Methamphetamine is an illegal drug and belongs to the same class as cocaine. It comes in three different forms: ice, base, and speed. Ice is the purest form, followed by base, then speed. Ice indicates the appearance of methamphetamine as rock candy or a chip of ice.
Ice influences the brain by interfering with chemicals in charge of communication between nerve cells, like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
How to Tell That Someone is Using Ice
Ice is a dangerous chemical which can have numerous long-lasting deleterious effects that systematically destroy the human body. That is why it is important to recognize signs and symptoms of ice use as soon as possible. Be sure to pay attention to the following signs and symptoms of ice use:
- The person who is using ice may leave around small glass pipes or plastic bags that contained crystals
- Euphoria that lasts from an hour to a whole day, accompanied by alertness and a confident appearance
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
- Jaw clenching
- Nervousness and anxiety
- Performing repetitive, meaningless tasks
- Risky behavior and risky sex life
- Extreme negligence towards the environment and other people, even among the users who have children
- Sleeping problems or extended periods of sleep if the drug runs out
- Skipping meals – weight loss
Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Ice Use
Ice is a potent and powerful stimulant, which can be smoked, while powered meth can be ingested or dissolved and injected. Its effects emerge rapidly. When under the influence of this chemical, a person may display some of these common signs and symptoms:
- Increased blood pressure and breathing rate
- Increased body temperature followed by heavy sweating
- Dry mouth and bad breath
Long-Term Signs of Ice Use
Ice can lead to psychological and physical addiction. The first effects occur and wear off very fast, but can leave behind serious long-term consequences such as:
- Tooth decay – “meth mouth,” teeth get rotten and brown because the drug dries up the flow of saliva
- Eye damage, vision impairment
- Mood disorders and disturbances
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Sores on the body for trying to get rid of the imaginative bugs crawling under their skin
- Impaired sexual performance
- Reproductive health problems
- Respiratory and heart disease
- Lung problems
- Kidney problems
- Heartbeat is irregular and rapid
- Cardiac arrest
After heavy meth use, the person usually suffers from what is referred to as a “crash” in which he/she can’t control their sleeping pattern. Throughout the entire process, the individual is usually experiencing heavy drug cravings.
Ice is a very addictive substance. Some people may become addicted after just a few uses. It is important to choose the right approach towards someone you suspect or know uses ice and has a problem.
After facing the fact that there is a problem, a person who is using ice should undergo treatment for methamphetamine abuse. The type of therapy depends on the individual’s needs. The best thing one can do is consult a professional who will advise the patient accordingly.
The first phase is detoxification that is carefully monitored. Various forms of counseling or therapy are used to help the ex-user function normally and cope with eventual temptations.
Teenagers were particularly vulnerable because their brain hasn’t developed yet, and meth can cause irreversible damage to their brain function. They are usually unaware of the risks and think ice to be far less dangerous than heroin or crack cocaine. Talking with your teen about the dangers associated with this, and any other type of drug use can help prevent problems in the future.