Other Drugs of Abuse: Meth

Ventura County Meth Report Card

The Ventura County Methamphetamine Task Force was developed in 2007 to bring a collaborative approach to the methamphetamine problems in the community. Directors and representatives from over a dozen County agencies and departments met through 2008 to share data indicating the effects of methamphetamine to impacted systems and resources. The Meth Report Card is a five-year series of snapshots of Ventura County’s methamphetamine situation.

See "Methamphetamine in Ventura County: Report of the VC Meth Task Force"

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine, frequently known as meth, speed, crystal or ice, is a powerfully addictive and dangerous stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system and can produce substantial damage to the body and the brain. Methamphetamine abuse presents a significant problem for health, social and criminal justice agencies, while negatively impacting individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities. The public impacts include crime, violence, child endangerment, long-term negative health consequences and even death.

Methamphetamine is a potent, highly addictive, synthetic drug that stimulates the central nervous system. It is easily made in small, clandestine labs. In Ventura County it is commonly imported from Mexico or made in illegal home or hotel room labs. It is fairly inexpensive and readily available.

Methamphetamine is used for many reasons: to increase energy, experience euphoria, lose weight, enhance sexual performance, relieve depression, and to stay awake for school or work. The overall effect is a rapid rush with feelings of power, alertness and awareness. Long–term abuse can lead to addiction: a chronic, relapsing disease with symptoms that persist long after the methamphetamine abuse is stopped. Abusers, often called “tweakers,” exhibit severe anorexia, acute dental problems, skin lesions, insomnia, violent behavior and a number of psychiatric symptoms including paranoia, suicidal impulses, hallucinations and drug induced psychosis. Chronic methamphetamine abuse can also result in long–term structural and functional changes in the brain; overdose can produce severe brain injury or even death.

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