4.9 The risks of speed see also 3.9

The risks of speed are similar to those of cocaine. The 'speed freak' too, ruins his body as speed suppresses sleep and hunger. Common problems are: Heart palpitations, headache, dizziness, insomnia and compulsive movements such as grinding teeth. The speed user is also 'acquainted' with the 'creepy crawler' phenomena (see chapter 'The risks of cocaine'). One of the short-term risks is the rise in body temperature. Especially in warm rooms like overcrowded dance clubs with bad ventilation this can lead to overheating. Overheating can be lifethreatening. Symptoms are, among others, high fever (40 degrees Celsius or more), seizures and bleeding from the whole body. Medical help is a must.

Short term

* Overheating.

* Reckless behaviour.

* Tense muscles.

* Insomnia.

* 'The shakes' (fever attack, when speed is injected).

* Overdose.

* Infection with HIV and hepatitis.

Medium term

* Restlessness.

* Compulsive movements such as teeth grinding.

* Heart palpitations.

* Headache.

* Dizziness.

* Weight loss.

* Exhaustion.

* Abscesses (when injecting).

Long term.

Suspicion/mistrust. Delusions. Aggression.

Is speed addictive?

Speed is not, or hardly ever, physically addictive. When speed use is stopped abruptly, there are no withdrawal symptoms except perhaps an overwhelming feeling of tiredness. However, speed can be psychologically addictive. With speed rushing through your veins, you believe you can do anything. Without it, you feel insecure and depressed. To get rid of these feelings an individual is easily tempted to use again, and in increased amounts because tolerance builds up fast.

Alcohol and speed

The combination of alcohol and speed seems ideal: One stimulates, the other calms down. A person can keep going for hours without feeling drunk but in reality ruins his body. Prolonged use of both, speed and alcohol, causes exhaustion and insomnia. The 'ideal combination' also increases the risk of an overdose.

A fatal mistake

In powder form, speed and cocaine pretty much look alike. Pure speed, however, is much stronger than pure cocaine. In other words, much less of it is needed. An individual who sniffs speed thinking that he/she is using coke, might take an overdose of amphetamines which can cause a heart attack.

Can speed use lead to aggression?

Yes. just like cocaine, speed makes suspicious which could easily lead to erratic and aggressive behaviour.