Ice Drug Addiction is the street name given to crystal methamphetamine, the most potent of the drug and also highly addictive. Ice, along with speed and base, is a form of the potent stimulant drug methamphetamine.
Also referred to as shabu, crystal, crystal meth or d-meth, ice is the purest and most potent form of methamphetamine. It comes as a powder or crystals that are usually snorted, injected or smoked.
The latest figures from the National Drug Survey suggest 2 per cent of Americas abuse methamphetamine. But as many as half of those who use methamphetamine say they prefer to take ice, and the number of people using ice has doubled in the last view years.
What is ICE: Crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’) is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages traveling between the brain and the body. It’s stronger, more addictive and therefore has more harmful side effects than the powder form of methamphetamine known as speed.
Ice usually comes as small chunky clear crystals that look like ice. It can also come as white or brownish crystal-like powder with a strong smell and bitter taste.
What happens when you take it:
Within the first hour of use: The more times you use ice — or any other drug — the greater the risk of developing an Ice Drug Addiction. How quickly you feel the effect of methamphetamine depends on the form, the route of administration and how much of it you use.
According to a resent study: "Mostly people will smoke, inject or swallow a pill, sometimes addicts dissolve it into alcohol or water and drink it. "If you smoke it, it has an immediate high, just in a couple of minutes you'll get quite a big hit. Whereas if you ingest it through food then it takes about 20 minutes before you start to feel the effects."
The immediate effects from ice are intense pleasure and clarity. Users say they have lots of energy and can think clearly, feel like they can make good decisions, and plan effectively.
It is believed that these effect happen because methamphetamine dramatically increases the levels of the chemical dopamine in your brain, up to 1,000 times the normal level, which is more than any other pleasure seeking activity or drug.
Physical effects can include dilated pupils, an increased heart and breathing rate, a reduced appetite for food and an increased sex drive.
During the next day
The effects usually last for between four and 12 hours, although methamphetamine can be detected in blood and urine for up to 72 hours.
Almost one quarter of regular methamphetamine users will experience a symptom of psychosis in any given year. Methamphetamine psychosis typically involves feeling overly suspicious, having strange beliefs about things that are not plausible, or hearing and seeing things that are not there.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and usually last up to two to three hours, but sometimes symptoms can be severe and last for days or even for months. After the effects of the drug wear off, you'll begin to come down, sometimes up to 24 hours after you used the drug.
If you're coming down from methamphetamine you're likely to feel the opposite of what you feel when you're high. So you'll have trouble making decisions, poor concentration and difficulty planning. You may also have headaches, blurred vision and start to feel hungry.
It's pretty common to feel flat, depressed, jittery and anxious. You may feel exhausted and want to sleep for a day or two, although you may have trouble sleeping. Some people may also feel very irritable or have mild psychotic symptoms like paranoia and hallucinations. T
he day after is like the worst hangover you've ever had, that when many addicts use again to avoid the hangover.
Using again and again
Once users start to take ice at higher doses or to use it more frequently, the pleasurable effects tend to give way to less pleasurable ones. Physically this might involve a racing heart and increased breathing rate, a rise in body temperature, a dry mouth and sometimes nausea and vomiting.
Overdose levels cause addicts to have a stroke or heart failure, and occasionally seizures. Once you start taking higher doses you may also start to feel jumpy or anxious, hostile and aggressive.
This can escalate to feelings of intense paranoia or psychotic episodes. This is believed to be caused by methamphetamine's release of another brain chemical called noradrenaline, which induces a fight or flight response.
These uses often end up at the hospital because they're often dealing with methamphetamine's "double-whammy" of physical as well as psychological effects. For instance a user could present to emergency with stroke-like symptoms but be severely agitated and aggressive.
What is ICE dependence?
There's a whole range of symptoms that indicate you have an
Ice Drug Addiction.
- Needing more of drug to get the same effect
- Having withdrawal symptoms, including irritability, panic attacks, excessive, tiredness, extreme hunger
- Spending large amounts of time seeking out the drug, using it or recovering from it
If it is starting to affect home life, work life, or schooling, that's an indicator that you have an Ice Drug Addiction.
Ice Drug Addiction withdrawal
It takes between 10 to 14 days to physically detox from methamphetamine, almost twice as long as many other drugs. After an acute withdrawal period, there's a more chronic withdrawal period that may take 12 to 18 months.
This makes it very difficult for people to get off because having cravings, feeling really flat, jumpy and anxious for over a year-and-a-half is very difficult to take.
Another reason it's so difficult to end an Ice Drug Addiction is that the drugs targets the dopamine system. Regular and huge bursts of dopamine can effectively wear the relevant brain regions out, so the brain is no longer able to produce enough dopamine.
In order to feel normal, users need more methamphetamine on board, which is one of the reasons relapse rates are so high. But an addict will recover over time!