There was the following passage in the New Yorker’s (September 22, 2014) article titled “Field trip” describing a photographer who travels to take pictures of oldest living things in the world:

The one she photographed was a 3500 year-old tree just outside Orlando, Florida – actually the original tourist attraction before Disney. Meth heads snuck into it to do meth, and they accidentally burned it down. One of them later said, ‘Oh shit, we killed something that was older than Jesus.’

As I had no idea about ‘meth,’ I checked Readers English Japanese Dictionary at hand, which defines it as a slang to mean methyl alcohol or drug, methadone.

Urban Dictionary defines meth as an abbreviation for methamphetamine, a drug that stimulates the central nervous system by causing it to release more dopamine, a neurotransmitter that gives someone a feeling of satisfaction.

Does ‘meth’ in the above quote means methadone or methamphetamine, and 'do meth' mean to take or inhale it? Is it a popular slang as pot and weed are for marijuana?

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    Methamphetamine. I can't believe you couldn't find it. Nov 2, 2014 at 2:44
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    @tchrist - Very interesting article; good find. I would guess 99.999% of Americans don't know what “kakuseizai” is. Nov 2, 2014 at 3:49
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    @tchrist..Based on the latest report of Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, “The status quo and future prospect of drug abuse in Japan,” the combined number of criminals arrested by Police Agency, Marine Police Agency and Narcotic Control Office are total 14.200 in 2013 and 14,965 in 2012. The breakdown (2013) by drug category are Stimulants(Kakuseizai) 12,083, Pot 1,759, Drug 346, and Opium 12. The incidence of drug usage and crimes are much lower than those of U.S. It’s one of the reasons we don’t know the word, meth. Nov 2, 2014 at 4:26
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    @CanisLupus it also depends on your preference settings; how many language you checked/ticked off, search history, and I'm sure there other factors involved too. I would also hope that Yoichi Oishi is using either the USA or UK Google search engine (Canadian, Australian, N.Zealand...). And lets not forget the hugely popular and much-awarded TV series "Breaking Bad" was based on a mild mannered Chemistry teacher who creates the purest form of meth ever. Great story, I'd really recommend watching it, also on a language level, very enlightening.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 2, 2014 at 6:09
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    Since it hasn't been stated yet, it should be noted that using meth as an abbreviation of methadone is (in my experience, at least) quite rare, precisely because it normally means methamphetamine. Methadone is usually just methadone. Nov 2, 2014 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


Meth (or sometimes crystal meth) means methamphetamine. It is the most common name for the drug, at least in the US. A meth head is someone who uses meth. Most people who understand pot or weed would understand meth. In exactly the same way that a person would "do heroin" or "do coke" one could "do meth."

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    But meth isn't a verb in that phrase either, it's the object of "to do." You could "do coke" or "do heroin" or "do dishes" even. Nov 2, 2014 at 6:13
  • Why is the last sentence in this answer @Jason Patterson? As you say in your comment, it wasn't used in the question this way. Otherwise, good answer.
    – Henry74
    Nov 3, 2014 at 1:53
  • @Henry74 The original question asked for the meaning of "meth" and then went on to ask if could be used as a verb. The part asking if "to do meth" meant to smoke or inhale was added later. Nov 3, 2014 at 2:01
  • If the question was changed significantly, as was the case here, is it better to revert the question to its original form? The OP asked whether "meth" was a verb, not how to describe using the drug. Nov 3, 2014 at 12:52
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    @Jason patterson.@Mari-Lou A. Regarding the edite of this question. I changed the headline and omitted verb reference after reading Jason’s answer, which I 'approved' earlier.. Rereading the line, it’s obviously “do + noun ” like ‘do golf.’ I’m very sorry to Jason for spoiling your neat answer. All happened because of my total ignorance of the word, meth, which seems to be commonsense in many parts of the world. Nov 3, 2014 at 21:54

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