What Is the Drug “Speed?”

Speed is a street name for methamphetamine, which is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant. Other nicknames for this drug include meth, crystal meth, crank, chalk, and more. Speed is a white and odorless powder with a very bitter taste. Individuals can consume speed by snorting it, smoking it, injecting it, inhaling it, or taking it orally. It is available in both legal prescription forms and illegal forms. Illegal forms of this drug usually come from foreign or domestic labs.


Why People Use Speed

Medically, methamphetamine is used to help treat ADHD and obesity. However, it is prescribed rarely and at very low dosage due to its addictive properties.

When used illegally, methamphetamine is relatively easy to create and access. It is very affordable and is made from common chemical ingredients, so many individuals may choose to use speed over other drugs out of convenience.

Speed is also known for causing a very intense and quick rush when injected or smoked. When snorted or taken orally, speed still produces a high feeling and euphoric sensation. People may begin using this drug in social settings to increase their sociability and lower their inhibitions.


Effects of Methamphetamines

The effects of speed are practically immediate and happen very quickly after someone uses the drug. Below are the most common side effects of methamphetamine (speed):

  • Wakefulness
  • Increased activity
  • Increased body temperature
  • Faster breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased concentration
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased libido
  • Temporary hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

People who use speed frequently or at a high dosage are likely to experience more intense symptoms such as irritability, nervousness, paranoia, anxiety, aggression, confusion, memory loss, dental problems, and extreme weight loss.


Risks Of Abusing Speed

As we mentioned, addictions to speed can form very quickly. As someone begins to abuse speed, they will start to use higher doses at an increased frequency to chase the effect that the drug once had on them. Since it is so addictive, speed can cause withdrawal if someone who abuses it doesn’t use it for a short period of time. Withdrawal symptoms of speed include anxiety, depression, fatigue, psychosis, and intense cravings for the drug. Abusing speed may also lead to damaged blood vessels in the brain, stroke, hyperthermia, convulsions, or overdose.


Treatment for Methamphetamine Dependence

There are many treatment methods available to assist individuals who have developed an addiction to speed/methamphetamine. Some treatments for speed abuse include behavioral therapy,  family education, counseling, 12-step programs, support meetings, and positive reinforcement. There are currently no medically-approved drugs to cure speed addiction or withdrawal. Individuals with an addiction to speed should detox from the drug in a comfortable medical environment and are encouraged to enroll in an inpatient or outpatient program.

If you or a loved one is struggling with ADHD or obesity, there are many alternatives to methamphetamine that should be considered first. If you have a prescription for this medication, talk to your doctor before completely stopping use. If you have any more questions about the effects of methamphetamine and speed, contact our team of drug abuse and treatment experts by calling 267.209.7312.