Ice Drug Effects (and How to Get Clean)

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Familiarize Yourself with Ice Drug Effects and Learn How to Get Clean

The ice drug effects users experience can be incredibly potent. Ice is the street name for crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth that acts as a powerful stimulant drug. There are no medical uses for methamphetamine. Ice is used purely as a recreational drug, or for the sole intention of getting high.

Ice Drug Effects (and How to Get Clean)

When a user takes crystal meth, the substance sends an artificial trigger to the brain to release an abnormally excessive flood of dopamine and noradrenaline into the system. These hormones surge through the body, causing the user to feel a rush of euphoria and are what make the user feel abnormally alert or wired while under its effects.

At the same time, ice also blocks the brain’s natural ability to reabsorb the excess hormones, which is what causes users to experience a ‘crash’ after the ice drug effects wear off.

Regular use of ice damages the brain’s dopamine receptors, eventually causing the brain to stop producing dopamine or noradrenaline naturally unless it continues to receive more of the drug to provide stimulation as a trigger.

The person is unable to feel normal, no longer able to experience pleasure. One of the more negative effects of meth is that the user may sink into a profound state of depression that is commonly linked with strong suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Binge-Crash Usage Patterns

It’s common for many crystal meth users to go through a binge-crash phase. During the binge, the person takes the drug in an effort to recapture the feelings of euphoria and stimulation. When the effects wear off, or the user crashes, they immediately take more ice.

During a binge-crash phase it’s common for some users to stay awake for days. As the person doesn’t sleep throughout the binge the body burns through its energy resources quickly.

When the crash hits, the person is left feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, often sleeping heavily for several days.  The effects of the drug can often take 1 to 2 days to completely leave the body, at which time the user may feel depressed, anxious, irritated and agitated.

Some users may become violent or experience wild mood swings. Some may also experience paranoia or delusional thoughts, which can manifest as aggression or violent behavior.

The negative effects of meth withdrawal are also commonly accompanied by fierce cravings. In many people the cravings can be so severe that the person will do almost anything to get more ice.

Negative Effects of Meth

Prolonged abuse of crystal methamphetamine can cause irreversible damage and produce a range of meth side effects that can take months or even years to overcome. Some of the common long-term ice drug effects on the body can include:

  • Rapid and extreme weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Increased aggressiveness
  • ‘Meth mouth’, or sores around the mouth and severe tooth decay
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior
  • Psychosis
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat that can cause cardiovascular collapse
  • High blood pressure
  • Damaged blood vessels in the brain, increasing the risk of stroke
  • Liver, kidney and lung damage
  • Profound depression
  • Strong suicidal thoughts and tendencies

While some of the physical meth side effects may ease after some time, there are others that can linger for months and some that may become permanent

Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Many users falsely believe that detoxing from meth is much easier than some other drugs. They seem to think that withdrawing from ice won’t cause the excruciatingly painful physical withdrawal symptoms that other types of drugs produce.

What those people don’t realize is that the psychological ice drug effects of withdrawal can be far more severe than many other types of drugs. The negative effects of meth withdrawal may also take significantly longer to overcome after stopping use than other drugs.

Treating Crystal Meth Addiction

The detox process is the first stage in a comprehensive rehab treatment plan. It can take an addicted user between 10 and 14 days to physically detox from methamphetamine, almost twice as long as detoxing from opiate drugs.

Far too many people attempt to detox at home on their own, thinking they can get over the worst of any meth side effects of withdrawal and then somehow be cured. What those people don’t realize is that the psychological ice drug effects of detox can be so severe that the risk of relapsing back into self-destructive patterns of drug use is dramatically increased.

By comparison, entering into a specialized drug rehab treatment center can provide medical supervision and monitoring throughout the detox process. The person has the advantage of being in a safe environment away from people or places associated with crystal meth use.

Rehab treatment programs also begin working to address the underlying reasons behind dysfunctional drug abuse behaviors. By the time the person leaves rehab, they should have the resources and tools they need to stay clean.

Call 1 (800) 429-7690 to learn about your options for treatment, or you can visit our website at for more information.