Rock band Grinspoon's Phil Jamieson, says he began using crystal methamphetamine in 2004, just for fun, like most do.
Yet, two years into the drug along with cocaine and ecstasy as a source of musical inspiration, the married father of two realized that he had become an everyday ice user on the brink of a psychological, career and family meltdown.
AdvertisementSpeaking on an ABC television program -Enough Rope, Jamieson was quoted: "August last year, was when things got messy. "I felt without (the drug) I just wasn't normal. I had to take it to be normal (and) I started realizing this thing's doing me ... like it's got me."
'Ice' is a street name for crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride, which is a powerful, synthetic stimulant drug. Stimulant drugs speed up the messages going to and from the brain.
Ice is more potent than other forms of amphetamines. It is more pure than the powder form of methamphetamine ("speed").
Ice is known to be smoked, swallowed, snorted, injected or inserted anally ("shafting"). Some people smoke ice using a glass pipe, while others heat it on aluminium foil and inhale the vapors ("chasing").
Since it causes euphoria and excitement, it is prone to abuse and addiction. Users may become obsessed or perform repetitive tasks such as cleaning, hand washing, or assembling and disassembling objects. Excessive sleeping, eating and depression like symptoms, often accompanied by anxiety and drug craving, characterize withdrawal.
Jamieson, who describes ice as heavier than other drugs he has used, says his life became centered on using the drug and writing songs. Having become paranoid too, he would stay awake for four days and then sleep for two while he also stole to meet the financial costs of his addiction.
"I'd be paranoid about walking, being in public, going to the bank, going to buy food, going to the corner shop, driving, everything. "I'd become a junkie. It was horrible," Jamieson remembers. "I was good at lying, really good at lying, and I hocked a guitar and got rid of stuff and stole money ... it was all pretty dodgy. "I stole money, um, from the band, which wasn't great, and then I had to ring them and tell them. That was pretty much a rock bottom incident."
In addition, Jamieson's wife Julie also left their Sydney home, with their two young daughters, to live with her parents in Queensland.
It's at this point, Jamieson says, he admitted to his ice addition and he went into rehab, as well as a five-day intensive detox program .The troubled couple then re-united to attend relationship counseling.
Says Jamieson who now understands the media furor over his rehab stint: "Because crystal meth, or ice, is ... a bit of a worry as far as drugs go in Australia."
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