Substances | 5 min read
Medically Reviewed By
On April 24, 2023
On April 24, 2023
Pink meth is a form of methamphetamine with a unique rosy-pink color.
The color usually implies the substance has been tampered with  or was incorrectly manufactured. In some cases, it has been dyed, and a fruity flavor has been added.
The public interest in pink meth can be traced back to a now-debunked media story about children being targeted with candy-laced methamphetamines. While this was largely found to be false, there’s no question that sweet, pink meth is being produced as a street drug.
It may look and even taste like candy, but this crystalline substance is a deadly drug with devastating short-term effects and long-term health risks.
Pink meth is still methamphetamine at its core and shares many of the same characteristics. It’s a stimulant substance that affects the central nervous system by rapidly increasing dopamine release. CNS stimulants produce intense highs and give temporary euphoric effects.
Due to these brain responses and its highly addictive qualities, all forms of methamphetamine are classified as Schedule II controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Like its predecessor, the designer drug pink meth comes in powder, liquid, and crystal form and is snorted, smoked, or injected.
In crystal form, pink meth resembles rosy shards of glass or translucent pop rocks. When in its powder form, pink meth resembles a powdered drink mix, hence inspiring one of its street names, “strawberry quick.”
Traditional street names for meth include crank, speed, ice, and crystal, to name a few. Pink meth has added strawberry meth, pink crack, and strawberry quick to the list of monikers.
In most cases, the color of meth reveals that additives have been mixed into the substance creating a reaction. The color of the substance  is not a reliable indicator of how potent it is or if it was safely manufactured.
Due to the inconsistency and lack of regulation on how the meth was produced and what it may have been produced with, colored methamphetamines pose a greater risk of dangerous effects. Different colors of methamphetamine have also been associated with specific side effects and health outcomes, specifically overdoses and abscesses.
Pink methamphetamine powders and crystals may reveal a manufacturing process that was incomplete. It could also indicate that red-colored cold medications, like Sudafed or other off-brand tablets, were used as additives to change the taste and the appearance of meth.
Meth in blue form is a newer form of methamphetamine that was popularized by the hit TV show, Breaking Bad. The common misconception is that because it is blue, it is pure.
However, this isn’t true at all. Blue meth contains contaminants or additives such as blue chalk or food coloring to get its blue hue. In more extreme manufacturing processes, they’ll use pseudoephedrine (the active ingredient in Sudafed) or even battery acid to change the color.
White or clear meth is its standard form. However, in this case, the white color is not an indicator that it hasn’t been mixed with additives or contaminants.
It could still be mixed with other substances such as iodine, lithium metal, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, or red phosphorus. These substances may not change in color but could increase the risk of overdose.
Also known as “base,” yellow meth can have a higher potency than powdered meth and is usually a wet and oily substance that is yellow and brown in color. This form is most commonly injected or swallowed.
There is no question that meth is a dangerous substance. Partly due to its addictive properties and partly due to the lasting health risks. Some of which are only partially reversible, if at all.
Due to its stimulant effects, like increased dopamine release and feelings of euphoria, and its slow metabolism rate, some side effects may not begin immediately. Common side effects range from uncomfortable to dangerous. Pink meth use side effects include:
While these physical symptoms will be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, just as troubling is the list of psychological symptoms that may also be present:
There are many severe detox and withdrawal symptoms that people may experience when undergoing the detox process on their own. Admitting to a safe and reliable medical detox facility can reduce the experience of these withdrawal symptoms and give you a higher level of comfort.
If you or a loved one are struggling with meth use and experiencing any or several of these severe symptoms, please seek emergency medical care right away.
Pink meth, like all forms of meth, negatively and severely impacts brain chemistry. Long-term use can cause damage to the areas of the brain that manage cognitive skills and learning abilities. Long-term meth use also leads to other effects, such as:
Even from early usage, pink meth is highly addicting and easily leads to overdose. Over long-term meth use, your body’s natural dopamine levels will decrease. 
This leads to requiring higher doses and more frequent doses in order to meet physical demands and cravings. Some brain damage to cognitive processing can lead to a lifetime of impaired learning.
There is life beyond substance use. And it’s happier, healthier, and safer for you and your loved ones.
The early stages of detox are a difficult and challenging time. The symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, especially if you’re attempting to detox alone.
A medical detox will help reduce symptoms of withdrawal as well as drug cravings and will provide constant monitoring to increase your comfort and safety.
After detox, it’s critical for you or your loved one to receive ongoing care and support. Inpatient Programs offer living accommodations and daily treatment, while Partial Hospitalization Programs still offer daily care but give you the freedom to sleep at home.
Intensive Outpatient Programs are the next level of care, offering increasing flexibility without sacrificing regular treatment. Outpatient Programs are a good fit for those who have already completed a higher level of care and are ready to reintegrate back into daily routines.
Effective long-term support includes individualized aftercare plans with group support, coping skill practice, and multifaceted therapy interventions. By continuing in treatment as long as necessary, you create a future that is bright and free.
The taste of pink meth depends on what it was cut with or if any flavorings were added. In some cases, it is sweeter than other forms of meth and can reduce the acidic taste. However, tasting like candy is not an accurate depiction of pink meth use.
Due to the low cost of producing meth, it is commonly used to cut other drugs when illegally manufactured. Cocaine, ecstasy, and other stimulant drugs are common substances you may find meth has been added to.
Pink meth is an illegally manufactured substance. Because there are no standard production and manufacturing guidelines, it is impossible to know how potent any one dose will be. This is even more difficult to determine without knowing what has been added to it.
Here at Ascendant New York, we understand the importance of having access to accurate medical information you can trust, especially when you or a loved one is suffering from addiction. Find out more on our policy.
 Strathdee, S. A., Case, P., Lozada, R., Mantsios, A. R., Alvelais, J., Pu, M., Brouwer, K. C., Miller, C. L., & Patterson, T. L. (2008). The American journal on addictions. The color of meth: Is it related to adverse health outcomes? an exploratory study in Tijuana, Mexico. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176304/ on 2023, March 8
 The National Alcohol and Drug Knowledgebase. Are there different forms of methamphetamine? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://nadk.flinders.edu.au/kb/methamphetamines/general-methamphetamine-information/are-there-different-forms-of-methamphetamine on 2023, March 8.
 T. B. Verywell Mind. (2021, November 1). Long-term effects of meth (methamphetamine) use. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/meth-addiction-causes-effects-treatment-5666979 on 2023, March 8