Ice is smoked in a glass pipe like crack cocaine. The smoke is odourless, leaves a residue that can be re-smoked and produces effects that may continue for 12 hours or more.
It is a white, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. It comes in many forms and can be smoked, snorted, ingested or injected. The drug alters moods in different ways, depending on how it is taken.
Ice has toxic effects. In animals, a single high dose of the drug has been shown to damage nerve terminals in the dopamine-containing regions of the brain.
High doses can elevate body temperature to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels, as well as cause convulsions.
Long-term abuse results in many damaging effects, including addiction.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterised by compulsive drug-seeking and drug use, which is accompanied by functional and molecular changes in the brain.
Chronic abusers exhibit symptoms that include violent behaviour, anxiety, confusion and insomnia.
They also display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances and delusions