Addiction Recovery - Drug and Alcohol - Sobriety

Speed Drug: Side Effects, Addiction Risks, and Treatment Avenues


"Speed" drugs refer to amphetamines, including meth, that are used for their stimulating effects. Learn about their effects, risks, and treatment options for addiction.

Speed drug, also known as simply “speed,” refers to amphetamines including methamphetamine. You may be familiar with brand name amphetamines, including ADHD medication like Adderall and Vyvanse. While it’s commonly used illicitly on the streets, speed can also refer to prescription stimulants that hold a fairly high potential for addiction if abused.

Whether you’re hooked on speed from the streets or from your doctor, recognizing the signs is key. By being aware of your situation, you can seek help and get the support you deserve. Learn more about the risks of misusing speed and treatment options for addiction — and if you or a loved one are in need, call The Edge Treatment Center for professional support.

What Is Speed Drug?

Speed, also known as amphetamine, is a stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. It’s commonly used to increase alertness, attention, and energy. Speed can also produce feelings of euphoria and a sense of well-being. However, it can be highly addictive and have harmful effects on both physical and mental health. It is crucial to use speed only if and as prescribed by a healthcare professional, and to be aware of the potential risks and consequences associated with misuse.

How It Works

Speed functions as a central nervous system stimulant by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This surge in neurotransmitters results in heightened energy levels, improved focus, and decreased appetite. The drug impacts brain functions, leading to enhanced wakefulness and activity levels while also elevating heart rate and blood pressure.

Different from other forms of methamphetamine like ice, speed is typically less potent and has a shorter duration of action. While both substances belong to the same class of drugs, speed is often ingested orally or snorted, whereas ice is commonly smoked or injected.

Common Forms

  • Speed drug is available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and powders.

  • Administration methods vary from oral ingestion to snorting or injecting.

  • The effects of speed drug can differ based on the form consumed. For instance, injecting speed leads to a rapid onset of effects compared to oral ingestion.

What Drug Is Speed?

"Speed" doesn’t refer to one particular drug. It refers to amphetamines or methamphetamines, which are stimulant drugs that can increase energy and alertness. These drugs are commonly abused for their euphoric effects and ability to enhance focus and performance. Some well-known examples of speed include:

  1. Crystal meth (also called “crystal,” “crank,” or “glass”): Clear, chunky crystals resembling ice, often smoked in a manner similar to crack cocaine.

  2. Adderall: A commonly prescribed ADHD medication.

  3. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): Also known as “Ecstasy” or “Adam,” it has stimulant and hallucinogenic effects.

It’s important to note that the misuse of these substances can lead to serious health consequences and addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, seek help from a healthcare professional or a trusted treatment facility.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Would you like more information about speed? Reach out today.

Is Speed Addictive?

Yes, the drug speed, also known as amphetamine, can be highly addictive. Speed is a central nervous system stimulant that increases dopamine levels in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria and increased energy. This can create a strong psychological dependence on the drug, as individuals may crave the intense pleasure and energy boost it provides.

Chronic use of speed can lead to tolerance, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects, and eventually, addiction. Withdrawal from speed can result in symptoms like fatigue, depression, and intense cravings, making it challenging to stop using the drug. It’s advised that you urgently seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with speed addiction.

Effects on the Body

The immediate impact of consuming speed includes heightened energy levels, increased talkativeness, and potential risks. If left untreated, long-term consequences of continuous use can lead to extreme weight loss, heart problems, and an increased risk of infections. Let’s explore these effects in greater detail:

Immediate Impact

When you consume speed, your body experiences an immediate surge in energy levels. This can result in heightened alertness, increased confidence, and a sense of euphoria. Speed can also make you more talkative and sociable. However, it's crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with taking speed.

  • Heightened energy levels

  • Increased talkativeness

  • Potential risks involved

Long-Term Consequences

Continuous use of speed can have severe long-term effects on your body. Prolonged consumption can lead to extreme weight loss, as speed suppresses appetite and increases metabolism. Moreover, speed drug can have detrimental effects on your heart health, potentially causing heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and even heart attacks. Long-term speed drug use can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections.

  • Extreme weight loss

  • Heart problems

  • Increased risk of infections

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you have more questions about speed? Reach out.

The Risks and Dangers of Using Speed

Using speed drugs can lead to various side effects like increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and anxiety. Overdosing on these drugs can result in severe symptoms such as chest pain and difficulty breathing, requiring immediate medical attention. Pregnant individuals should also take special caution, as using speed drugs can risk premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues in the child. Here’s a more in-depth summary of the risks of using speed drugs:

Side Effects

When using speed drugs, you may experience common side effects such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and decreased appetite. These effects can lead to dehydration and weight loss. The psychological symptoms include anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, affecting your mental well-being.

Factors like dosage, frequency of use, and individual tolerance levels influence the severity of side effects. Higher doses or prolonged use can intensify the adverse outcomes, impacting both your physical and mental health.

Overdose Signs

Signs of a speed drug overdose include severe chest pain, tremors, and rapid breathing. Critical symptoms like convulsions, seizures, and difficulty breathing indicate a life-threatening situation that requires immediate medical attention.

In cases of overdose, individuals may experience cardiovascular collapse, which can be fatal if not treated promptly. Recognizing these signs early on is crucial for preventing severe consequences.

Pregnancy Concerns

Using speed drugs during pregnancy poses certain risks to both the mother and the fetus. The consumption of methamphetamine during pregnancy can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues in the child. Seeking medical advice is essential for pregnant individuals using speed drugs to safeguard the health of the unborn baby.

Combining with Other Substances

When combining substances, it is essential to consider potential interactions and effects. Mixing different substances can lead to unpredictable outcomes and may amplify the effects of each individual substance. For this reason, knowing how certain substances interact is key for ensuring safety and avoiding harmful consequences.

Alcohol Interaction

When you mix alcohol with speed, it can have dangerous consequences. The combination of these substances can lead to unpredictable effects on your body. The interaction between alcohol and speed can intensify the effects, increasing the risks of adverse outcomes.

The simultaneous consumption of alcohol and speed can result in a range of harmful effects on your body. These effects may include increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and intensified feelings of euphoria. The combination can also impair your judgment and coordination, leading to risky behaviors.

Mixing alcohol with speed can significantly heighten the risks associated with both substances. The combined effects can overwhelm your body's central nervous system, potentially resulting in severe health complications. The interaction between alcohol and speed drugs can increase the likelihood of experiencing negative side effects, such as dehydration and overheating.

Drug Combinations

Combining speed with other drugs can be extremely hazardous. Common drug combinations involving speed include psychoactive substances and illicit methamphetamine variants like crystal methamphetamine. These combinations pose serious risks to your health and well-being.

The dangers of mixing speed with other substances are manifold. Combining speed with different types of drugs can amplify the effects of each substance, leading to heightened intoxication and potential overdose. The interactions between speed and other drugs can create unpredictable outcomes that may pose life-threatening risks.

Mixing speed with other psychoactive drugs can have synergistic effects on your body, increasing the chances of experiencing severe reactions. But by knowing which combinations are harmful, you can prevent any adverse outcomes.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you need advice about speed? Reach out today.

Dependency and Addiction

Speed drug addiction symptoms include intense cravings, behavioral changes like irritability, and physical manifestations such as weight loss. Causes of addiction involve psychological factors like stress and trauma, environmental triggers like peer pressure, and genetic predispositions. Let’s explore these symptoms and risk factors further:

Addiction Symptoms

When someone is addicted to speed drugs, they may experience a range of symptoms. These can include intense cravings for the drug, leading to compulsive use. you might notice behavioral changes such as increased irritability, agitation, and mood swings. Physically, dependence on speed drugs can manifest as weight loss, insomnia, and rapid heart rate.

Moreover, addiction to speed drugs can significantly impact daily life and relationships. You might find it challenging to focus on work or school due to the constant urge to use the drug. This can lead to neglecting responsibilities and withdrawal from social interactions. Relationships with friends and family may suffer as your priorities shift towards obtaining and using the substance.

Causes of Addiction

Several factors contribute to the development of speed drug addiction, including both psychological and environmental triggers. You may find that stress, trauma, or mental health issues play a significant role in seeking solace through substance abuse. Environmental factors such as peer pressure or easy access to the drug can also influence addictive behaviors.

Genetics and mental health also play a crucial role in predisposing individuals to speed drug addiction. If you have a family history of substance abuse disorders, your risk of developing an addiction to speed drugs may be higher. Furthermore, underlying mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety can drive you towards using substances as a coping mechanism.

Quitting Speed

When quitting speed, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, depression, and intense cravings. Managing these symptoms is crucial for successful recovery, with support from professionals and self-care practices. Setting clear goals, seeking professional help, and building a strong support system are effective strategies for quitting speed. Here’s a roadmap on what to expect during the withdrawal phase, as well as tactics for quitting and where to seek help:

Withdrawal Symptoms

When you decide to quit speed abuse, you may experience various withdrawal symptoms. These can include fatigue, depression, and intense cravings for the drug. The physical toll on your body during withdrawal can be challenging.

Managing the withdrawal symptoms effectively is crucial for a successful recovery. It's common to face irritability, anxiety, and disturbed sleep patterns during this period. Seeking professional guidance can help you navigate through these challenges.

Emotionally, quitting speed can bring about feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and mood swings. Understanding that these are part of the withdrawal process can assist you in coping better. Remember, self-care practices such as regular exercise and healthy eating can aid in managing these symptoms.

Quitting Strategies

To successfully quit using speed, it's essential to have effective strategies in place. Firstly, setting clear goals and timelines for quitting can provide a sense of direction. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals who understand your journey is key.

Seeking professional help from healthcare providers or support groups can offer valuable guidance and assistance throughout the quitting process. They can provide personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs. Remember, you are not alone in this journey towards recovery.

Having a strong support system in place is crucial when quitting speed. This can include family members, friends, or even online communities dedicated to addiction recovery. These support systems can offer encouragement, accountability, and a sense of belonging during your recovery journey.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Would you like more information about speed? Reach out today.

Treatment Options

Inpatient and outpatient drug rehab centers offer effective treatment options for speed addiction, providing detox, therapy, and aftercare support. As part of treatment, therapy options like CBT, group therapy, and counseling can help individuals address negative thought patterns, connect with others, and receive personalized guidance on the path to recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with a speed addiction, or a methamphetamine addiction, consider these pathways and therapies:

Inpatient or Outpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient and outpatient drug rehab centers are both effective options for treating speed addiction or methamphetamine addiction. Inpatient treatment involves residing at the facility for a specified period, typically 30 to 90 days, allowing for a more intensive and structured approach to recovery. On the other hand, outpatient treatment allows individuals to attend therapy sessions while still living at home, providing more flexibility for those with work or family commitments.

The process typically begins with detoxification to rid the body of the drug's toxins, followed by individual and group therapy sessions to address the underlying issues contributing to addiction. In inpatient rehab, clients receive round-the-clock care and support, while outpatient programs offer therapy sessions a few times a week.

After completing the initial treatment phase, aftercare is crucial to maintaining long-term sobriety and preventing relapse. This may include ongoing therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes to promote a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. Both inpatient and outpatient rehab centers offer comprehensive aftercare plans to ensure clients have the necessary tools and resources to continue their recovery journey successfully.

Therapies Used in Treatment

When dealing with speed drug addiction, various therapy options can help you on the path to recovery. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective approach that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors related to drug use. This therapy equips you with coping strategies to manage cravings and avoid relapse.

Group therapy and counseling also play crucial roles in addressing speed drug addiction. Group therapy allows you to connect with others facing similar struggles, providing a sense of community and understanding. Counseling sessions offer personalized support and guidance as you navigate the challenges of addiction recovery.

Are You Fighting an Amphetamine Addiction? Help Is Within Reach.

Now that you understand the effects and risks associated with speed drug use, it's time to prioritize your well-being. Combining substances can lead to severe consequences, and dependency is a real concern. However, there are treatment options available to support your journey to recovery, such as the personalized treatment plans offered at The Edge Treatment Center.

We understand that when it comes to addiction, a blanket approach doesn’t work. Your story, motivations, and needs are unique, and in order to get to the root of your dependence, you need a care plan that’s tailored for you and only you. That’s what we offer at The Edge, alongside a team of treatment experts and a set of evidence-based therapies. See our therapies here, and call us today if you or a loved one are ready to take the first step toward recovery.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by


The Edge Treatment Center

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Addiction Recovery

Drug and Alcohol


June 29, 2024


Frequently Asked Questions

Speed, also known as amphetamine, is a stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. It increases alertness, energy, and attention while decreasing appetite and fatigue.

Using speed can lead to various health risks such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and potential addiction or dependency issues.

Combining speed with other substances like alcohol or opioids can intensify the effects on the body, leading to dangerous outcomes such as overdose, heart problems, or mental health issues.

Signs of dependency on speed include tolerance development, withdrawal symptoms when not using, neglecting responsibilities, and unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control usage.

Treatment options for speed addiction may include therapy (individual or group), medication-assisted treatment, detox programs, residential rehabilitation, and support groups like Narcotics Anonymous.