Methamphetamine

Compound: Methamphetamine (N-Methyl amphetamine)
Other names: Crack, Crystal, Frosty, Ice, Meth, Rock, Shabu, Shard, T, Tina
Download Methamphetamine flyer here

 

Meth or Ice are the common names for (generally) crystalline methamphetamine. Ice is an amphetamine. Ice is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system (CNS) speeding up breathing and heart rate.  Methamphetamine stimulates the release of dopamine and noradrenaline from nerve cells in the brain. It is quickly and completely absorbed by the brain which is what causes the high to come on so quickly and intensely. It is generally in the form of translucent crystals, although it is also found in pill, capsule and powder forms. Chemically, methamphetamine and amphetamine have very similar structures. There is one small structural difference that allows meth to enter your brain more quickly than an amphetamine can, which is why the onset of the high is faster and more intense. Smoking or injecting methamphetamine can be more habit-forming than snorting or swallowing it, as these routes of administration pass the blood-brain barrier more quickly.

 

Know Your Body & Mind — ‘Set’

Know Your Environment — ‘Setting’

Know Your Drug — Practice Harm Reduction

ADMINISTRATION
It can be smoked, swallowed, snorted, injected, or plugged (rectal administration using a syringe without a needle).

DURATION OF EFFECTS

Total duration: 4-8 hours*
Onset: 0-10 minutes
Peak: 2-4 hours
Coming down: 2-4 hours
Hangover/after effects: 2-24 hours
*smoking/injecting/snorting.
Half life
The effects of ice may appear to wear off after 6 hours; however the drug remains active in your system for another 10 hours after you can feel the effects. Even though the apparent effects of the drug wear off after 6 hours, the drug is still active in your system for at least 12 hours after you have taken it. It is important to take this into consideration if choosing to use other substances.

DRUG TESTS:
Roadside Police:  Methamphetamine is tested for in roadside drug tests and is detectable in saliva tests for 24 to 72 hours since you last slept (not last dose). It is illegal to drive under the influence of any illicit drugs, including Ice.

Workplace: OHS law gives employers rights to test employees for drug use. This should be contained in workplace policy, it should be reasonable, and a risk assessment should be done to determine whether testing of employees is appropriate.
Urine: 1 hr – 3+ days after  Hair: Up to 90 days  Blood: 15min – 2 days+

‘Pill Testing’/Drug Checking: Lab-quality testing has been trialled in Australia and is not available as a health service yet but DIY reagent testing is an option. Mandolin,  Marquis, Mecke and other reagents produce reactions with Methamphetamine.   See photos of testing results here > verbinding.110110

EFFECTS
Effects vary from person to person. Check out our table below that has listed the potential physical, psychological and emotional effects.

SAFER DOSING

Taking drugs is never without risk. In an unregulated market it’s impossible to know the purity or dose of any drug.  ‘Dose’ depends on the form a drug is in (liquid, powder, pill, crystal) and how you have it (snort, eat, inject).

  • A standard dose ranges somewhere between 5mg (threshold) and 50mg (high dose).
  • Doses vary from person to person- it can depend on tolerance, how you take it, how you are built. Everybody reacts differently to a substance. 
  • Start with a very small amount to check the strength and assess your sensitivity.
  • Try to keep track of how much you have taken and how often you are re-dosing.
  • Give it plenty of time to work.
  • Remember: the effects of ice are stronger and last longer than speed. 
  • Try to allow yourself time to recover.

LONG TERM EFFECTS

The long term effects of sleep deprivation and or dehydration from ice use can cause cognitive (mental) impairment, insomnia, mental health crisis including psychosis, musculoskeletal damage and tooth decay.

It is not recommended to use ICE if you have or are at risk of:  

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety 
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure

Physical effects

COMMON

  • Dehydration
  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Dilated (large) Pupils
  • Insomnia – decreased need for sleep
  • Increased sexual activity
  • Excessive talking
  • Hyperactivity
  • Repetition of simple acts
  • Increased body temperature and sweating
  • Tightened jaw muscles and teeth grinding
  • Loss of appetite

 

LESS COMMON

  • Stomach cramps
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

 

RARE

  • Aggressive and violent behaviour
  • Itchiness – compulsive scratching of skin
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Involuntary tremors and twitching
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Tooth decay as result of dry mouth and grinding teeth

Emotional effects

COMMON

  • Euphoria
  • Increased self confidence

 

LESS COMMON

  • Moodiness
  • Irritability

 

RARE

  • Aggressiveness
  • Depression
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Suicidal thoughts (when coming down)

Psychological effects

COMMON

  • Increased motivation and focus
  • Abrupt change of thoughts
  • Abrupt change of speech

 

LESS COMMON

  • Anxiousness
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Panic
  • Sense of confidence and power
  • Delusions of grandeur

 

RARE

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations (hearing voices)
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Mania
  • Delusions
  • Memory loss
  • Excited Delirium Syndrome
  • Panic attacks

SAFER USING TIPS

  • Use around friends/people you trust and in a safe environment – somewhere you feel comfortable.
  • Remember to eat well then wait 20-30 minutes before using.
  • Be aware of overheating and try to cool down & chill out regularly.
  • Remember to keep your fluids up but don’t drink too much – 1 cup of water (250ml) p/h  when resting & up to 500ml p/h when dancing or active.
  • After 2-3 hours remember to keep your electrolytes up 
  • If you’re finding it hard to eat try a smoothie or a soup!
  • Sleep! Or lay down and cover your eyes during a 24-hour period. Many of the negative effects of ice are caused by sleep deprivation.
  • Factor in and plan recovery time before you need to do another activity.

SNORTING

  • Snorting this substance can be particularly painful and may affect your experience.
  • Finely crush the powder so there are no crystals (sparkles can cause little cuts).
  • Snort water before and after to avoid damaging the protective lining in your nose
  • Use your own clean straw/spoon for snorting to prevent the risk of infection or blood borne virus transmission  (‘BBV’ e.g. hepatitis C) via microscopic amounts of blood
  • Do not use money – it is covered in bacteria.
  • Repeated snorting can damage the membranes of the nose leading to blood noses and possible permanent damage to the septum.
  • Switch nostrils regularly and give your nose a break can cause a more severe comedown

SHELVING (dry)/ PLUGGING (wet mix)

  • Use lubrication to avoid tearing the skin
  • Use a condom or latex/vinyl glove to avoid internal scratches
  • Wash your hands before and after using
  • Find a discreet and safe place to do it
  • Dispose of used condom / glove responsibly.

INJECTING

  • Avoid Blood Borne Viruses (eg. Hepatitis C, HIV) by using new & sterile syringes & equipment.
  • Use sterile water to mix up.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after, you can also use an alcohol swab to clean your fingertips.
  • Alcohol wipes can reduce the risk of skin infections if they are used correctly. For maximum effect, swab once, in one direction on the injection site, and leave to dry naturally.
  • Dispose of syringes & equipment responsibly in a yellow disposal bin, all NSPs have bins available.

 

SAFER HANDLING
Carrying ice and paraphernalia (e.g. injecting/snorting/shelving equipment) puts you at risk of criminal charges including trafficking, even if you don’t deal. Know your local laws  e.g. the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld), the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substance Act 1981 (Vic).

 

Drug combinations

Polydrug use has many possible outcomes. What could be fun for one person could be dangerous for another. We do not endorse any of these combinations and recommend you proceed with caution.

Unsafe combinations

  • MAOls  Increased potency and risk of cardiovascular disorders, psychosis, agitation and aggression.
  • Tramadol – Tramadol and stimulants both increase the risk of seizures.

Cautionary combinations

  • Alcohol  The sedative effects of the alcohol are reduced, typically leading to excessive drinking with greatly reduced inhibitions, high risk of liver damage and increased dehydration. Extended release formulations may severely impede sleep, further worsening the hangover.
  • Speed & Cocaine – This combination of stimulants will increase strain on the heart. It is not generally worth it as cocaine has a mild blocking effect on dopamine releasers like amphetamine.
  • GHB & Opioids Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of opiates and sedatives. If the stimulant wears off first then the opiate may overcome the patient and cause respiratory arrest.
  • Caffeine  This combination of stimulants is not generally necessary and may increase strain on the heart, as well as potentially causing anxiety and greater physical discomfort.
  • MXE – can lead to hyper manic states much more easily.
  • Psychedelics – (LSD,DMT, magic mushrooms, 2CB) = the speed will speed up the trip and make it more intense while the LSD will magnify the anxiety and paranoia caused by the speed.
  • Cold & flu medicine – containing decongestants = dangerously high blood pressure.
  • MDMA  Amphetamines increase the neurotoxic effects of MDMA.

Low risk effects

  • NitrousCan increase synergy.
  • Benzodiazepines – Both can dull each other’s effects, so if one wears off before the other it’s possible to overdose due to the lack of counteraction.

Check out the TripSit drug combinations chart here for info on other combinations.

Call 000 if experiencing adverse effects, feel unwell or concerned in any way

Disclaimer

This educational resource has been developed collaboratively by healthcare workers and people who use drugs for their peers and the wider community. The role of Hi-Ground is to provide practical, evidence-based, unbiased information to assist you to make educated choices and to promote harm reduction, community care, and wellbeing. In an unregulated market it’s impossible to know the purity or dose of any substance. Taking drugs from an unregulated market carries its own risk, and you can educate yourself and practice harm reduction to reduce this risk.

Knowledge is power.

This resource is produced by DanceWize & Hi-Ground