Speed is an illegal drug that is known as an amphetamine. This means that it is in the family of drugs that are stimulants or “uppers,” making users feel more alert and energized. Here are six facts you may not know about speed that are helpful to educate yourself and your teen on.
1. Effects on the brain
Speed affects dopamine levels in the brain and, effectively, the brain’s “reward center.” This means that users feel a rush of pleasure or satisfaction when they are high.
Speed can be found in powder or tablet form and can be snorted, swallowed or injected.
3. Short term effects
There are many short term side effects that accompany using speed. Some of these include:
- Feelings of exhilaration, energy and confidence
- Less need for food or sleep
- Being talkative
- Heart rate and blood pressure increase
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
4. Long term effects
Potential long term effects of frequent speed use include:
- Weight loss as a result of a loss of appetite
- Restlessness and inability to sleep
- Breakdown of immune system leading to regular colds and flu
- Difficulty breathing
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Muscle stiffness
- Heart and kidney problems
Image Jaymar Turner
5. Overdose symptoms
One common side effect of a speed overdose is a “speed psychosis.” This looks similar to paranoid schizophrenia and includes anxiety, fear, tension, heightened awareness and paranoia. If someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, be sure to get them help immediately.
6. Addiction and withdrawal
Particularly because of how they affect a user’s reward system in the brain, speed, like all amphetamines, is addictive and stopping use can lead to withdrawal. Some withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Increased appetite
- Physical aches and pains
- Exhaustion and restless sleep
- Anxiety, nightmares and paranoia
If someone you know has an addiction to speed or any amphetamine, be sure to seek professional medical help.
Feature image Adam Rhoades