Illegal users of methamphetamine originally took the drug in pill form or prepared it for injection. More recently, however, a crystalline form of the drug that is smoked like crack cocaine has appeared on the market. The practice of smoking methamphetamine began in Hawaii and then spread to California. Various names are given to smokable methamphetamine, such as Ice, LA Ice, and Crank. Ice is much cheaper than crack because it is made from easily available chemicals and does not require complicated equipment for its production. An illegal drug manufacturer can produce ice at a much lower cost than cocaine and therefore realize a much greater profit margin. Like cocaine, amphetamine reaches the brain faster when it is smoked. Users have begun to prefer ice over crack because the high lasts much longer, persisting for well over 14 hours. The side effects of an ice high can be quite severe, however. Side effects such as paranoia, hallucinations, impulsive behavior, and other psychotic effects may last for several days after a prolonged high from ice.
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