdose. Sharing injection drug gear greatly increases the risk of transmitting HIV, Hep C and other blood-borne infection. Click here to learn how to inject more safely.
  • Sober sex can feel boring, uninteresting and pointless.
  • Job problems are common, as it is extremely difficult to work while you are crashing.
  • Cognitive impairment can happen with long term use. Click here to learn more about meth’s impact on brain functioning.
  • Stigma & Shame are more attached to meth use than other drugs, and are barriers to getting help if you need it. It’s ok to need help. Reach out.


Dangerous Drug Combinations
  • Erectile Drugs: Meth raises blood pressure, erectile drugs lower it. Combining them can increase your risk of a stroke.
  • Other stimulants like MDMA, or coke can push your body too far, increasing the risk of overheating or having a stroke.
  • Heart and blood pressure medications increase the strain on you heart and blood vessels, risking a stroke or heart attack when taken with meth
  • Antidepressants work on the same neurotransmitters as meth, and can cause overstimulation in these brain systems, leading to acute episodes of depression
  • Downer drugs like GHB slow the body down while meth speeds the body up. These conflicting signals can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
  • Alcohol, and other stimulant drugs (MDMA, cocaine) and meth all dehydrate your body further when taken together, which can negatively affect kidney and liver functions, and exacerbate crash symptoms.

Sex on Crystal Meth
  • Strongly increases feelings of personal attractiveness and sexual confidence
  • Increases ease of making social connections and propositioning partners, for sex
  • Strongly heightens sense of urgency to have sex and intensity of pleasure during sex
  • Empower and enhance marathon sex sessions
  • Often increases desire to engage with multiple, casual sexual partners
  • Can delay climax
  • Decreases sense of importance of safer sex practices
  • Sex can be rougher due to decreased sensitivity to pain and sensation
  • Hypersexual: wanting to have sex that is different from what you desire when sober, or have sex with partners you do not desire when sober
  • Temporary impotence, or “crystal dick” can make it more likely that you will want to bottom
  • Can cause you to engage in sexual activity that feels compulsive and mechanistic, and be disinterested in non-sexual activities
  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Can induce desire for kinkier, BDSM activities. Be sure to research safer BDSM practices to avoid injury prior to trying them out on crystal.
  • Broadens, and sometimes violates, personal sexual boundaries, inducing feelings of shame
  • Can cause bowel movements, important to consider for anal sex

HIV Medications & Crystal Methamphetamine
  • Integrase Inhibitors: Elvitegravir/Cobicistat/TDF/FTC (Stribild) increase the amount of all amphetamines including meth, MDMA, and Speed (non-meth amphetamines) in your system. This can result in a longer and more intense crash. This combination can exacerbate high blood pressure, heart or liver problems.
  • Viral Load can be increased by the toxic ingredients in meth, the stress of loss of sleep and caloric intake, and missing HIV med doses associated with meth use. Be mindful of your viral load if doing Tina, especially if Undetectable Viral Load (U+) is your primary sexual health strategy.
  • Plan for HIV meds that need to be taken with food. It is easy to forget to take meds when on crystal. Create a system to remind yourself.
  • Use new, unused & unshared injection drug gear if injecting, to avoid transmission of HIV and Hep C and other blood borne infections. You can get unused injection drug gear through any site associated with The Works through Toronto Public Health (TPH).

Additional Resources


Torontovibe’s sister site, written by and for current, and former meth-using gay, bi, queer men’s. Explore in greater detail experiential strategies for using meth more safely, for help in decreasing use, and reclaiming sex and life after meth.

Check out

Staying Off Crystal

Staying Off Crystal, for a day or longer pamphlet, Pdf available from the ACT website. A practical guide for gay, bi, queer men wanting to reduce their meth use.