Ice, or crystal meth, is a very powerful amphetamine. It has a short term effect, and then a comedown period. It's dangerous to use it regularly, and it can cause problems in your life. There are people you can speak to about problems with ice.

This could be for you if...

  • You want info about ice
  • You use ice, or know someone who does
  • You want to know how to get help for problems with crystal meth
  • You're thinking of taking ice
Asian boy looking sideways

What is ice/crystal meth?

Ice/crystal meth are street names for crystal methamphetamine - a very powerful amphetamine. It looks a little like sheets of glass or ice and people smoke, snort or inject it. It's also called meth, crystal, shabu and glass.

What does it do?

Drugs affect people differently. But shortly after taking ice, someone might:

  • talk more
  • have more energy and feel good
  • be restless and constantly pick or poke at things
  • have hand tremors, be breathing faster, sweat more and have a higher heart rate
  • be nervous, hostile, anxious or agitated
  • get amphetamine psychosis, and hallucinate, act weirdly, and be difficult to understand.

Later, as the person comes down and the effects of the drug wear off, they might have:

  •  tension
  • exhaustion
  • depression or mood swings
  • violence.

Taking crystal meth has some nasty long-term effects as well. They include:

  •  brain damage
  • dental damage
  • reduced immunity and malnutrition from not sleeping or eating properly
  • sleeping problems
  • can trigger mental health disorders like depression, anxiety and paranoia.

Other ice issues

There are other things to be careful of with ice. Things like:

  • You're more likely to have unsafe sex when you’re under the influence
  • You can get hooked, psychologically and or physically, and experience awful withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking meth
  • It can mess up school, work, family and relationships
  • It's illegal, and could get you into huge legal trouble
  • It can worsen anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

Getting help

Get help for issues you're having with crystal meth. A doctor, counsellor or other health worker can help. There's also the Australian Drug Information Network which provides comprehensive information about drugs, their effects and where to get help.

What can I do now?

  • In an emergency, call 000
  • Don’t be pressured by friends into doing drugs
  • Don’t mix with other drugs or alcohol 
Last reviewed: 02 March, 2014
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