Ice is a psychoactive drug that is also known as crystal methamphetamine. Australia has the highest rate of Ice use, and nearly 7% of the population have tried the drug, which equates to 1.3 million people.
The number of methamphetamine users s significantly higher in Australia compared to the US, where meth us is at 0.4%
What is crystal methamphetamine?
Crystal methamphetamine is a highly potent stimulant, and the drug itself looks like small clear crystals. According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, ice can be more harmful than its powdered form, meth, which is also known as speed.
The difference between Ice and speed is that Ice is made with little to no additives, meaning the ‘euphoric’ feeling of the drug can last a lot longer, sometimes up to 24 hours.
The effects of Ice addiction
The effects of ice aren’t always predictable, as the quality of the drug can not always be determined. The drug can often get mixed with other substances in the production process, and so those who use ice may experience varying effects. Some of the effects include:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Lowered inhibitions and increase of libido
- A dramatic rise in body temperature
- Panic attacks
- Feeling alert
- Feeling agitated
- Feeling paranoid
- Feeling aggressive
- Feeling confused
As well as the effects above, long-term crystal meth use can cause brain damage, but if in rehabilitation this can get better if the user stays off the drug for a long time.
Severe psychosis is another effect of ice addiction. Psychosis is a serious mental disorder that can make a person perceive reality in a very different way from the people around them. Common examples of this include hearing voices, seeing things that aren’t there or believing that people are trying to harm you.
It’s important to note that psychosis is not the same as a psychopath. Psychosis is a short-term acute condition that, if treated, can be fully treated. Whereas a psychopath is someone with an antisocial personality disorder, which means they can lack empathy, be manipulative and often have total disregard for their actions.
Usually, people with antisocial personality are more likely to pose a threat to others, whereas those with psychosis are more likely to harm themselves than others.
Continued use of the drug can affect the brain’s ability to produce ‘happy’ hormones, and Ice users will start to need a hit of the drug to get through the day.
Why is ice so addictive?
Ice is so addictive because it directly impacts your body’s release of hormones like dopamine and serotonin. These hormones affect things such as movement, happiness, pleasure, and reasoning.
As soon as someone uses ice, these hormones are instantly affected. This will elicit a sense of euphoria and drive and will bolster an ‘I can achieve anything’ mindset. The effects of this can last between 8 and 24 hours, but when the effects wear off, the user will feel compelled to use it again to function.
Withdrawal symptoms of ice
Ice is an extremely addictive drug, and so trying to withdraw from the drug can be challenging. Withdrawal symptoms can last for several days to a week, depending on the usage. Some of the withdrawal symptoms of ice include:
- Craving for the drug
- Increased appetite
- Confusion and irritability
- Aches and pains
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Lack of energy
- Itchy eyes
How to beat ice addiction
If you know someone trying to quit ice, or you yourself are trying to beat your ice addiction, there are a number of treatment options available.
Firstly, it’s important to make friends and family aware that you are in need of help. Having friends and family around to support you whilst you are withdrawing from the drug will be hugely beneficial to your recovery.
In terms of Ice treatment options, Arrow Health have a variety available that are led by a qualified team with over 30 years’ experience.
Every individual is different, and every individual will need a different type of treatment. However, for ice addiction, the most suitable type of treatment would be the inpatient rehab and detox programme.
A programme such as this will be overseen by doctors, and each person will be given an individual recovery plan.
A programme like this will help you beat your ice addiction and will help you take control of your life again.
If you are interested in knowing more about the treatments plans on offer, you can enquire or arrange a visit to Arrow Health.