'Ice' is a common name for crystal methamphetamine. It is more potent
Other namesAs well as 'ice', crystal methamphetamine is known as crystal, meth, crystal meth, shabu, tina or glass.
What does it look like?Ice appears in a crystalline form that can range from large, clear-coloured, 'sheet-like' crystals through to a crystalline powder. It can also appear in a range of colours.
How is ice used?Ice is usually smoked or injected. It is also snorted or swallowed.
Effects vary from person to person, and may be immediate or long-term effects. They will depend on the size, weight and health of the person taking ice, whether they are used to taking the drug, whether other drugs are present in their body, and of course, the amount taken.
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk—even medications can produce unwanted side effects. It is important to be careful when taking any type of drug.
Depending on how ice is taken, the effects may be felt immediately (through injecting or smoking) or within 30 minutes (snorting) and approximately 20–30 minutes if swallowed. Some of the effects that may be experienced after taking ice include:
As the effects of ice begin to wear off, a person may experience a range of effects. These effects can last several days after use and may include:
The long-term health effects of ice use include:
Other effects of ice use
The effects of mixing ice with other drugs, including alcohol, prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines, are often unpredictable.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
There is evidence that after prolonged use ice is highly addictive. People who use ice regularly can develop dependence and tolerance to it, which means they need to take larger amounts of ice to get the same effect.
People who are psychologically dependent on ice may find they feel an urge to use it when they are in specific surroundings or socialising with friends.
Physical dependence occurs when a person’s body adapts to ice and gets used to functioning with the ice present.
In Australia, there are many different types of treatments for drug problems. Some aim to help people to stop using a drug, while others aim to reduce the risks and harm related to drug use.
What to do if you are concerned about someone's drug use
If you are concerned about someone’s drug use, there is help available. Contact the alcohol and drug information service in your state or territory.
What to do in a crisis
Always call triple zero (000) if a drug overdose is known or suspected—and remember that paramedics are not obliged to involve the police.
If someone overdoses or has an adverse reaction while using ice, it is very important that they receive professional help as soon as possible. A quick response can save their life.
According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey for 2010, 2.1% of Australians aged over 14 years had used amphetamines in the previous 12 months. For more statistics about the use of ice in Australia, visit our Quick statistics page.
Ice and the law
Ice is illegal in Australia.
Some states and territories have programs that refer people with a drug problem to treatment programs where they can receive help rather than going through the criminal justice system.
Please note: This information does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon in this way. The information is correct at the time of publication. For information specific to your situation contact a legal aid service in your state or territory.
National drug policy
Australia’s national drug policy is based on harm minimisation. Strategies to minimise harm include encouraging people to avoid using a drug through to helping people to reduce the risk of harm if they do use a drug. It aims to reduce all types of drug-related harm to both the individual and the community.
Educational resources on iceThis information has been adapted from the pamphlet How Drugs Affect You: Ice, produced by the Australian Drug Foundation. For single copies of this pamphlet, contact DrugInfo (Victoria only). Multiple copies are available from the ADF Bookshop.
Last updated: 18 January 2013
The following content is from DrugInfo dot ADF dot org dot au
Information you heard is intended as a general guide only. This audio is copyrighted by the Australian Drug Foundation. Visit www.DrugInfo.ADF.org.au for more