Street name: Meth, Ice

Street use: Snorted, smoked or injected

Description: White/yellow/pink crystalline powder, clear liquid, ampoules (Meth). Small whitish chips (Ice).

Drug effect: Has a very strong and long - lived stimulant effect with many users described a euphoric 'high'.

Dependency: Yes, though mainly psychological

Withdrawal: Tolerance to methamphetamine can develop quickly with regular use. The desired stimulant effects of the drug can last from three to four hours. Like amphetamine sulphate, withdrawal is in two phases. Firstly, the 'crash' or 'comedown' which produces tiredness and depression. In the second phase, users can become irritable and severely depressed; this can last for three to four weeks after cessation of the drug.

Long-term use: Prolonged use of methamphetamine can lead to severe weight loss, insomnia, exhaustion, paranoid psychosis, and severe depression. Smoking Ice over long periods causes severe psychotic episodes with both visual and auditory hallucinations, presenting not unlike schizophrenia.

Overdose risk: Overdose is not so common with methamphetamine, but when it does occur it can result in heart failure due to the excess stress placed on the cardiovascular system.

Legal status: Methamphetamine is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Maximum penalty:

For possession: 7 years and/or unlimited fine

For dealing: Life and/or unlimited fine