Ice Breaker

Most of the time, police will not be called when an ambulance is attending a drug overdose

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Ice, or crystal methamphetamine, is a stimulant drug and variant of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine typically comes in three different forms (ice, base and speed) that vary in their appearance and potency.

The effects of ice differ slightly from speed and base because it is often a purer form of methamphetamine, meaning it gives a stronger and longer lasting ‘high’. Because of this, it also has more potent and serious side effects, both during use and in the 'comedown' or ‘crash’ phase after use. This is why, compared to other forms of methamphetamine, ice has a greater potential for the person using the drug to develop dependence, psychosis, and other long-term physical and mental health problems.

Ice is usually sold in points (0.1g) or grams and can be cut (mixed) with other substances. This reduces its purity and makes its effects even more unpredictable.


Australian Drug Foundation. (2016). Amphetamines. Melbourne: State Government Victoria.

McKetin, R., & Black, E. (2014). Methamphetamine: What you need to know about speed, ice, crystal, base and meth. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

Peck, Y., Clough, A.R., Culshaw, P.N., & Liddell, M.J. (2019). Multi-drug cocktails: Impurities in commonly used illicit drugs seized by police in Queensland, Australia. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 201 (2019) p49–57.

Page last reviewed: Wednesday, 3 July 2019