Methamphetamine (also called meth, ice, crystal and chalk) is a highly addictive man-made stimulant drug that comes in the form of a white, odorless crystalline powder.
The drug is typically snorted, smoked or injected and, infrequently, ingested orally. All of these forms of use lead to a strong feeling of well-being and euphoria, increased energy and a loss of appetite. The ice drugs effects usually last 6 to 8 hours, but can last much longer in some situations.
The ice drugs effects can rapidly deteriorate the user’s physical and mental health. Short terms effect if ice or ice addiction signs may include racing heart and erratic breathing, dry mouth, increased body temperature and heart problems.
At high doses, the user often feels jumpy or anxious, hostile and aggressive with feelings of intense paranoia. Experts believe that one fourth of regular users experience a type of drug-related psychosis each year.
This form of psychosis, brought on specifically by the use of the drug, involves feelings of suspicion, paranoia, irrational beliefs, delusion, hallucinations (visual and auditory) and overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear.
The long term effects of ice of can include brain function, decreased lung function, damaged teeth, skin problems, issues with blood vessels that may lead to stroke and premature aging.
Ice drugs effects directly on normal brain function – specifically cognitive processing; memory loss and an inability to make rational decisions are common occurrences.
As with all drugs, the ice addict more often than not discovers that the addiction has taken over every aspect of their life, including social responsibilities like work and family matters. Nothing is more important than chasing that elusive “high” and many addicts follow it down a path of destruction that can lead to insanity or death.
As the user takes more of the drug into their system, they develop a tolerance to the drug, making it necessary for them to take in more and more to achieve the same ice drugs effect they once experienced. As the body adjusts to the drug, the user finds they need to increase the quantity of the drug just to feel “normal.”
If the addict abruptly stops taking Ice, they will go through physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms that often include: cravings, disorientation, lack of energy and motivation, irritability, paranoia, anxiety and/or panic, depression, exhaustion, headaches and insomnia.
As with all serious medical conditions, and recovery from methamphetamine or Ice is a serious medical condition, proper medical attention should be obtained.
If you are suffering from ice drug addiction or methamphetamine, there are a range of support systems available from specialized drug detox centres to 12 step support groups.