Ice is the pure form of methamphetamine, so it is more powerful in its effects than its cousin speed (amphetamine). These drugs are in the stimulant family of psychoactive substances producing feelings of euphoria, increased confidence, more energy, increased alertness and concentration. It’s important to note that the effects of any drug will vary from person to person depending on the individual’s size, weight and height and whether the person has taken the drug previously or for the first time.
The aim behind this blog is not to cast any judgement about people’s choice and how they use their recreational time, but express the consequences of what I’m seeing when I meet people with ice dependency and the problems it has caused in their lives, as well as, the individuals who have a family member taking ice. Added to this is the anecdotal information I’m hearing from the same client’s about its wide spread use through the community and its impact on individuals and families. I have to be careful about being over dramatic, but I have this concern that those who are seeking support regarding ice use now represent only the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended!).
As the consequences of this drug become more deeply entrenched the rippling effect of family fracture, loss of employment, it’s impact on children, consequences on mental health, personality changes and violence look likely to increase.Ice is not just the domain of young people but seems to be crossing all social boundaries, whether that’s blue or white collar, skilled or unskilled, due to its easy availability and relative low cost.
The potential long term effects and consequences of using ice are:
v Physical health:
· Malnutrition and rapid weight loss due to reduced appetite.
· Chronic sleep problems
· Increased risk of infections due not eating and sleeping adequately.
· Increases in blood pressure and heart failure
· Dental problems from grinding teeth.
v Mental health:
· Drug induced psychosis.
· Depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
· Memory loss.
· Brain damage (some evidence suggesting that amphetamines can damage brain cells impacting on memory and impairments in thinking).
· Family breakdown.
· Relationship problems.
· Financial problems due to the cost of buying ice.
Some people are able stop taking a drug when they have determined that’s the right thing to do. However, for others this isn’t the case and ongoing substance use can lead to drug dependency. Unfortunately many parents are witnessing, and having to live with, seeing their children 'taken' by this drug as it pulls them along a path that’s paved with myriads of problems. Or it might be a partner whose social life becomes centred on ice use and the impact of their mood swings and absence on the other partner and their children as they come off the drug after weekend use.
If you would like to seek support because you or you know somebody who is struggling with problematic ice use, or any drug for that matter, then please contact one of us at Counselling and Psychotherapy.
May this day find you well.