“Ice” is ‘crystalline methamphetamine hydrochloride,’ and can be smoked or injected intravenously, whereas plan methamphetamine powder is snorted or taken orally. The ice form of the drug gives a more intense high, or “rush,” than the powder form of the drug. It is many times more addictive than the powder form. The powder form is frequently cut or diluted with other harmful substances, but ice crystals are usually pure drug, which is much more potent and destructive. The high is longer lasting than with either cocaine or meth powder. Ice is by far the most addictive substance known to man. Almost nobody, like Matt, tries ice just once.
The high Matt and others receive from ice gives them a sense of energy and alertness, competence and intelligence, power and control. Loss of appetite, hyperactivity and endurance are common as well. Matt would go days without feeling tired or needing to sleep or eat. The euphoria is associated with delusions of power and invincibility.
The long term consequences of ice or methamphetamine abuse include memory loss, hallucinations, delusions, panic, and rage. The later stages of addiction are characterized by a form of dementia – mothers abandon their babies, teenagers shoot their parents, families are destroyed, and communities are crippled. Addicts are unable to hold a job or care for their families; they are consumed with their drug use and cannot do anything else.
The real harm with ice is not only its highly addictive potential but its neuro-toxicity (neuro – brain, toxicity – damaging.) Ice is much more toxic to brain cells than cocaine. As devastating as the crack cocaine problem has been, ice promises to be much worse. Ice addicts sustain significant brain damage. Matt suffered from ‘methamphetamine psychosis’ with severe paranoia He felt as if the whole world was “out to get him.” Homicide, trauma, and suicide (as was the case with Matt) are the most common causes of death for ice addicts. Within five years, 90% of addicts are either brain-damaged, dead, or in prison.
Ice is burning homes down (meth labs), destroying families, polluting the environment, and corrupting our neighborhoods. Ice is destroying our workforce and flooding our prisons, hospitals and rehab centers with brain-damaged people. It is infiltrating our schools and churches and killing our young people. It is an epidemic that will touch millions.
We must kneel before our God and ask for His grace to help those in need, then stand and demonstrate the compassion of Christ to them. There is no answer to the ice epidemic outside of Jesus. The medical field can offer assistance in dealing with the complications caused by the damage done to the physical body (and this can be extensive); but the Answer is the TRUTH. We must reach out and freely offer to them the “cure” which is Christ. The addict needs to exchange the methamphetamine for the Messiah.