Pakistan has 6.7 million drug users. More than 4 million of these are addicts, amongst the highest number for any country in the world. Nowadays ice (Crystal methamphetamine) is so popular in Pakistan's young generation. On some research 75 percent of female students are addicted to stimulating drugs, including ice and crystal meth; whereas almost 45 percent of male students too are substance abusers.

What is Ice (Crystal methamphetamine)

Crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’) is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages traveling between the brain and the body. It’s stronger, more addictive and therefore has more harmful side effects than the powder form of methamphetamine known as speed. Ice usually comes as small chunky clear crystals that look like ice. It can also come as a white or brownish crystal-like powder with a strong smell and bitter taste.

Ice is a strong stimulant, a highly purified form of methamphetamine that can be and usually is smoked (feel the effect almost immediately) or injected (15 to 30 seconds to feel the effects).

Symptoms of Ice Abuse (Crystal methamphetamine)

Ice drug causes a person to be energetic, artificially confident and euphoric. The ice user will normally stay up for days if the supply of ice holds out, eating little or no food. The high from ice can last a short time like a half an hour or as long as a full day. In most cases, the high from ice methamphetamine lasts much longer than the high from cocaine. Ice is one of the most destructive drugs on the illicit market, as it has devastating physical, mental and behavioral effects. The cravings for ice are intense, and people will do whatever it takes to get more.

Physical Effects of Ice

Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug. The ice user may exhibit a noticeable rise in body temperature. There will be a fast heart rate. The person may manifest damage to their teeth or sores in various places on the body. The person may pick at their skin because of a hallucination that there are bugs crawling under their skin. This can result in broken skin, particularly on the face and arms. After extended use, the user will probably appear gaunt and prematurely aged. The ice smoker who gets too much of the drug can get overheated and even suffer convulsions and uncontrollable movements.

How to help a person with ice addiction

Overcoming ice addiction can be difficult. People can experience withdrawal symptoms – exhaustion, dizziness, blurred vision, aches, nightmares, irritability, anxiety, paranoia and feeling ‘down’. These problems usually ease after a week. But many services can help someone addicted to ice, but they must be ready to seek help and rehabilitation. Listen to their concerns, set boundaries and encourage them to access a doctor.