Not typically found in freezers and plastic cups brimming with a sweet beverage, this type of ice can be found in drug cartels throughout the US, South America and, most recently, Australia.
Ice or crystal meth describes the crystalline form of methamphetamine, which also comes in the forms of base and speed.
According to the Australian National Drugs Campaign, ice is the purest form of methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.
Still, this potent form of meth continues to gain popularity among club-goers hungry for its euphoric effects.
Known for its wide use among a variety of addicts, this drug is distinctive by its addictive quality; some addicts remain high on ice for up to several days in a binge process known as a “run.”
As Australia begins their fight against their own ice epidemic, meth is being discovered in distinct crevices of almost every age group and economic class in the US.
So what makes this drug so popular?
The answer to that is often hidden along with the glass pipe stashed away in the bathroom cabinet of a middle-class housewife.
No Respecter of Persons
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2012, 1.2 million people or 0.4 percent of the US population reported using methamphetamine in the past year. Although these numbers exhibited a national decline in meth use, certain regions, such as Hawaii and California, were mostly treating meth addictions.
As meth trends fade into the opioid crisis in the US, halfway around the world, Australians are finding the drug is more than just for “party and play.” The Australian National Drug Campaign reported that methamphetamine users have more than doubled from 22 percent to 50 percent between 2010 and 2013.
And to make matters worse, ice, also known by its street name Tina, is attracting fans from all walks of life.
According to Drug-Free World, when people abuse any form of meth, it can accommodate a wide range of purposes.
A workaholic may snort meth with his morning routine of coffee and eggs to work at a more rapid place at the office.
A college student will dabble in meth to focus more intently on their studies.
And a group of young adults may binge on it days on end to keep their party escapade going throughout the weekend.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that meth is popular among young addicts not only because of its cheap price tag, but because of its high in comparison to other popular drugs, such as cocaine. In comparison to cocaine, meth causes a more than three-fold release of dopamine and has a half-life of 12 hours.
Though, ice users may revel in their endless nights of partying, toxic side effects are simultaneously dancing around in their brains and other organs.
Ice Melts Brain Cells, Judgment Within Users
Since meth is usually manufactured in “superlabs” in Mexico before it’s transported to the US and other parts of the world, its ingredients are often deadly, to say the least.
According to the CDC, production of meth can include a range of chemicals including acetone, fertilizer, red phosphorus, and lithium. Often, a meth “cook” will use cold pills as the basis for the chemical cocktail and add other substances to increase its strength.
Meth can also be ingested in a variety of ways including:
· Smoking (most common form)
Since smoking or injecting ice causes a much faster rush, addicts will often get caught in the cycle of “binge and crash,” where they will constantly inject themselves with more for the three- to five-minute high to linger.
The side effects of this lethal process cause an onslaught of physical, mental, and health issues.
Some of the more common effects of this crystallized version of meth include:
· Dental issues
· HIV and other STDs from unprotected sex
· Kidney failure
· Bacterial infections from intravenous injections
To home in on the ice problem freezing government initiatives in their tracks as they struggle to find a solution, Australians are beginning to feel the chilly effects of meth addictions.
Not only is it influencing a younger generation of drug users, ages 14 and above, it’s also perpetuating criminal and drug activities. A 2013 National Drug Strategy Survey Household Survey found that more than 60 percent of Australia’s organized crime figures now deal in crystal meth, BBC reports.
Currently, Australia’s government is working to implement a national task force to eradicate the use of ice in response to a March report published by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) that found ice was the biggest threat to the substance abuse community.
Need Help Finding Treatment?
Ultimately, continuous ice use can lead to psychosis, an overdose, and death.
If you, or a loved one, are struggling with a methamphetamine addiction, call our 24-7 specialists today to find the right treatment center for you. Call us today at (844) 318-7500 and begin your road toward recovery.
Did you know September is National Recovery Month? Check back on our site to get updates on featured articles and series about drug addiction and recovery.