March 19, 2010 11:30 PM   Subscribe

what's the difference between speed and ice?
posted by moorooka to Science & Nature (10 answers total)
Both are euphemisms for amphetamines.
posted by amyms at 11:40 PM on March 19, 2010

I don't think there is any but street terms are often ambiguous and region specific. Erowid seems to agree.
posted by chairface at 11:52 PM on March 19, 2010

Ice is the kind that is smoked.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:19 AM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Speed in general user parlance will refer to methamphetamine, dextroamphetamine or amphetamine sulphate, depending where in the world you are.

Ice is the most common street name for 4-Methylaminorex

What's in the baggie that's handed over to you is another question entirely.
posted by protorp at 12:22 AM on March 20, 2010

The thing about drug slang is that it's really just that: slang. The terms don't have any set meaning, and people out there don't know WTF they're talking about half the time.
posted by delmoi at 12:40 AM on March 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ice is frequently referred to as the whole crystals of methamphetamine because it almost looks like ice shavings. It is thought to be higher quality than powder because it is harder for low-level dealers to cut based on its solid form (though manufacturing makes the quality vary substantially, in any case). While this is frequently taken in a number of ways, meth-smokers like it because it can be easier (and cleaner) to smoke given its solid form.

Speed is usually a much more generic term for anything in the amphetamine family.
posted by jameslavelle3 at 5:08 AM on March 20, 2010

They're different levels on the hierarchy. All ice is speed, not all speed is ice. Ice looks like chunks of ice.
posted by floam at 8:02 AM on March 20, 2010

Jameslavelle's definitions are the ones I'm familiar with.

But chairface and delmoi have the real best answers here — drug slang varies an awful lot from place to place and even from person to person. We can tell you how we use the words, but we can't even necessarily guess how you use the words.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:13 AM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Floam seems to have it right from my experience. Around here (Vancouver) ice specifically means crystal meth.
posted by Dr. Send at 11:00 AM on March 20, 2010

Jameslavelle is correct.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:03 PM on March 20, 2010

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