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Meth Pipe & Paraphernalia

Smoking crystal meth often involves a meth pipe and other paraphernalia. This tool is fairly easy to identify, but its use can be hazardous to your health. Smoking crystal meth can cause numerous health risks and dangers. However, difficulties accessing meth pipes leads to higher frequency of injection. This increases the risk of harms. Harm reduction services and meth addiction treatment can help you avoid the dangers of meth.

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, and its other forms, such as crystal meth and methamphetamine tablets, are the most widely used synthetic drug globally. Methamphetamine comes in several forms and can be smoked, snorted, injected, or orally ingested. The preferred drug method varies by geographical region and has changed over time. Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system (CNS). Meth addiction has devastating effects. It can cause lung disorders, kidney damage, hyperthermia, substance-induced psychosis, stroke, and cardiac arrest.

What is a Meth Pipe Called?

What is a meth pipe? A meth pipe– is also known as an oil burner, pizzo, bubble, or tweak pipe. Common meth pipe names include gacking, crank, or ice pipe. A pipe for smoking meth is a glass pipe that consists of a tube connected to a spherical bulb with a small opening on top designed for freebasing methamphetamine or crack cocaine as well as other drugs. What does meth pipes look like? A pipe for meth is often advertised as “oil burners” or “mystic vases” designed for burning incense oils.

These meth pipes are often sold at head shops and convenience stores, though local and national restrictions usually apply, and sellers may be subject to fines and jail time. In Modesto, California, local investigators seized thousands of oil burners from head shops. Eight people were subjected to citations which could bring up to $1,000 in fines and possibly six months of jail time.

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What is the scope of methamphetamine use in the United States?

Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 0.9% (or about 2.6 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.

Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, an estimated 0.6% (or about 1.5 million people) had a methamphetamine use disorder in the past 12 months.

Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

In 2020, approximately 23,837 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants with abuse potential other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine). 

Source: CDC

  Methamphetamine (Meth) Drug Facts

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant. The FDA-approved brand-name medication is Desoxyn.

What is its origin?

Mexican drug trafficking organizations have become the primary manufacturers and distributors of methamphetamine throughout the United States, including Hawaii. Domestic clandestine laboratory operators also produce and distribute meth on a smaller scale. The methods used depend on the availability of precursor chemicals.

What are common street names?

Common street names include:

  • Batu
  • Bikers Coffee
  • Black Beauties
  • Chalk
    Chicken Feed
  • Crank
  • Crystal
  • Glass
  • Go-Fast
  • Hiropon
  • Ice
  • Poor Man’s
  • Cocaine
  • Shabu
  • Shards
  • Speed
  • Stove Top
  • Tina
  • Trash
  • Tweak
  • Meth
  • Methlies Quick

What is its legal status in the United States?

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant
under the Controlled Substances Act, which
means that it has a high potential for abuse and a
currently acceptable medical use (in FDA-approved products). It is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.

Today there is only one legal meth product, Desoxyn®. It is currently marketed in 5, 10, and 15-milligram tablets (immediate-release and extended-release formulations) and has very limited use in the treatment of obesity and ADHD

What does it look like?

Regular meth is a pill or powder. Crystal meth
resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white “rocks” of various sizes.

How is it abused?

Meth is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. To intensify the effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their intake method.

What is its effect on the body?

  • Taking even small amounts of meth can result in:
  • Increased wakefulness
  • Increased physical activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia (overheating)

What is its effect on the mind?

Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant properties. Those who smoke or inject it report a brief, intense sensation or rush. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day.

Both the rush and the high are believed to result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine into areas of the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure. Long-term meth use results in many damaging effects, including addiction.

What Do Meth Pipes Look Like?

The most common way of smoking crystal meth was using store-bought ball pipes (a glass stem with a bowl attached). How to identify a meth pipe? Being able to identify meth paraphernalia, such as a crystal meth pipe, is one way to recognize meth addiction. They can be made from glass.

What does a meth pipe look like? Homemade meth pipes can be manufactured from aluminum soda cans, GHB vials, and light bulbs. DIY meth pipes and discreet meth pipes can be crafted from household items like glass pipes and aluminum cans. Homemade meth pipes made from makeshift materials may cause harm, including cuts, burns, and blisters around the mouth area. This may lead to infections. “Meth pipe for sale” can be made and sold by drug traffickers or purchased in smoking or vaping shops.

Smoking with a meth bubbler pipe, especially one made of Pyrex, was considered the best meth pipe, not to mention the safest way to smoke crystal meth. This method involves putting the crystals in the pipe’s bowl and using a torch lighter to heat the bowl from below but keeping it an inch away. The crystal meth turns to liquid and vapor, which the user inhales.

How to Use a Meth Pipe?

Crystal meth smoking is linked with many negative health effects, including the potential for transmission of hepatitis.  Crystal methamphetamine smoking has also been linked with risky sexual behaviors. Studies show crystal meth increases sex drive and can enable longer sexual episodes; it also leads to drying of the mucosa, which can cause tears in the genital region and facilitate the transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.

Here are some ways to reduce the risks of using a meth pipe.

  • Use your own meth pipe. This will help you avoid getting or spreading the infection.
  • Use a shatterproof Pyrex meth pipe. Other meth pipes can get too hot or give off toxic fumes.
  • Avoid using broken or cracked meth pipes. Damaged meth pipes can lead to burns, cuts, and infections.
  • Drink water, use lip balm, and chew gum. These things will help keep your mouth moist and reduce cracks, blisters, and the risk of infection.
meth pipe
If you share meth pipes, you are at an increased risk of spreading infections.
Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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Effects of Using Meth on a Meth Pipe

Smoking any illegal drug is risky because you can never know what’s in it or how it was made. Crystal methamphetamine is an illicit drug. It is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and PCP, have a high potential for abuse. Abuse of these drugs may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. 

One of the major health concerns connected with methamphetamine smoking is the potential to transmit the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) through blood remaining on a shared glass meth pipes or other smoking implements. Heated crystal meth pipes are believed to create sores or cuts on the user’s lips. Many of the concerns related to this potential route of disease transmission seem to be based on the fact that users who smoke the drug often experience cuts, burns, or blisters on their lips.

The other adverse effects of crystal meth smoke using a meth pipe include:

  • Meth users’ body temperatures can increase to such extreme levels that they risk passing out or dying.
  • Side effects of smoking crystal meth include mood changes, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and violent outbursts.
  • Looks can drastically change. A user might age rapidly. They could have dull skin and get pimples and ulcers that are difficult to heal. They could have decaying, damaged, or discolored teeth and a dry meth mouth. The heart can be impacted by meth. Lung damage may result from continued meth usage.
  • Meth users could develop paranoia. They could perceive and hear unreal things. They could consider harming themselves or other people. Additionally, they could have bug bites on or under their skin.

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Dangers on “How to Make a Homemade Meth Pipe?”

Inhaling Toxins from Plastic

Plastic, when burnt or heated up, releases many toxic chemicals.  Burned plastic releases toxins in the air and water. If a bong is made with a plastic bowl, the chances are that the heat from the smoke will cause the plastic to release hard chemicals that are easily inhaled through the lungs, causing severe respiratory problems. It’s not healthy at all. Apart from causing respiratory issues, the toxins increase the risk of heart disease, cause headaches and pains, and disrupt the nervous system.  . Plastics that contain chemicals like BPA and phthalates have been linked to adverse health effects, including cancer.

Inhaling Toxins from Aluminum

Many believe making homemade meth pipes with aluminum foil is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. It was found that an excessive amount of aluminum is in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. Smoking through aluminum homemade meth pipes adversely affects the nervous system, breaking down neural pathways, impeding problem-solving capabilities, and causing severe memory loss.

meth pipe
Meth pipes are one of the most common paraphernalia associated with meth use, so knowing what to look for can be a helpful way to determine if someone is using the drug.

What is an Electronic Meth Pipe?

Electronic smoking has skyrocketed in the past decade. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released data on the increased popularity of such devices and stated that e-cigarette use among teens alone tripled between 2013 and 2014. “SNL’s” “electronic meth pipe” skit aired at the height of this surge in late 2013. Drug dealers and young adults are indeed modifying vape devices and liquidizing meth so that it can be enjoyed in a more concealed manner.

Because of Meth’s small molecular size, it has a low boiling point and evaporates easily when heated by a vape coil. Hence, the process of altering devices for electronic-Meth use is much simpler than it may seem. The increased popularity of such devices allows Meth, the most abused hard drug in the world, to be enjoyed under the radar by an increasing number of meth users. America is so focused on fighting the opioid crisis that very little investigation has gone into vaporized-Meth use.

Electronic Meth pipes and devices eliminate several physical health problems linked with traditional meth smoking, causing meth users to overlook a long list of potential risks. Due to how vapor latches to the lungs, vaping meth transports the illegal drug to the brain faster than smoking. In return, this increases the risk of over-usage and dependence. And, no matter how the drug is delivered into one’s system, it’s still Meth, which means the psychological and neurological effects are still the same. Even with a single dosage of meth, the drug permanently alters the structure of the brain’s neurons and may onset disorders such as amphetamine-induced psychosis or dementia.

Health Effects of Meth Use on the Lungs

Meth addiction has various effects on the respiratory system and the lungs. The stimulant effects of meth lead to accelerated breathing, potentially causing fainting and lightheadedness. Smoking this drug can also result in coughing up blood due to bleeding in the alveoli, the portion of the lungs responsible for gas exchange with the blood supply.

Crystal meth use is more associated with pulmonary hypertension because of the destruction of small pulmonary blood vessels and pulmonary edema. Snorting this drug can lead to severe coughing and respiratory trauma, such as a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) and air release into the body outside the lungs (pneumomediastinum). When meth is inhaled, its contaminants can be collected in the lungs, forming granulomas and leading to interstitial lung disease.

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Health Effects of Meth Use on the Heart

Meth’s stimulant effects can heavily raise the person’s heart rate; over time, chronic and excessive use of this drug can result in heart palpitations. This alarming symptom is usually experienced as a powerful pounding in the neck or chest. Crystal meth use can also lead to arrhythmia and an irregular heartbeat.

These can feel like a “skipped” heartbeat, and if the arrhythmia becomes severe, it can lead to collapse, lightheadedness, or even cardiac arrest. In addition, overuse of meth can raise blood pressure, and over time, chronic high blood pressure can damage arteries, causing them to harden and block blood flow to various organs. Unfortunately, the symptoms can be silent as the damage transpires, and meth users may not be aware of the harm to their bodies until it’s too late.

Health Effects of Meth Use on the Brain

Chronic and long-term use of meth can alter brain functioning, leading to memory loss, altered moods, poor decision-making, and impulsivity. It can potentially damage the central nervous system. Crystal meth use disorder is a complex brain disease affecting a person’s well-being and the entire family. Treatment for crystal meth addiction is possible with active engagement, incentive-based approaches, and timely access to appropriate and structured treatment, including family-centered therapy.

Meth often causes neuropsychiatric symptoms like psychosis, anxiety, and hallucinations. Meth’s effects on brain cells can further lead to psychosis, with symptoms such as paranoia and hallucinations very similar to schizophrenia. Although these symptoms may resolve over 1–6 months after quitting, some crystal meth users find that they persist in the long term, and relapse of psychotic symptoms can occur even after a long period of abstinence. 

meth pipe
If you or someone you love is addicted to meth, you must choose a meth rehab that has plenty of experience treating people who have been hooked on meth. There are nuances to meth addiction that do not exist in other addictions.

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Getting Help For Meth Addiction

First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing meth, you should research its drug and addiction to understand better what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. 

Lastly, offer your support throughout the entire treatment process. In addition, prolonged meth use can have severe physical and psychological effects, so seeking treatment as soon as possible is essential. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of withdrawal. Meth can kill you.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient drug rehab helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.


Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily. The meth effects on the nervous system can be treated simultaneously with the help of therapies.

If you or a loved one is struggling with crystal meth smoke addiction or a high-functioning meth addict, call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation. The We Level Up NJ treatment center network offers nationwide facilities. Connect with one of our rehab specialists.

meth pipe
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