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Methamphetamine (Ice)


Ice is the common name 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.



Total duration: 4-8 hours*

Onset: 0-10 minutes

Peak: 2-4 hours

Coming down: 2-4 hours

Hangover/After effects: 2-24 hours




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 or re dosing.



‘Set’ (your mind & body) + ‘Setting’ (environment) + Drug


  • Dehydration

  • Increased energy and alertness

  • Dilated pupils

  • Insomnia- decreased need for sleep

  • Increased sexual activity

  • Excessive talking

  • Hyperactivity

  • Repetition of simple acts

  • Increased body temperature and sweating

  • Tightened jaw muscles, teeth grinding

  • Loss of appetite

  • Stomach cramps *LESS COMMON

  • Weight loss *LESS COMMON

  • Headaches *LESS COMMON

  • Dizziness *LESS COMMON

  • Aggressive and violent behavior *RARE

  • Itchiness- compulsive scratching of skin *RARE

  • Nausea & Vomiting *RARE

  • Diarrhea *RARE

  • Shortness of breath *RARE

  • Involuntary tremors and twitching *RARE

  • Irregular heartbeat *RARE

  • Heart palpitations *RARE

  • Collapse *RARE

  • Seizures *RARE

  • Stroke *RARE

  • Coma *RARE

  • Tooth decay as result of dry mouth & grinding teeth *RARE


  • Euphoria

  • Increased self confidence

  • Moodiness *LESS COMMON

  • Irritability *LESS COMMON

  • Aggressiveness *RARE

  • Depression *RARE

  • Suicidal tendencies/thoughts - especially when coming down *RARE


  • Increased motivation and focus

  • Abrupt change of thoughts and speech

  • Anxiousness *LESS COMMON

  • Nervousness *LESS COMMON

  • Restlessness and agitation *LESS COMMON

  • Panic *LESS COMMON

  • Sense of confidence and power (delusions of grandeur) *LESS COMMON

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) *RARE

  • Psychotic episodes *RARE

  • Mania *RARE

  • Delusions *RARE

  • Memory loss *RARE

  • Excited Delirium Syndrome *RARE

  • Panic attacks *RARE

  • Suspicion & paranoia *RARE

Long term effects

The long-term effects of sleep deprivation and or dehydration from long term, heavy ice use can cause cognitive 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



Polydrug use has many possible outcomes. What could be fun for one person could be dangerous for another. We recommend you proceed with caution.


MAOls - increased potency of methamphetamine. Increased risk of cardiovascular disorders, psychosis, agitation and aggression.

Tramadol - cardiovasular risks


Other Stimulants (mdma,speed,cocaine) = heart strain which can lead to stroke

Depressants (GHB, alcohol,benzos & opioids) = heart strain due to opposing effects. Causes you to feel less of both substances putting you at risk of taking more & causing more harm to your body.

Caffeine = anxiety

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.



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 and any driver may be subject to a roadside behavioural impairment test. Wait at least 24 hours before driving. Taking multiple doses over a period of several hours can lengthen this time period.

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 - 3 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.



  • Use around people you trust and somewhere you feel safe.

  • Eat about 30 minutes before use.

  • A standard dose is ~5mg (threshold) and 50mg (high dose).

  • Be aware of overheating or an elevated heart rate and make sure to cool down & chill out regularly.

  • Keep your fluids up, but don’t drink too much—1 cup of water (250ml) p/h when resting & 500ml per hour when active.

  • Try eat every 2-3 hours, have a smoothie/sports drink to keep your electrolytes up

  • Sleep! Or at least lay down and rest during a 24-hour period to avoid sleep deprivation.


  • Crush to fine powder as crystals can cause little cuts.

  • Snort water before and after to protect your nose.

  • Use your own straw/spoon (& not money bills) to avoid infection or blood borne viruses (HIV/HVC)

  • Repeated snorting can damage your nose, switch nostrils regularly and take breaks


  • Use your own, new and sterile injecting equipment (inc. water when mixing)

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after

  • Learn about safer injecting practices

  • Dispose of syringes & equipment responsibly.

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 thoroughly before and after

  • Use sterile water to mix with powdered pill

  • Find a discreet and safe place to do it.



Carrying drugs & paraphernalia puts you at greater risk of criminal charges (inc. trafficking, even if you don’t deal). Know your local laws.



This resource has been made by people who use drugs for their peers & the wider community. The role of DanceWize is to provide credible & non-judgmental info to promote health & harm reduction. In an unregulated (illegal) market you don’t know the purity or dose of any drug and there is always some risk. You can educate yourself and practise harm reduction to reduce risk. Knowledge is power. #JUSTSAYKNOW

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