Signs and Symptoms of Ice Drug Addiction

Ice is one of the street names given to the crystalline form of methamphetamine, a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that targets the central nervous system. This white crystalline powder is soluble in alcohol and water, odorless, and bitter-tasting. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, close to 500 metric tons of amphetamine-type stimulant, including methamphetamine are annually produced by small-scale meth cooks in home labs.  The impure powder meth called Yaba (Thailand), Shabu (Philippines), and Pervitin (Czech Republic) are highly accessible and inexpensive thus more than 25 million are ice abusers across the globe. In connection, ice rehabs in Thailand are sought after by people seeking effective ice addiction treatment.

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Characteristics and Forms of Crystal Meth or Ice

With similar chemical characteristics as amphetamine, methamphetamine is more potent, with long-lasting adverse effects on the user’s brain.  In the United States, legally manufactured methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug which means it used for medical purposes, has a high potential for abuse that may lead to physical or psychological dependence.

Aside from ice, crystal meth is also known as blade, glass, quartz, crack, poor man’s cocaine, speed, trash, chalk, chicken feed, and bikers coffee.  Chemically, ice is C 10 H 15 N. Medically use to control attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), this class of drug increases alertness, energy, and attention. As it is a stimulant, taking it will also increase one’s blood pressure, elevate heart rate and respiration.

Ice or meth is available in different forms and may be taken orally, snorted, smoked and injected. The potency of the drug lies on how it was taken. They are available in powder form, tablet form, crystal form and Yaba is actually meth in combination with caffeine, and available in varied shaped tablets.

Ice or Crystal Meth Dependence

Ice is not the most abused drug in most countries but it is the most addictive and destructive.  As addiction to this drug can be both physically and psychologically, an abuser requires to undergo a drug rehabilitation program to deal with his addiction or dependence.

Psychological dependence is manifested if the abuser feels the compulsion to take the drugs for him to function. He could be dealing with stress, loneliness, anxiety and all other negative feelings.

Physical dependence is evident if the drug user craves for the drug and exhibits withdrawal symptoms when use of methamphetamine is stopped.

Signs of Use and Abuse of Crystal Meth

Telltale signs of ice use or abuse include finding small pouch of white powder or crystals plus the syringes. Crumpled pieces of aluminum foil and empty ballpoint pen shafts could indicate meth snorting. In general a meth user or abuser will exhibit:

  • Failure to sleep for a long period of time
  • Loss of appetite and will not eat
  • Loss of weight as they do not eat
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Excessive energy; frets and fidgets
  • Aggravated tooth decay (meth mouth)
  • Violent behavior and irritability
  • Poor memory and difficulty remembering things
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • The belief that there are parasites under their skin (meth mites)

A “crash” is a very unpleasant experience for a meth abuser. In order to avoid a crash episode, a user goes for a “meth run” which means taking another dose of ice to continue the “high”.  Some of these meth runs resulted in fatalities.

Long-term Effects and Symptoms of Ice Addiction

Long and persistent use of crystal meth will eventually lead to long-term effects and symptoms. One of the early indications of addiction is an intense craving for the drug. The user or abuser will show great signs of fatigue and lethargy. He will be anxious, even to the point of depression. Long-term use of ice also leads to:

  • Kidney damage
  • Reproductive issues
  • Eyesight problems
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Heart attack
  • Faster breathing
  • Psychosis
  • Heart attack
  • Overdose

Regular abuse of ice will ultimately affect the user’s brain as this drug distresses the central nervous system. The dopamine transporter will show abnormalities. Aside from memory and cognitive deficits are motor deficits. Even the user’s verbal fluency will be affected as well as his fine motor skills.

Treatment for Ice Addiction

The end result of untreated ice addiction is death.  But everything is not lost for the ice addict as there is a way to conquer his addiction.

Currently, the most effective form of treatment for meth addiction is forms of behavioral therapy.  Since no two drug abusers are alike, an individualized treatment plan is the most effective.

One of the most proven treatment methods is cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a form of talk therapy wherein individuals are taught to recognize their unhealthy behaviors, situations and other patterns that trigger the urge to use drugs.

Ice addiction is not a lost cause. There is hope for ice abusers through the right ice rehab center.

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