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Ice, or crystal meth, is a very pure form of methamphetamine. It’s a stimulant drug that speeds up messages to and from the brain.

This can help if:

  • you want info about ice
  • you want to know how to get help for problems with ice
  • you're thinking of taking ice.
Ice drug

What is ice?

‘Ice’ and ‘crystal meth’ are common 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 ice do to you?

Immediately after taking ice, you might:

  • become more talkative
  • have more energy and feel good
  • be restless, and constantly pick or poke at things
  • be nervous, hostile, anxious or agitated
  • get amphetamine psychosis, and hallucinate, act weirdly, and become difficult to understand.

Physically, you might:

  • have hand tremors
  • have an increased breathing rate
  • feel sweaty
  • have a higher heart rate.

Long-term use of ice can:

  • cause brain damage
  • damage your teeth and jaw
  • reduce your immune function and make you malnourished from not sleeping or eating properly
  • cause sleeping problems
  • trigger mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and paranoia
  • develop into an ice addiction.

How do I know if I’m addicted to ice?

Ice is extremely addictive. Here are a few ways to tell if you’re developing an addiction:

  • You think all the time about using ice.
  • You get anxious if you think you won’t be able to get any.
  • You need to take ice to feel ‘normal’.
  • You need it to start the day.
  • You feel that your perception of reality is starting to change.
  • Ice is causing issues with your friends and family.
  • You’re doing things that are illegal or out of character in order to get ice.

If you take ice regularly and you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important you talk to someone about your drug use. 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?

  • Try ReachOut NextStep and find the help that’s right for you.
  • Talk to a doctor or a mental health professional about your drug use.
  • Read more about amphetamines.