Ice, also called shabu, crystal, or crystal meth, is a very pure, smokeable form of methamphetamine that is more addictive than other forms of the substance. Ice, which is primarily manufactured in Asia, can be described as large translucent to white crystals, or crystallized coarse powder. In a method of smoking sometimes referred to as 'chasing the dragon,' a term commonly associated with smoking opium or heroin, users heat ice on a piece of aluminum foil and inhale the released vapors -- usually through a straw or similar device. It can also be administered via snorting, swallowing, or injection. The snorting of ice is associated with nasal damage due to its crystalline form.
According to the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) of the Philippines, shabu has consistently ranked first among the most abused drugs in the Philippines since it gained popularity in 1994. Crystal is also the predominant form of methamphetamine in Japan, Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia. Injection is the predominant route of administration only in Japan, although corresponding levels of HIV have not been seen there.
Crystalline methamphetamine is often similar in appearance to crushed ice.
There are many substances which have a similar appearance to 'ice', and can be identified as 'fake' only through laboratory testing. Alum, d-N, N-dimethylamphetamine, and crystalline MDMA are examples of substances often misidentified as 'ice'.
Only one of the four images above is 'ice', i.e. crystalline methamphetamine. the other three are 'fake' ice.
(the second from the right is ice)