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

Methampehtamine 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.

Meth (also known as 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 meth, these can last from a few hours to many weeks.

Short-term effects

If you use meth (also known as ice) you may develop some or all of the following problems:

  • Make poor choices and do 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  your pupils dilate (get bigger).
  • 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 or jealous. This could make you aggressive.
  • You may see and hear things that aren’t there and your thoughts can become muddled up.
  • Sleeping is difficult, sometimes people stay up for days (1-3 days).
  • Meth increases your blood pressure and this could cause heart problems or stroke (a bleed in the brain). If you are experiencing these symptoms, please call 000.

Long-term effects

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

  • You may have mood swings, feel sad or mixed up, be worried or become angry with no warning. Your family and friends might be worried about you and scared by the changes in your behaviour. They may start to see you differently.
  • You can become unhealthy.
  • 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 may experience psychosis (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there). 
  • Meth may cause you to have a stroke or a heart attack and this can cause long-term health problems or even death. Get medical help and call 000.
  • If you stop using meth after a long time, you will feel very uncomfortable or down. These feelings are known as withdrawal and can last for several days but will get better in time.
  • It’s best not to use meth. 
  • If you have used meth, have a trusted family member or friend around and stay in a safe place.
  • Never drive if you've been using meth.
  • 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.
  • Meth use can affect your family and community, not only while you’re using, but also when you come down.
  • Injecting meth is very risky. If injecting meth, 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 meth 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 meth 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



Looking for info about the effects of a specific drug?

Check out the Drug Types page here.

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