Methamphetamine, Ice, Crystal Meth, Crank, Tina, Yaba, Shabu shabu, Glass, Crissy: What is it?

There are a huge number of terms that refer to this drug but essentially they are all the same thing and are an extremely potent, highly addictive form of amphetamine. Different countries and regions often use a diverse range of slang terms and this can be very confusing resulting in people thinking they are entirely different substances.

Shabu or shabu shabu is the commonly used term in Indonesia and Asia while in Australia the substance is often referred to as Ice and Americans tend to prefer the term Crystal Meth. This is, of course, a generalisation and terms can differ from town to town. Yaba is the only form which has a slightly different chemical makeup as it mixes the methamphetamine with caffeine and usually comes in tablet form. This is found predominantly in Thailand.

Ice is often created in make shift laboratories by people with no real chemical knowledge and this often results in an impure and toxic product. The main ingredient is ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. This is found in many cough medications and governments have begun to restrict availability due to this abuse. Chemicals are also extracted from things like brake cleaner, engine starter, batteries, rubbing alcohol and fertilizer to make the drug. And depending on its form can be smoked, injected or snorted.

What are the effects of Ice Addiction?

Taking methamphetamine makes the user feel very alert and energised as well as restless, paranoid, confused and potentially aggressive. Often it is compared to crack cocaine but the high lasts considerably longer between 4 and 12 hours depending on the purity of the drug and the individual’s tolerance. In the short term its effects are:

  • Reduced appetite.

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure. Even a first time user can potentially suffer a heart attack or stroke.

  • Irregular body temperature.

  • Constricted blood vessels.

  • Lowered inhibitions which sometimes lead to users engage in risky behaviour such as unprotected sex.

  • Nausea.

  • Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behaviour.

  • Hallucinations, hyper excitability, irritability.

Longer term effects include:

  • Dramatic weight loss.

  • An aged appearance.

  • Increased risk of stroke and heart problems.

  • Lung problems including emphysema.

  • Liver and kidney damage.

  • Decreased cognitive function, problems with memory loss and decision making.

  • Dental problems.

  • Potential exposure to blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis C and HIV.

  • Psychosis.

  • Likelihood of social, family and financial problems.

  • Increased disconnection with self and life in general.

Why is Ice so Addictive?

In recent years Ice has become one of the most commonly used and abused illegal drugs, causing more problems globally than any other. Its popularity is due to its availability and affordability and the extreme euphoric high experienced by users.

Ice releases approximately 1250 units of dopamine, a ‘feel good’ chemical neurotransmitter, into the brain compared to cocaine’s 400. The extreme chemical reaction it produces can be given a more regular touchstone when it is considered that about 200 units of dopamine are released naturally during sex. This is why Ice is one of the most powerful and addictive drugs available. It is also one of the most dangerous, causing damage to brain neurons, which results in a rapid decline in the user’s ability to experience pleasure without it. After many years of abuse it has been known to cause irreversible harm.

Dependence on Ice can be physical, psychological or both. People who are physically dependent increasingly have to up the dose they are taking to combat the tolerance that their body develops and people who are psychologically dependant increasingly find that taking this drug far outweighs the importance of any other activities in their lives. Most often the two types of dependence are combined and cravings for the drug can be intolerable.

Read more: The True Dangers of Methamphetamine

Withdrawal from Ice Addiction

If a person who has been using Ice suddenly stops taking the substance they will experience a range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. These include:

  • Cravings

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Paranoia

  • General aches and pains.

  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion

  • Hunger

  • Insomnia or Hypersomnia and frequent nightmares

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Psychosis

  • Hallucinations

  • Severe depression

  • Mood swings

  • Headaches

  • Inability to concentrate

Ice Withdrawal at Seasons Bali

Currently, this is the most commonly treated addiction at Seasons Bali and our team has an excellent understanding of how to help addicts achieve long term recovery from this dangerous substance.

Detoxing from Crystal Meth is similar, in general, to withdrawing from other drugs, including alcohol, but can require additional psychological support in the early stages. Most Ice addicts require a short-term medicated detox period with a lot of time to sleep and rest. At Seasons Bali, our skilled staff closely monitor withdrawal symptoms and our experienced doctor can alter medication regimes accordingly. Withdrawal symptoms are largely psychological rather than physical and users in withdrawal can become easily angered, frustrated and aggressive. Here, the experience of our therapeutic team really comes into play and they provide excellent emotional support during this phase of treatment. The clinical and medical staff at Seasons Bali are highly trained and experienced in supporting clients through this process, making the process as safe and comfortable as possible.

Effective Ice Addiction Treatment at Seasons Bali

Detoxification from Ice is a relatively short process and only the beginning of the treatment program here at Seasons luxury rehab. Once the resident has completed their detox they are better able to focus on the aspects of the program that treat the underlying causes of addiction.

This is achieved through a comprehensive, holistic schedule which includes one-on-one counselling, process group work, educational groups and relapse prevention work as well as exercise, recreation, massage, art therapy, drama therapy and daily outings. This is provided against a backdrop of 24 hour care, away from the people, places and events which may trigger the need to use the crystal meth and within an environment of luxury with housekeeping and healthy meals served each day to allow the client to focus entirely on getting well.

Our program equips residents with the ability to create healthy and happy lives and to achieve ongoing, long-term recovery from Ice addiction. The program is delivered by a team of dedicated professional staff, most of whom are in recovery themselves, meaning they understand exactly what residents are going through. This fosters an attitude of caring and understanding between staff and residents, creating a safe therapeutic environment where transformation and growth can take place.

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