First Signs of Ice Use

Do you suspect someone you love is involved with Crystal Meth? Find out what the first signs of Ice use are and what type of help is available.

Metamphetamine – or meth – is a highly addictive, extremely powerful, central nervous system stimulant. In its illegal form, crystal meth (also known in the streets as ice, crystal, glass, chalk, crank), is one of the most abused and dangerous drugs you can find. First signs of ice use are obvious and, more often than not, even a single dose can be lethal.

Crystal Meth or Ice, gets the name from its appearance after it’s produced (illegally) in chunks that resemble glass; the drug is abused by crushing the chunks, and later inhaling, snorting, or injecting the resulting powder after it’s been dissolved in water or alcohol.

Due to its high potency, meth causes a fast-acting high or euphoria that peaks in a matter of minutes and fades quickly. This is precisely why abusers will often go on a binge, in order to maintain the high for a longer period of time.

Hyperactivity and a lot of movement, are just some of the first signs of ice that someone will show almost immediately after taking the drug. Other tell tale signs of ice use, will include:

  • Increased physical activity and restlessness
  • Heavy and irregular breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heavy sweating
  • High body temperature
  • Unpredictable behavior

While these first signs of ice use are pretty obvious, some people may isolate themselves when using. In that case, there are other tell tale signs of ice use that you can look for, that will appear and last long after the euphoria has passed, such as:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Changes in weight
  • Itchy skin (scratching will lead to sores)
  • Burnt lips and/or fingers
  • Changes in the skin coloration and appearance

Unfortunately, ice addiction side effects are too many and, if someone is not treated promptly, some side effects may develop not serious health risks, or even be life-threatening.

Some of the most common ice addiction side effects affect the physical appearance of an abuser. While these can also be considered tell tale signs of ice use, they will appear after someone has been abusing the drug for a considerable period of time.

These side effects include:

  • Bad breath & tooth decay (Meth Mouth)
  • Jaw clenching (will often grind their teeth)
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors and involuntary muscle spasms
  • Mental confusion
  • Psychosis

Furthermore, ice addiction side effects that may develop into greater risks and that can be life-threatening are:

  • Heart disease
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis (from sharing needles)

Despite the fact that meth addiction is one of the strongest abuse problems someone may face, there is high-quality and effective treatment available. When you first notice the tell tale signs of ice use on someone you love, you need to reach out to experts that can guide you in order to help your loved one recover.

Someone that has been abusing meth, will need to go through a comprehensive medical detoxification process in order to remove the toxins from their body and prepare them for their rehabilitation program.

A good treatment program will have your loved one taking part in psychotherapy and addiction education, learning new coping skills and mechanisms to prevent relapse, and support them in developing their aftercare plan.

If you believe you are noticing the first signs of ice use on someone you love, the time to act is now. Our center has the expertise and dedicated personnel to guide and support your loved one through their recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.