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Drug Information - Speed

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Amphetamines (Speed)

What Is Speed?

Amphetamines are man-made drugs that have a bitter taste and usually come as a white, greyish white, pale pink or yellow powder, and sometimes as a brightly coloured tablet. Amphetamines can be snorted, swallowed, injected, dissolved in a drink or smoked.

Amphetamines can also come in a liquid form, which is injected into the body.The most common form of the drug is amphetamine sulphate, commonly known as Speed. The purity of this drug is usually only about 5%, with the rest mixed with other white powders, ranging from talcum powder and toilet cleaner. As a result, it is said to be one of the most impure drugs available in the UK. A new form of amphetamine derivative is currently sweeping the globe, but is still very rare in the UK. Amphetamines were originally introduced into the UK in the 1930s as a treatment for colds, flu and hay fever.

Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine Street Names

Speed, whiz, uppers, amph, billy, sulphate, grudge, dexys, blues, base, ups, wake ups, bennies, dexies, black beauties, jollies, crazy medicine, yaba and crazy horse.

Speed Appearance and Consumption

Amphetamines like speed are usually sold in wraps like cocaine. The powder is off-white or pinkish and can sometimes look like small crystals. Base speed is purer and is a pinkish-grey colour and feels like putty.

Prescription amphetamines like dexamphetamine are usually small white pills.

Speed's either dabbed onto the gums or sniffed in lines like cocaine using a rolled up bank note. Sometimes it's rolled up in cigarette paper and swallowed. This is called a speedbomb. It can be mixed in drinks, or injected.

The effects kick in after about half an hour if ingested but much quicker if injected or smoked (methamphetamine) and can last for up to six hours. But it all depends on the quality of the speed. The high is followed by a long slow comedown.

Speed's Effects

In addition, if the initial experience leads to continued use, other adverse effects include the rapid development of tolerance, addiction, and all the social problems that can come from an expensive drug habit.

Regardless of dosage, these reactions may appear :

- Speed makes people feel wide awake, excited and chatty. Clubbers take it because it gives them the energy to dance for hours without getting knackered.

- Speed was once the main ingredient in diet pills because it stops people feeling hungry.

There is a flip side:

- It's impossible to sit still or sleep on speed.

- The come down can make users feel irritable and depressed and can last for one or two days.

- Speed makes some people panicky.

- Sniff a lot in a short space of time and expect hallucinations.

Speed Addiction

What Are the Risks?

The regular use of amphetamines means the body develops a tolerance, and larger doses of the drug will be required to achieve the same high, which can lead to addiction.

Anybody who takes amphetamines for long enough may suffer from paranoia, delusions and hallucinations, as well as risking infections such as hepatitis and HIV through contaminated needles.Some users become tense and anxious after taking amphetamines, and can be tired and depressed for several days. High repeated doses could lead to panic attacks, hallucinations, and also place a serious strain on the heart.

The comedown from just one use can take a couple of days, sometimes longer, and concentration and memory will be affected. Subsequently, heavy long-term use can also lead to problems with mental illness. An overdose of amphetamines can be fatal and mixing amphetamines with other drugs increases the danger significantly.

Speed puts a strain on your heart. It's bad news for people with high blood pressure or a heart condition. An overdose can be fatal.

- Avoid taking speed and anti-depressants or alcohol. This combination has been known to be fatal.

- Taking a lot of speed can give your immune system a battering. You could get more colds, flu and sore throats if you use it a lot.

- Speed can lead to anxiety, depression, irritability and aggression as well as mental illness such as psychosis and paranoid feelings.

- Too much sniffing speed and you're sneezing lumps out of your nose into a hanky.

- Injecting any drug can cause vein damage, ulcers and gangrene. Dirty or shared needles and injecting works can help the spread of hepatitis and HIV. Injecting speed is particularly dangerous because it's cut with so much crap.

Source: NIDA


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