Crystal Methamphetamine

Other Names:
Ice, Crystal Meth, meth, glass, shabu, yaba, Christine, ice cream

Common Chinese names: 冰 (Bing)

Type of Drug:
Stimulant with hallucinogenic properties

Crystalline form: The size of grains of rice, semi-transparent, colourless and looks like ice crystals, hence the street name "ice". This is the most commonly misused form of crystal methamphetamine.

Tablets: When the crystals are ground they can then be made into tablets, which come in a variety of colours with characters or symbols imprinted on the surface, and are commonly mistaken for or disguised as ketamine or MDMA.

Methamphetamine can also come other forms (i.e. powder / liquid), however these are not commonly found in Hong Kong.

According to the Hong Kong Government Laboratory, methamphetamine is not as heavily adulterated with other substances. However, it is commonly mistaken for or disguised as other types of illegal drugs (e.g. amphetamine type stimulants: MDA, MDEA, MX; ketamine), which are generally adulterated with harmful substances.

How is it used:
Currently there is no medical use for methamphetamine in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong crystal methamphetamine is usually smoked, however it can be crushed and snorted or dissolved in water and injected. The tablets are usually swallowed.

Typical side effects:
- Feeling of exhilaration
- Increased arousal and activity levels
- Talkativeness
- Insomnia
- Restlessness
- Suppressed appetite
- Increase heart rate (irregular heartbeat) and blood pressure
- Skin Rash / Pimples
- Dizziness
- Sweating
- Hallucinations
- Agitation, paranoia, confusion and violence
- Toxic psychosis
- Depression
- Heart and Kidney failure

Withdrawal symptoms:
- Anxiety, confusion
- Insomnia
- Mood disturbances
- Violent behaviour
- Drug induced psychosis, visual and auditory hallucinations
- Fornication, hence picking at the skin

Long Term Effects:
- Severe dental problems (“meth mouth” = rotting teeth, gum disease)
- Extreme weight loss
- Methylamphetamine use can be associated with injecting and with sharing of paraphernalia with attendant risks of HIV and hepatitis virus infections.