Also Known As: Speed, Whizz, Sulph, Base
What is Amphetamine?
Speed is an off-white or pinkish powder and can sometimes look like small crystals. However, there are other types of speed:
- The ‘base’ form of speed is usually purer and is a pinkish-grey colour and feels like putty
- Crystal meth (methylamphetamine or methamphetamine) is a very strong, addictive and dangerous form of speed that comes in crystals
- 4-methylamphetamine has been reported as looking like damp paste or putty
- Amphetamines that are used as medicines, such as dexamphetamine, are usually small white pills. Doctors use them to treat conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Speed is either dabbed onto the gums, or is snorted in lines (like cocaine powder). Sometimes it’s rolled up in a cigarette paper and swallowed, this is called a ‘speedbomb’. It can also be injected or mixed into drinks.
The effects of speed kick in within half an hour of swallowing. If you snort or inject speed it will kick in quicker – the effects can last for up to six hours.
For 3 to 4 hours users feel animated, over-confident, and full of energy. Appetite and ability to sleep are adversely affected. Speed use can lead to agitation, panics or even a psychotic episode.
Short term: Some users may feel tense and anxious while using and afterwards many feel very tired and depressed. Depending on how much you’ve taken, it can be difficult to relax or sleep. The ‘comedown’, which can last a number of days, can make users feel really lethargic and down, and you can develop difficulty concentrating and with learning. The drug can cause sudden death from heart attack or stroke.
Long term: Frequent high doses can cause panic, hallucination and weight loss. Heavy long-term use places strain on the heart and can cause mental illness. Amphetamines are addictive. Mixing speed with antidepressants or alcohol has been known to kill. Injecting ’speed’, and sharing injecting equipment, runs the risk of the injector catching or spreading a virus such as HIV or hepatitis C. There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that an abscess or a blood clot will develop.
Amphetamines are a Class B drug meaning it’s illegal to have, give away or sell. Possession of amphetamines can get you up to five years in jail or an unlimited fine or both. Supplying amphetamines to someone else, including your friends, can get you up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.
When amphetamines are prepared for injection they become a Class A and can get you tougher sentencing if you’re caught with it or selling it. Possession of a Class A can get you up to seven years in jail or an unlimited fine or both. Supplying a Class A to someone else, including your friends, could lead to life imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.
Remember: Having a criminal record can make it difficult for you to get a job or visa if you want to travel abroad.
What’s the difference between possession & supply (dealing)? What happens if you’re under 16? Learn more about drugs and the law.
Possibly Needles and Syringes.