The ‘high’ experienced from ice and base is much more intense, and with intense reactions come powerful responses including comedown, the potential for dependence (addiction) and chronic physical and mental problems. Ice is known as a variety of other names, including: crystal meth, meth, crystal, shabu, batu, d-meth, tina and glass. Base is also known as: speed dexedrine, dexies, dex, shad, go-ee, glass, tina, paste, oxblood, shabu, yabba and crank.
Physical effects Both ice and base produce a very intense ‘rush’, and depending on how many times it is consumed this effect can last between four and twelve hours. Ice users experience a feeling of exhilaration and increased arousal and activity levels. They feel more awake and it suppresses appetite. When ice or base is used, the receptors in the brain are flooded with monoamines. As more is taken, these receptors can be destroyed – and prolonged ice use can lead to a point when the user no longer feels pleasure without further ice use.
Problems Short term: • Increased heart rate • Hypertension (high blood pressure) • Irregular body temperature • Increased breathing rate • Constricted blood vessels • Heart problems. Long term: • Aged appearance • Damaged teeth • Lesions on skin • Risk of stroke • Decreased lung function • Poor cognitive function – memory and decision making issues • Exposure to blood-borne viruses Studies have shown the use of ice and base is associated with brain and mental health conditions, including ruptured blood vessels in the brain, memory-loss indecision, depression and psychosis.
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These drugs can cause paranoia and hallucinations and the user may also become aggressive and violent – possibly requiring sedation and physical restraint or police intervention. Using ice or base can also lead to social and financial problems and the risk of family breakdown and losing friends. Dependence on ice and base can be physical, psychological, or both People who are physically dependent on ice or base develop tolerance to the drug. This makes it necessary to take more of the drug to get the same effect.
They can also find that their body has become used to functioning with the drug present. As a result the user needs to increase their dosage as they develop tolerance and require ice in their system to feel ‘normal’. People who are psychologically dependent on ice or base find that using these drugs becomes far more important than other activities in their lives. They crave these drugs and find it very difficult to stop using it. If a person who is dependent on ice suddenly stops taking it, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, because their body has to readjust to functioning without the drug.
People may experience withdrawal symptoms for a couple of weeks. Ice or base withdrawal symptoms may include: • cravings for ice or base • disorientation and poor concentration • decreased energy, apathy and the limited ability to experience pleasure • irritability • depression, anxiety and panic • paranoia • extreme fatigue and exhaustion • headaches • general aches and pains • hunger and increased appetite • disturbed and restless sleep, often interrupted by nightmares.