Speed is the usual name for amphetamines, although it has various other nicknames. Amphetamines are prescribed for certain health conditions, such as hyperactivity or narcolepsy, but it is also used as a recreational drug for those who want to increase their energy and alertness.
Amphetamines are addictive and can cause intense cravings. In England, 3% of people in treatment for substance misuse were amphetamine users in 2018-19. Deaths from amphetamines have also risen in England and Wales between 1993 to 2018.
Speed addiction can lead to a number of problems and have a profound effect on your life.
What Is Speed?
Speed is the name generally used for amphetamine sulphate, although it is sometimes used to refer to other amphetamines too.
It’s a stimulant sold as a powder with an off-white or pinkish colour, which can also look like crystals or is sometimes sold as a paste.
It can be taken in a variety of ways, and causes feelings of alertness, high energy and excitement. In the UK, amphetamines are Class B drugs and are Class A drugs when prepared for injection.
How Addictive Is Speed?
Amphetamines are addictive. Crystal meth (methamphetamine) is a form of speed, which is stronger and even more addictive than amphetamine sulphate.
Taking speed carries a variety of risks, including anxiety, fatigue and depression during and after taking it. It can even lead to death from stroke or heart attack, and long-term use puts a strain on the heart.
It can lead to mental illness and can be fatal when mixed with alcohol or antidepressants.
Speed Addiction Symptoms
There are some signs and symptoms to look out for if you think that you or someone you know could be addicted to speed.
If someone is using speed, they might appear to be more excited and energetic, talk a lot, and sleep less.
They can also show negative feelings and behaviours, such as anxiety and low mood, increased respiration and reduced appetite.
Some long-term effects of taking speed include memory loss, confusion, tremors, and weight loss. Speed can change the brain structure and function and can damage the brain cells that contain serotonin.
Symptoms of psychosis, including paranoia and hallucinations, are also a risk.
Being addicted to speed can mean experiencing strong cravings. Someone with an addiction may be doing anything that they can to get the fix that they crave.
Speed Addiction Treatment
Speed addiction can be treated in the same way as many other drug addictions.
It is important to consider both the physical addiction and the psychological aspects of the addiction. Treating someone who is addicted to speed will likely include detox, therapy sessions, counselling and other types of treatment.
Getting professional help if you notice speed addiction symptoms in yourself or someone you know is essential.
With the assistance of experienced professionals, you can receive the resources and support required to treat an addiction to speed.
Start by taking a look at our information on amphetamine addiction and treatment to find out which step to take next.