What is the Speed Drug?

Unveiling the secrets and dangers of the speed drug. Discover its immediate effects, risks, and long-term consequences. Stay informed!

April 12, 2024

Understanding Speed Drugs

Speed drugs, also known as amphetamines, are stimulants that speed up the body's system. They affect the central nervous system, altering brain function and body processes. Amphetamines can be legally prescribed to treat conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Definition and Types

Speed drugs are a type of amphetamine that can be found in various forms. The most potent form is known as "Ice" or crystallized methamphetamine hydrochloride. Speed powder is another form, which can range in color from white to brown.

Immediate Effects of Speed

The effects of speed are immediate when injected or smoked. If snorted or swallowed, it may take up to half an hour for the effects to kick in. The duration of the effects can last up to six hours, depending on the dose. Some individuals may experience feelings of being "pumped" and happy, but speed can also lead to unwanted side effects.

Common immediate effects of speed include increased body temperature, blood pressure, pulse rates, insomnia, loss of appetite, and physical exhaustion. Similar to cocaine, but with a slower onset and longer duration, speed can have a significant impact on the body's functions [1].

It's important to note that coming down from speed can take days, with potential symptoms including exhaustion, depression, and paranoia. Overdosing on speed can have severe consequences, such as seizures and even death.

Understanding the definition and immediate effects of speed drugs provides insight into the characteristics and potential risks associated with their use. It's essential to be aware of the dangers and make informed decisions regarding substance use.

Risks and Dangers

The use of speed drugs carries various risks and dangers, both in the short-term and long-term. These substances can have profound effects on the body and mind, leading to a range of potential health consequences.

Short-Term Effects

When someone takes speed drugs, they can experience immediate and short-term effects on their physical and mental well-being. These effects may include:

  • Increased wakefulness and physical activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cardiovascular problems, such as rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • Increased body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse rates
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical exhaustion (DEA)

Long-Term Effects

Continued and chronic abuse of speed drugs can lead to long-term health effects. These effects may include:

  • Psychosis resembling schizophrenia, characterized by paranoia, hallucinations, and violent, erratic behavior (DEA)
  • Mental health issues, such as psychosis, which may resolve when the person stops taking speed (Healthdirect)
  • Addiction and dependence, with individuals feeling the need to use the drug daily and having difficulty controlling usage
  • Tolerance, where individuals require larger amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effects

Psychosis and Overdose

Amphetamines, including speed drugs, can potentially lead to psychosis, particularly with chronic abuse. This psychosis may resemble symptoms of schizophrenia, with paranoia, hallucinations, and violent behavior.

Overdosing on amphetamines can have severe consequences, including agitation, increased body temperature, convulsions, hallucinations, and in some cases, death. It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if an overdose is suspected, as prompt treatment can potentially save someone's life.

Understanding the risks and dangers associated with speed drugs is essential for making informed decisions about drug use. It is crucial to prioritize personal health and safety and seek help if needed.

Administration and Detection

When it comes to the administration and detection of speed drugs, there are several important considerations to be aware of. Understanding the methods of ingestion, how speed is detected in the body, and the binge-crash pattern associated with its use can provide valuable insights into this issue.

Methods of Ingestion

Speed drugs, such as amphetamines, can be taken through various routes of administration. According to the DEA, amphetamines are commonly taken orally or injected. However, the addition of crystallized methamphetamine hydrochloride, known as "ice," has also led to smoking as another mode of administration. People may also snort, swallow, inject, dissolve in a drink, or smoke amphetamines. It is important to note that different routes of administration can affect the onset and duration of the drug's effects.

Detection in the Body

Detecting the presence of speed drugs in the body can be crucial for various purposes, such as drug testing or medical interventions. The timeframe for detection depends on the specific drug and the method of administration. For instance, according to Better Health Victoria, methamphetamines can be detected in the blood around 4 to 8 hours after use and in the urine for approximately 2 to 5 days after use. It's worth noting that detection times may vary depending on factors such as the individual's metabolism and the sensitivity of the drug testing method.

Binge-Crash Pattern

Some individuals who use speed drugs may experience a pattern known as the "binge-crash" pattern. As explained by Better Health Victoria, this pattern involves continuous use of amphetamines for several days without sleep, followed by a period of heavy sleeping. The binge phase is characterized by prolonged wakefulness, increased energy, and euphoria, while the crash phase is marked by exhaustion, depression, and the need for extended periods of sleep. It's important to recognize that this pattern can have significant impacts on an individual's physical and mental well-being.

Understanding the methods of ingestion, detection in the body, and the binge-crash pattern associated with speed drugs can help shed light on the complexities and risks of their use. It is crucial to emphasize the potential dangers and consequences of speed drug abuse, as well as the importance of seeking professional help and support for those affected by substance use disorders.

Health Impacts and Withdrawal

Speed drugs can have significant health consequences, particularly in relation to mental health. Understanding the potential mental health consequences, tolerance and addiction, and withdrawal symptoms is important when considering the risks associated with speed drug use.

Mental Health Consequences

Long-term use of speed drugs can lead to mental health issues, including psychosis that resembles schizophrenia. This can manifest as symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and violent or erratic behavior. However, it's worth noting that these symptoms typically resolve when the person stops taking speed drugs [2].

Tolerance and Addiction

Over time, individuals who use speed drugs can develop tolerance, which means they require higher doses to achieve the desired effects. This tolerance increases the risk of addiction, where individuals may feel the need to use the drug daily and have difficulty controlling their usage. Dependence on speed drugs can be both physical and psychological, leading individuals to prioritize drug use over other aspects of their life. Cravings for the drug can be intense, and certain environments or socializing with friends may trigger the urge to use stimulants.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When individuals who have developed a dependence on speed drugs stop using them, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include fatigue, depression, and intense cravings for the drug. It's important to seek professional help when attempting to quit speed drugs, as healthcare providers can offer support and guidance throughout the withdrawal process.

Understanding the mental health consequences, tolerance and addiction, and withdrawal symptoms associated with speed drug use can shed light on the potential risks and challenges individuals may face. Seeking professional help is crucial for those struggling with speed drug addiction and dependence, as it can provide the necessary support and resources for recovery.

Comparing Stimulants

When discussing speed drugs, it's important to understand that they belong to a broader category of substances known as stimulants. Stimulants are drugs that speed up the body's system, resulting in increased wakefulness, alertness, and energy levels. Some commonly known stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine. Let's explore various aspects of these stimulants.

Types of Stimulants

Stimulants encompass a wide range of substances with varying effects. Here are some commonly encountered stimulants:

Stimulant Description

  • Caffeine: Found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and certain medications. It is a mild stimulant that can increase alertness and reduce fatigue.
  • Nicotine: A highly addictive stimulant present in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. It can provide a temporary sense of relaxation and focus.
  • Amphetamines: Synthetic substances used for medical purposes, such as treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They can also be used illegally as recreational drugs, leading to increased energy, confidence, and sociability.
  • Cocaine: A powerful illegal stimulant derived from the coca plant. It produces intense feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness. However, it carries significant risks and dangers [5].

Forms and Names

Stimulants are available in various forms and may go by different names depending on their preparation and administration. Here are some common forms and names associated with stimulants:

  • Caffeine: Found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some medications.
  • Nicotine: Typically consumed through smoking cigarettes, cigars, or using chewing tobacco.
  • Amphetamines: Can be taken orally, inhaled, or injected. Street names for amphetamines include "speed" or "bennies".
  • Cocaine: Often encountered as a white powder that is snorted, injected, or converted into a solid form known as crack cocaine for smoking.

It is crucial to note that the use of stimulants, particularly in illegal and non-prescribed forms, carries significant risks and legal consequences.

Dependence and Tolerance

Long-term use of stimulants can lead to dependence and tolerance, meaning that individuals may require higher doses to achieve the desired effects. Dependence can manifest as a strong urge to use the substance, while tolerance occurs when the body adapts to the drug, necessitating higher amounts to produce the desired response.

It is important to be aware of the potential risks and dangers associated with stimulant use, including addiction, adverse health effects, and legal consequences. If you or someone you know is struggling with stimulant use, it is advisable to seek professional help and support from drug treatment programs.

Understanding the different types of stimulants, their forms and names, as well as the potential for dependence and tolerance, can provide valuable insights into the complexities of speed drugs and related substances. It is crucial to approach stimulant use with caution, prioritizing safety, and informed decision-making.

Legal Aspects

When it comes to speed drugs, understanding the legal aspects is crucial to comprehend the consequences and measures in place to address their use and distribution. In Canada, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) governs the regulation and control of illicit substances. Let's explore the Canadian legislation, penalties and enforcement, as well as the drug treatment programs available.

Canadian Legislation

In 2012, amendments were made to the CDSA, introducing mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) for specific drug offenses committed after the legislation's enforcement. Offenses such as trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking, importing, exporting, and production of drugs listed in Schedule I and Schedule II of the CDSA are subject to MMPs. Notably, substances like GHB, Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), commonly known as "date-rape drugs," and amphetamines have been moved from Schedule III to Schedule I.

The amendments also increased the maximum penalty for the production of Schedule II drugs from 7 to 14 years. MMPs apply when specified quantities of Schedule I or Schedule II substances are involved in trafficking, exporting, importing, or producing [7]. However, it's important to note that mandatory minimum penalties can be avoided in exceptional cases where it would result in an unduly harsh consequence. This could apply to individuals with special needs, subject to obtaining prior consent from the Chief Federal Prosecutor or delegate [7].

Penalties and Enforcement

The penalties for speed drug-related offenses can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the quantity of drugs involved. Convictions can result in fines, probation, imprisonment, or a combination of these penalties.

Law enforcement agencies in Canada actively work to combat the production, distribution, and use of speed drugs. They conduct investigations, gather evidence, and collaborate with other agencies to dismantle drug operations. The enforcement efforts aim to disrupt the supply chain and prevent the harm caused by these substances.

Drug Treatment Programs

Recognizing the importance of addressing substance use disorders, the CDSA permits courts to delay sentencing if an offender with a substance use disorder participates in an approved drug treatment court program or treatment program, and successfully completes it. This allows individuals to avoid the imposition of mandatory minimum penalties for the offense.

Drug treatment programs play a vital role in helping individuals overcome substance use disorders and provide support for their recovery. These programs may include counseling, therapy, medical interventions, and holistic approaches to address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. By offering rehabilitation and support, drug treatment programs aim to reduce dependency and promote healthier lives.

Understanding the legal aspects of speed drugs is important for individuals to make informed decisions and be aware of the potential consequences. It is crucial to abide by the laws and regulations surrounding drug use and to seek appropriate assistance when facing substance use disorders.


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