January 30, 2024

What Is the Speed Drug?

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What is the speed drug? Speed is a street name for amphetamine, a stimulant that acts on the CNS (central nervous system), influencing brain activity and bodily functions. While amphetamines are medically prescribed for conditions like narcolepsy and ADHD, there are also illegal variants. The primary forms of illicit amphetamine include speed, base, and crystal meth, with crystal meth (methamphetamine) being recognized as the most potent of these forms. Read on to learn more about speed drugs meaning and effects. You can also find out how to engage with evidence-based treatment for addiction to this class of drugs.

Speed Drug

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Speed (amphetamine) is a highly addictive CNS stimulant. It appears as a white, odorless powder that tastes bitter and dissolves easily in water or alcohol.

DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration) classifies amphetamine as a Schedule II stimulant, indicating its high potential for abuse and limited medical use, available only through a prescription. Speed has been used illicitly since the early 1960s and is typically smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested orally when abused.

Amphetamine has some medical applications, such as in the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and obesity, but its use is restricted in the United States. Prescribed doses are significantly lower than those typically used in illegal settings. Amphetamine is available by prescription under the brand name Desoxyn, or as a generic medication, usually in 5mg oral tablets.

Producing amphetamine is relatively inexpensive and can be carried out using common ingredients. Most illegal amphetamines in the U.S. are manufactured in large-scale operations known as superlabs, both domestically and internationally. That said, speed can also be produced in smaller quantities in makeshift meth labs, commonly using the nasal decongestant pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine sales are regulated in the United States – it’s sold behind pharmacy counters in limited quantities and purchasers must provide identification, a measure implemented to help control abuse and track sales.

Effects of Speed

Speed is a potent central nervous system stimulant that has significant short-term and long-term effects on the body and mind.

Short-term effects

  • Speed causes a surge in energy and alertness, often leading to increased talkativeness and activity levels.
  • People often experience a strong sense of well-being or euphoria shortly after taking the drug.
  • Speed can significantly suppress appetite, leading to weight loss.
  • These cardiovascular changes can be risky, especially for those with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • The stimulating effects of speed can lead to difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep.

Long-term effects

  • Regular use of speed can lead to physical and psychological dependence.
  • Chronic use can cause or exacerbate mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
  • Long-term use of speed may trigger issues with memory, judgment, and problem-solving skills.
  • There is an increased risk of dental problems, skin sores, weight loss, stroke, and heart disease.
  • Some people using speed might exhibit aggression, paranoia, and engage in risky behaviors.

Social and lifestyle impact

  • Speed use can strain personal and professional relationships.
  • The cost of buying the drug long-term often leads to financial strain.
  • Possession and use of speed may result in legal consequences.

These varied effects illustrate the importance of treating speed addiction comprehensively, addressing both the physical and psychological aspects. Read on to discover how you can engage with treatment for speed addiction near you.

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Signs of Speed Addiction

Recognizing the signs of speed addiction can help inform prompt intervention and effective treatment. Speed abuse can have profound physical, psychological, and behavioral effects. Here are some common indicators of speed addiction:

  • Physical symptoms: Noticeable physical signs include increased energy and alertness, decreased appetite, rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, and excessive sweating. Over time, chronic use can lead to weight loss, dental problems (meth mouth), and skin sores.
  • Behavioral changes: Individuals may exhibit increased talkativeness, hyperactivity, and a sudden increase in confidence. There might be a noticeable pattern of staying awake for days followed by long periods of sleep.
  • Psychological symptoms: Speed use can lead to anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. In more severe cases, prolonged use can cause paranoia, hallucinations, and aggressive behavior.
  • Social and lifestyle changes: This includes withdrawing from social activities, neglecting responsibilities, and changes in social circles, often associating more with other people who use drugs.
  • Formation of tolerance and dependence: Needing larger amounts of the drug to achieve the same effect and experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation are clear signs of addiction.
  • Risky behaviors: Engaging in risky or illegal activities, such as driving under the influence or stealing to obtain cash for drugs.
  • Neglect of personal hygiene: A decline in personal grooming habits and general care for appearance can be a sign of addiction.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs, seek professional help. Early intervention can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of treatment and recovery. Rehab and mental health facilities offer comprehensive programs designed to address the complexities of speed addiction. 

Treatment for Speed Addiction

Overcoming addiction to speed involves a multifaceted treatment approach, tailored to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

  • Medical detoxification: The first step in treating speed addiction is often a medically supervised detoxification process. This helps the person safely withdraw from the drug, managing withdrawal symptoms under professional care.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment: Many people with speed addictions also have co-occurring mental health disorders. Addressing these concurrent conditions is vital for a holistic recovery approach.
  • Inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab: Those with severe speed addictions or co-occurring conditions usually find that inpatient rehab provides the smoothest pathway to sustained recovery. For individuals with stable home environments and milder speed addictions, outpatient treatment offers a more flexible, affordable alternative.
  • Talk therapies: Various forms of behavioral therapy, such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and CM (contingency management), are effective in treating speed addiction. These therapies help modify the person’s thinking and behaviors related to drug use and increase skills to handle various life stressors.
  • Counseling and support groups: Individual or group counseling offers a space to discuss issues contributing to addiction and learn from the experience of peers undergoing similar challenges. Support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and SMART Recovery can provide community-based support and accountability during ongoing recovery from speed addiction.
  • Family therapy: Involving family members in the treatment process can enhance recovery. Family therapy helps in understanding the dynamics of addiction and how to support the person’s recovery journey.
  • Holistic therapies: Incorporating holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, and art therapy can be beneficial. These practices promote mental well-being, reduce stress, and aid in the overall recovery process.
  • Aftercare support: Recovery from speed addiction is a long-term process. Aftercare planning, which might include ongoing therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes, is central to maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.

Each person’s journey to recovery is unique, and treatment plans should be customized to meet their specific needs. Seek professional help from a rehab or mental health facility experienced in treating speed addiction to ensure the best possible outcome.

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Call Addiction Hotline Today for Help with Speed Addiction

Although stimulant addictions are disruptive, they are also highly treatable. If you feel that you need treatment for speed drug addiction but don’t know how to get started, call Addiction Hotline at 855-701-0479.

We can first help you find licensed medical detox centers near you. Supervised detoxification streamlines the intensity of speed withdrawal and addresses the issue of physical dependence on amphetamines.

Detox is only the first phase of addiction recovery, though. At Addiction Hotline, we can provide referrals to inpatient rehabs, outpatient treatment centers, and peer support groups throughout the state of California.

Beyond this, hotline staff can answer all queries related to drug addiction, alcoholism, and addiction treatment. Call 855-701-0479 today and begin your recovery from speed addiction tomorrow.

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