What Are The Side Effects Of Speed?

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Pile of speed powder (caption: What Are The Side Effects and Dangers Of Speed?)

Speed, otherwise known as methamphetamine (or meth), is a dangerous drug that has several devastating side effects. This unpredictable drug is often sought for its flash high but rapidly becomes an addiction.

Note that we are not medical experts, this article is for informative purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional with any questions.

What Is Speed?

Speed is an unpredictable street drug, also known as:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Meth
  • Crazy horse
  • Yaba
  • Dexys
  • Wake ups
  • Bennies
  • Uppers
  • Jollies
  • Black beauties
  • Amph

Speed is most commonly sold as a whitish or pink powder that can also look like small crystals. The purity of the speed can affect its color and appearance as well as the level of effects experienced by taking it.

There are many methods of taking speed, including:

  • Touching it to the gums
  • Snorting it
  • Smoking it
  • Injecting it
  • Swallowing it

The method of delivery to the system can cause the “high” experienced to be almost instantaneous. The slowest method of obtaining a meth high is through ingestion, which can take approximately 30 minutes to hit and can last as long as 6 hours.

How Does Speed Make People Feel?

Sad person's legs black and white
  • Energized
  • Wide awake
  • Unable to sit still
  • Nonstop chatter
  • Suppresses the appetite
  • Nervousness, paranoia
  • Confused
  • Aggressive
  • Anxious
  • Irritable

Users may also experience hyperactivity, anorexia, tremors and insomnia. When an individual begins to experience withdrawal, they may also experience incredible levels of depression.

How Does Speed Work?

Purple brain

Speed works in the body by acting upon the neurotransmitter dopamine. By releasing high levels of dopamine the brain experiences something of a euphoria in addition to increased body movement.

When smoked or injected, speed produces a rush of a high that lasts only a few minutes but brings with it an extremely high level of pleasure. When taken in other means speed brings a high that is described as a euphoric feeling that builds rather than hits all at once.

As the high from speed begins to set in the body experiences an increase in heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature and the pupils become dilated.

How Does Speed Use Affect Overall Health?

Speed can cause a significant amount of damage to the brain, including cell damage. Damage within the brain can also cause damage to the blood vessels in the brain, making the speed user more susceptible to the possibility of a stroke.

Individuals who take increasingly bigger doses of speed are also affected by erratic behavior and can develop symptoms of psychosis that are similar to that of Schizophrenia.

As increasing numbers of cells are damaged, individuals begin to show symptoms that are similar to Parkinson’s disease, specifically resulting from lower levels of dopamine.

The Long Term Effects Of Speed Use

Most speed users become addicted to the “high” that they get from the drug and this results in frequent use. The more that the user takes, the more of the drug they feel they need.

Speed users get trapped as they feed the need to chase a constant high that comes from speed use and this may result in financial, physiological and psychological ruin.

Most commonly, speed users dig themselves into a massive amount of debt that results in them being unable to afford basic needs. This financial ruin often leads to them living out of their cars or being homeless.

Without financial means to provide for themselves, like many drug addicts, speed users begin to turn to any method they know to obtain the drugs they need for their “high.”

In many cases, this results in a lifestyle of theft and prostitution which only comes to an end once the user is arrested for illegal activity or when the user is killed either as a direct result of their drug use or as a result of illegal activities related to it.

Where Does Methamphetamine Come From?

Methamphetamine is produced in illegal laboratories. Many dangers lie in this illegal production from the resulting drug to the dangers of the chemicals being used being highly flammable.

When meth labs are not causing fires and putting neighborhoods at risk, the drugs produced by them are. Meth often contains large amounts of bacteria that can make users extremely sick; many other samples of these drugs have also shown the presence of “bugs” that can also cause sickness in users.

Can Methamphetamine Ever Be Legal?

Yes, however, the legal distribution is extremely restricted due to the side effects that it can have and the seriousness of the drug itself. Most doctors are reluctant to prescribe any type of methamphetamine due to the addictive nature of this drug, but on some occasions, they may be the only available solution.

One prescription form of methamphetamine is Desoxyn. Desoxyn is prescribed for attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD). This drug is not the preferred method of treatment for ADHD however, due to the availability of other drugs that contain lower rates of addiction and negative side effects.

How To Spot A Meth Addict

Watch the video below to learn the side effects and how to spot someone who is addicted to speed.

Don’t Be A Victim

The Coalition Against Drug Abuse logo

If you are addicted or know someone with a drug abuse problem, there are ways you can seek help. Reach out to friends and family for support and find a rehab center near you. The Coalition Against Drug Abuse is also a great online resource if you are looking to learn more.

Rehab May Be A Good Option

Rehabilitation is a good way for many people to overcome addiction. If you or a loved one are suffering from a meth addiction, consider a rehab program to help overcome this obstacle. We’ve reviewed some of the best rehab programs here.

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