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What is speed?

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Speed (amphetamine or methamphetamine) is a stimulant drug. It produces alertness, confidence and raises levels of energy and stamina. It reduces appetite and lessens the desire and ability to sleep.

Is speed addictive?

Regular use can produce a need to increase the dose to get the same effect, and can lead to physical dependence on the drug. Speed can produce a powerful craving for more of the drug. Long-term use can result in serious mental and physical problems.

How is speed used?

Speed can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected. Swallowing is the safest method of using speed. The effects come on gradually and last longer than with other methods.

Snorting speed takes effect faster than swallowing but it can damage the nose. Smoking speed takes effect immediately and can more easily lead to addiction. Injecting is the riskiest method of using speed.

What are the risks of injecting speed?

The dose reaches the brain almost immediately, increasing the possibility of overdose.

Impurities are introduced directly into the bloodstream and can cause septicemia and other infections. Repeated injections damage the veins, leading to thrombosis and abscesses. Sharing syringes can cause hepatitis and HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS.

Clean needles are available from needle exchange programs.

What are some precautions if I’m taking speed?

  • The ‘comedown’ off speed can make you feel tired, lethargic and depressed. This may tempt users to take more, and can lead to dependency.
  • Speed users are at higher HIV and hepatitis risk through unsafe sex and needle sharing.
  • Although rare, speed can cause seizures, heart attacks, strokes, and death from overdose.
  • Many users become physically run down, which leaves them susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.
  • Extended use of speed can cause psychosis. The user may think that everybody is out to get them, or that they are being followed or watched.
  • Mixing speed with other drugs, particularly other stimulants, can increase the risk of adverse reactions.
  • Speed is illegal. Possession can result in long prison terms.

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