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May 23, 1990

Medium Isn't Accurate 'Ice Age' Message

JAMA. 1990;263(20):2717. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440200015003

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HYPE IS A WEAPON that may backfire in the war on drugs.

The advent of Ice, a smokable, crystal form of d-methamphetamine hydrochloride, could prove as much, say some researchers.

"My cocaine smoking subjects are very interested" in Ice, which is being "beautifully advertised by the media," says Marian Fischman, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

"The message sent and the message received are not always the same," stresses Donald Wesson, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. Both spoke at a symposium on "Anticipating the New Ice Age."

Ice leads drug-related arrests in Hawaii, causing 20% more than cocaine, according to the Honolulu police department. The University of Michigan annual survey of high school seniors found a 1.2% use rate nationwide, 3% in the West, and slightly higher rates among 19-to 28-year-olds.

The appeal of Ice to