The Slippery Ice Trail

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

Let’s get straight to it: Dabble with Ice and you are asking for a struggle with dependence that will lead you a long way down before there is any sign of up! Harsh but very, very true.

Here are some of the things that must be understood about a drug that certainly gives you a rocket ride, but offers a 1st class, non-stop ticket to addiction.

What’s in a name:

Ice is derived from the chemical methamphetamine hydrochloride. It is the purest and most potent form of methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine is originally produced in powder form, but a synthesizing process takes it from powerful powder to sizzling small rocks that resemble chips of ice.

How is it ‘enjoyed?’:

Some choose to crush the crystals and snort the powder, those already deeply addicted may well have moved on to injecting, but for many smoking is the way to go.

This requires a bulbous glass pipe and a lighter. The rocks of Ice are placed in the ‘bowl’ which is heated from below until reduced to a clear, white smoking liquid. These vapours are then inhaled by sucking on the pipe stem.

The result is the vapour skips through the lungs directly into the bloodstream and then takes the express route to your brain.

Rapid cooling – Rapid re-try:

Any of the liquid Ice that is left in the pipe bowl cools rapidly and reverts back to a solid state. Because it is so moreish the user is soon re-heating, melting and inhale again. Once one rock has gone then the process is repeated, reheated, repeated and reheated.

One guarantee a user will give; shelf-life is not a consideration. The stash they have will be used until the last grain has gone.

No hanging about for the ‘Rush’:

A huge part of the Ice experience is that a user receives an intense and immediate rush followed by a long high. This deadly duo leaves them in the very wide awake club with a membership card stamped ‘Euphoric’ all over it.

Many term this as ‘Amping’, apparently because it is similar to the effects shown by an over-amped wire.

Lost days in more ways than one:

We have already mentioned just how moreish Ice is and many use for days on end not knowing or caring what day it is, but fatigue eventually catches up with even the most hardened smoker. The result is a very deep sleep which can easily last for another full 24-hour period.

Why smoking Ice is so dangerously addictive:

While it is certainly not recommended to snort or swallow Ice, this method of use gives a wide-awake, feel good factor, but little ‘rush’. The heightened euphoric rush received from smoking the drug is what makes it psychologically addictive.

This forceful rush lasts anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes and is down to the release of the adrenaline hormone Epinephrine. Effects include a hike in blood pressure and pulse rate along with an increased heartbeat and metabolism rate.

After the rush comes the high. This is often referred to as the ‘Shoulder’. It gives feelings of hugely increased confidence that can often be seen as arrogance or even aggression towards others.

This initial high is said to last anywhere between 4 and 16 hours, and while it may be an initial high, as long as the user can get their hands on more it will certainly not be the last.

Binge use is yours:

The desire, need and ‘must have’ urge for more to maintain the initial high is dealt with by taking hit after hit. Physical and mental hyperactivity are common traits of an Ice smoker.

While it is true that each hit gives a high, each of these subsequent highs are lower than the last!

The initial rush and subsequent high will NEVER be matched during a session, but that will not stop a user chasing. This binge use and fruitless chase rapidly leads to addiction. An addiction that is extremely difficult to escape from.

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