DOC­TOR’S GRAVE WARN­ING ON ICE

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - By Dr Ian Wil­son Di­rec­tor of the Emer­gency De­part­ment at North­east Health Wangaratta

What sur­prises me again and again is a young per­son on ice who comes in ag­i­tated, an­gry, abu­sive, para­noid; we treat them and the next morn­ing they have no rec­ol­lec­tion of the pre­vi­ous night’s events and be­lieve they were and are fine and go back to use again in the mis­taken be­lief that they don’t have prob­lems with ice.

Thank­fully they are not as com­mon as al­co­hol af­fected pa­tients but the ones on ice stick in your mind more.

Tak­ing ice is just not worth it.

You may be a reg­u­lar user or even a ca­sual user and still able to func­tion, but the drug’s im­pacts may well even­tu­ally af­fect you.

If and when it be­comes a prob­lem, talk to your doc­tor.

They can give you emo­tional sup­port dur­ing your re­cov­ery and can treat any med­i­cal prob­lems that may arise.

They can also con­nect you with the var­i­ous treat­ment pro­grams avail­able.

Ice, also known as crys­tal metham­phetamine, is a highly ad­dic­tive, il­le­gal drug.

It’s man­u­fac­tured by mix­ing com­mon phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs with dan­ger­ous chem­i­cals such as ace­tone, bleach, bat­tery acid, and en­gine coolant.

Us­ing ice changes your brain.

It trig­gers the re­lease of dopamine which is as­so­ci­ated with the feel-good re­sponse in the brain.

When you take ice, your brain can be flooded by up to a thou­sand times more dopamine than usual.

This can cause an un­pre­dictable im­bal­ance of the brain’s chem­i­cals and the brain can no longer regis­ter a nat­u­ral level of hap­pi­ness.

Long af­ter the ef­fects of ice have worn off, the body can’t re­store its dopamine lev­els to the amount it needs for ev­ery­day func­tion­ing.

This re­sults in an in­tense

It’s re­ported that up to about onequar­ter of reg­u­lar metham­phetamine users will ex­pe­ri­ence psy­chosis in any given year. - DR IAN WIL­SON

low feel­ing that’s of­ten re­ferred to as a come­down, which can last for days.

Of­ten, users crave the feel­ing they got from be­ing on the drug, and the drug spi­ral be­gins.

It’s re­ported that up to about one-quar­ter of reg­u­lar metham­phetamine users will ex­pe­ri­ence psy­chosis in any given year.

Metham­phetamine psy­chosis usu­ally in­volves feel­ing overly sus­pi­cious, hav­ing strange be­liefs about things that are not plau­si­ble, or hear­ing and see­ing things that are not there.

Th­ese symp­toms can vary in in­ten­sity and usu­ally last up to three hours, but some­times symp­toms can last for days.

There are recre­ational ice users, peo­ple who might use it to party now and then seem­ingly with­out af­fect.

The prob­lem is that we can’t tell who will be­come de­pen­dent on ice and who won’t.

And once you’re de­pen­dent, it’s hard to get off ice be­cause of how it af­fects your brain.

From page 10 There are recre­ational ice users, peo­ple who might use it to party now and then seem­ingly with­out af­fect.

Ev­ery con­sumer’s ex­pe­ri­ence is dif­fer­ent be­cause the ef­fects of any drug, in­clud­ing ice, vary from per­son to per­son.

An in­di­vid­ual’s size, weight and gen­eral health, how much of the drug they’ve taken and how they’ve taken it and whether they’ve used it be­fore all im­pact on how some­one’s body re­sponds.

Some­one might not de­velop a de­pen­dence af­ter us­ing ice once, but from the clients I see, it’s clear that if you use it once it’s likely you’ll use it again.

The more times you use ice, or any other drug, the greater the risk of de­vel­op­ing a de­pen­dency.

THE FRONT­LINE: Dr Ian Wil­son and the emer­gency de­part­ment at North­east Health Wangaratta, sees first hand the ter­ri­ble

con­se­quences of ice use in Wangaratta.

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