“Ice” (crystal methamphetamine): concerns and responses

7 March 2016

Describes a pattern of increasing use of methamphetamine over the past decade.

Summary
There is no cause to feel impotent, despite disturbing media reports about methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine has been around for some time. Although it is now available in a crystal form that is more potent and more readily smoked than earlier forms, no-one should feel impotent in the face of widespread alarmist commentary about this drug.

The recent National Ice Taskforce Report describes a pattern of increasing use of methamphetamine over the past decade. Compounding the effect of the shift in use from the older amphetamine sulphate to methamphetamine (in powder or crystal form) is the increase in purity of illicit methamphetamine: the purity-adjusted price (the dose obtained for a given price) is now similar for both methamphetamine forms, so that users obtain much larger doses. This probably underlies the evidence of more regular and greater levels of dependent use among people who use the drug, and also some of the increases in observed harms.

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Suggested Citation

Margaret Hamilton, Adrian Dunlop, 2016, “Ice” (crystal methamphetamine): concerns and responses , Medical Journal of Australia, viewed 09 December 2016, <http://apo.org.au/node/62023>.

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