Ice Addiction

What is Ice?

Ice is a highly addictive, illegal drug in the amphetamine family and in the manufacture of Ice the following are some of the ingredients used, acetone, bleach, battery acid, and engine coolant. Ice street names include crystal meth, glass, shards, puff, and shabu.

Because the manufacturing of ice is unregulated, it is impossible to know exactly what ingredients are in it.

The Victorian government in their attempt to stem the flow of Ice addiction released an initiative called “Taking Action to Stop Ice”  and this provides a comprehensive overview of Ice and its effects.

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Effects of using Ice

Ice triggers 3 major responses in the brain;

  1. It releases huge amounts of dopamine which is associated with the pleasure centre in the brain. The amount of dopamine released can be as much as 1000 times the normal release of dopamine.
  1. It releases noradrenaline which is responsible for increasing heart rate and blood pressure.
  1. It creates an imbalance of serotonin which results in changes in impulse control, mood swings and appetite.

Once the effects of Ice have worn off it is extremely difficult for the body to return to normal levels of dopamine and this results in the person feeling an intense low and this can last for several days.

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Detoxing from Ice

Detoxing from Ice takes on two stages.

The first stage is to physically detox the body and this can take between 3-5 days and often requires a medical prescription for relaxants such as Valium to be taken during this period.

The second stage is for the client to undergo a supervised period of abstinence. During this period the client should address their lifestyle and gain an understanding of how they are going to treat their abuse or addiction to Ice on a short and long-term basis.

At 21Renew we take clients into our 21-day residential program which includes getting the clients feeling physically better with daily massages, yoga, walking and swimming while also providing them with the skills and tools they will need to deal with their issues both short and long-term.

We also work with the client to build a plan about how they are going to live their life and enjoy their new found freedom.


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The Cycle of Change for the Ice User

1.  Pre-Contemplation

People in pre-contemplation do not recognise that their use of ice is causing them a problem.

Trying to help people in this stage of the cycle can be quite difficult and seeking professional advice and assistance is often the best way to move things forward. It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another in getting them out of pre-contemplation.

2.  Contemplation

When someone is in this stage of the cycle they are starting to think about their using of Ice and pondering should they make a change.

The best way to assist someone who is contemplating taking some action is to encourage them to seek help and do some research into the options they might have such as contacting alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous.

3.  Planning

In this stage of the cycle of change the person has made the decision they want to change and either stop or reduce their using of Ice.

The best help you can give someone in this stage is to be supportive and positive.

4.  Action

The person will be putting their plan into action and the best help you can give them is to be supportive and understanding as they commence to address their issues.

When someone close to you is coming off /detoxing or in the early days of recovery they may experience significant mood swings.

5. Maintenance

Maintaining the plan will often involve changes in routine in the persons home and family life and if not handled correctly can cause disruption and hostility.

At 21Renew we add a further stage and that is to work with the client to ensure they have a plan going forward with how they want to live their life and what they want to achieve in their life. We believe this is critical to the client being successful in the maintenance stage of the cycle.