Ice: A New Dosage Form of an Old Drug

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Science  10 Aug 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4969, pp. 631-634
DOI: 10.1126/science.249.4969.631


Ice, which has been described as the drug of the 1990s, is a pure form of (+)methamphetamine hydrochloride; it is more dangerous because of its purity and because it can be inhaled. Taken by this route, the drug causes an effect similar to that from an intravenous dose, and much more intense than that from ingestion. The detailed mechanism of action differs from that of cocaine, but the overall stimulant effect of methamphetamine is similar. Methamphetamine effects, however, persist for hours, whereas cocaine effects are over in minutes. Ice is, therefore, just another agent for abuse by those seeking psychostimulation and, as with cocaine, compulsive abusers of amphetamines consume the drug repeatedly and continuously. Unlike cocaine, methamphetamine is a synthetic compound and is manufactured in illicit laboratories within the United States.

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