Key facts

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How does Ice work

Ice and the brain

Ice triggers the release of two chemicals in the brain, dopamine and noradrenaline. These chemicals make us feel alert and excited. This can cause both short term and long term problems.

The effects of ice

Depending on how much is taken, the effects of ice often last for between 4 and 12 hours.

The effects of ice are usually felt quickly, but can take 1 to 2 days to completely leave the body.

The physical effects of ice can include:

The comedown phase and withdrawal

A 'comedown' is often experienced when the drug wears off. Symptoms can last for a few days and can include feeling down or depressed, exhausted and anxious. 

Withdrawals are unpleasant symptoms experienced by people who are (addicted) on ice and who stop taking the drug. Symptoms can last up to several weeks and can include headaches, sleeping lots, cramps and vomiting, as well as restlessness and aggression.

To learn more about what happens when a person stops taking ice click here.

Page last reviewed: Friday, 2 July 2021

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