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Ice Addiction

Are you asking yourself how to stop taking ice? Are you experiencing ice withdrawal symptoms? Are you concerned that a loved one may be suffering from ice addiction? Most sufferers cannot stop taking ice without treatment for their addiction.

About Ice Addiction

Crystal methamphetamine, most commonly known as ice is a stimulant drug used in Australia. Ice is a cheap and highly addictive illicit drug, with the number of users significantly increasing. Ice has the highest purity content of the methamphetamine drug (family) with around an 80% purity level. Ice is commonly referred as glass, shabu, crystal or meth, and has a crystal-like appearance which is colourless to white and can be smoked, injected or snorted.

Ice is a destructive drug which in the early stages can cause symptoms of depression, anxiety and paranoia but with prolonged use can result in violent/aggressive behaviour through episodes of psychosis, it can leave families feeling very frightened. The drug ice effects the brains dopamine system, this is the brains reward system or the chemical that allows us to experience happiness. It releases dopamine at a rate 1000 times stronger than anything we would naturally experience and prevents dopamine being recycled back into the brain. This results in an inability to feel happy without the use of ice which contributes to the highly addictive nature of the drug. Due to the high purity content, it can have harmful side effects for the user. The criterion for ice addiction is regarded as someone who has an uncontrollable urge to use ice, and they have incredible difficulty stopping themselves from using ice.

Signs of Ice Addiction

There are certain signs you can look for that will help you identify a case of an ice addict. We have divided them into two categories: those to look for in yourself and those to look for in a loved one.

If you are concerned about your own situation, consider the following symptoms of ice addiction:

  • Thoughts of ice consume a good portion of your day
  • You find yourself looking for new ways of procuring ice
  • You are using Ice on a fortnightly, weekly or daily basis
  • You frequently worry you won’t have access to ice during your day
  • Ice is affecting your job, finances or relationship
  • You get upset when others question you about your ice use
  • You are willing to go to great lengths to get ice
  • You must regularly increase your ice intake to achieve the same feeling.
  • You find yourself concealing ice or your use

If you are concerned about a loved one rather than yourself, signs to look for include:

  • Unreasonable sensitivity when the topic of ice is discussed
  • Extended periods of being awake followed by extended periods of sleep
  • Used needles, pipe or bags of ice lying around the house
  • Unexplained withdrawal from family relationships or positive friendships
  • Increased isolation and episodes of social withdrawal
  • Lack of concern for employment
  • Unexplained financial problems
  • Unexplained mood swings
  • Unexplained weight loss

Any combination of signs or symptoms that suggest a potential ice addiction should not be ignored. As already mentioned, even a minor ice misuse problem can quickly become an addiction if left untreated. The good news is that proper treatment is very effective at helping ice addicts completely recover. Success is achieved through a combination of physical, emotional, social and psychological treatments that address every aspect of addiction.

Withdrawl Symptoms

If you regularly use ice, your body needs to learn to work without the drug which causes withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are the various physical and psychological effects of detox and can occur after reducing or stopping ice use.

Minor Withdrawl Symptoms
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Nausea
  • Increased appetite
  • Exhaustion
  • Aches and pains
  • Restless sleep and nightmares
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
Severe Withdrawl Symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seizures


  • Ice is the most common form of methamphetamine used
  • When ice is smoked or injected it enters the brain more quickly creating the “rush” that makes it irresistible.
  • Use has increased by 52% in the last ten years.

Source: www.ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au


The first step toward recovering from ice addiction is an ice detox which involves cleansing the body of the substance. Detox without medical attention is possible for some individuals but it is a very difficult process and can often result in failure if the right supports aren’t in place.

At the Hader Clinic, we provide a safe and calm environment for people in need of ice treatment and a holistic recovery program. As detox from ice is hard, on admission a detailed assessment and medical examination is undertaken to ensure that a safe and effective detox process is established immediately, usually a medically assisted detox is recommended.

The Hader Clinic has a long and successful history treating ice addicts with proven ice treatment programs. In Queensland, our ice rehab clinic and retreat is located just north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Remember it can be difficult to convince a loved one that they need treatment for their ice addiction, if you’ve tried to talk to a friend or family member about their drug taking habits and they’ve been resistant, you should consider a family intervention. Contact us for advice on this process as we have useful resources and can support you through to conducting the intervention.

Does a loved one need help? Call 1300 856 847 for a free, confidential consultation.

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