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Crystal meth is a highly addictive drug.

Crystal meth is a highly addictive drug.
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Ice (crystal meth)

2-minute read

Ice (crystal meth) is a methamphetamine, a member of the amphetamine family of drugs. It is very addictive, and linked to chronic physical and mental health problems.

What is ice?

Ice is a type of amphetamine. It is also known as crystal meth, shabu, crystal, glass, shard and p.

It is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages travelling to and from your brain. It is more powerful than other types of methamphetamine, like speed.

It comes as little crystals that look like ice or as a crystal-like powder, and has a strong smell and bitter taste.

Ice is usually smoked or injected, but can also be swallowed or snorted.

Ice effects

Ice produces an intense rush that can last for hours. Coming down takes days.

Users find their heart is racing and they breathe very quickly. Their blood pressure and temperature also go up. They also repeat simple actions such as scratching and itching.

People who use it repeatedly can get lung and heart problems, and have a stroke.

People who overdose can have heart palpitations, a heart attack, fits and become unconscious. If you suspect someone has overdosed on ice, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. The ambulance officers don’t have to call the police.

People who use ice regularly look much older than they should, and find their teeth badly damaged. They also lose a lot of weight and can become unhealthily thin and are likely to become addicted.

Find out about ice's effect on mental health. You can find information on getting help on the Drug Help website or by calling the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Last reviewed: January 2019

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