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Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Dexamphetamine, Meth, Speed, Uppers, Dexies, Crystal Meth

Ice is a type of amphetamine which is a stimulant drug.

Stimulants increase the activity in parts of the brain. This can make you feel happy, brave and deadly. They can also make you feel paranoid, fearful, jealous, angry and suspicious. These drugs can be dangerous. Other illegal stimulants include: ecstasy and cocaine.

Some amphetamines, called dexamphetamines or dexies, are prescribed by the doctor for medical problems.

All amphetamines sold on the street are illegal, even if they have been previously prescribed.

Ice affects the way you think, feel and behave. It also affects your body.

Ice can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected.

Effects can come on straight away or take longer depending on how you have taken it. The effects last from four to eight hours. If you get very bad thoughts or feelings after taking ice, these can last from a few hours to many weeks.

Short-term effects

  • Feel happy and brave, and you think you are really deadly. This can lead to making poor choices and doing things you wouldn’t normally do (e.g. have unsafe sex, drive dangerously, break the law).
  • You have lots of energy and your heart beats faster and you get really big eyes because your pupils dilate.
  • You talk a lot. Some people might think you are talking too much.
  • You stop eating because you do not feel hungry and you may get stomach cramps.
  • Feel hot and sweaty or hot and cold. 
  • You may feel worried (anxious), restless, fearful, suspicious, jealous, violent and angry.
  • You may see and hear things that aren’t there and your thoughts can become muddled up.
  • Sleeping is difficult, sometimes people stay up all night and all of the next day.
  • Ice can increase your blood pressure and this could cause heart problems or stroke (a bleed in the brain).

Long-term effects

If you use speed regularly or binge heavily you may develop some or all of the following problems:

  • You may have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, mixed up, worried or become angry with no warning. Your family and friends might be worried for you and frightened of you. They may start to see you as dangerous or strange.
  • Unhealthy weight and muscle loss.
  • Get sick very easily because your body is run down.
  • You may have strange thoughts and your thinking can become tangled and unclear.
  • You may get paranoid (fearful, jealous and suspicious). When someone gets paranoid they may think people are after them. Some people become psychotic. They may see or hear things that aren’t there. 
  • Speed may cause you to have a stroke (a bleed in the brain) or a heart attack and this can cause long-term health problems or even death.
  • Speed costs lots of money and this can put pressure on families.
  • It’s best not to use ice. 
  • If you have used ice, have a trusted family member or friend around and stay in a safe place.
  • Never drive if you've been using ice.
  • Drink water to replace fluid you lose from sweating.
  • Eat lots of healthy food to help your body stay strong.
  • Always use a condom when having sex to prevent unwanted infections or pregnancies.
  • Ice use can affect your family and community, not only while you’re using, but also when you come down.
  • Injecting ice is very risky. If injecting ice, always use a clean syringe and injecting gear such as spoon, swab and water. Never share equipment.
  • Mixing drugs is dangerous. If you mix grog and ice (meth/amphetamine) the effects of the drugs can be masked, meaning you could use dangerous amounts of both drugs without knowing it. This can harm your body and make you very sick.
  • Mixing drugs is dangerous. If you mix ice and ecstasy it can make the effect of the drugs much greater. This can make your heart beat faster, you can get overheated, dehydrated and this can cause a stroke or a seizure.

addict in distress illustration

Image © Patrick Bayly, Workspace Design


Do you or someone close to you need help to stop meth taking control?

Call the Meth Helpline on 1800 874 878