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(whizz, billy, sulphate, grudge, dexys, blues, base, etc.)

Speed is a stimulant that can keep you awake for hours and jumping around like a nutter.

Its effects are like an adrenaline rush - it makes your heart go like the Flying Scotsman on amyl and you feel like you're bursting with energy and can dance all night. Speed can wake you up, make you feel extremely confident and outgoing and turn the quietest introvert into a gyrating John Travolta on the dance floor.

Generally coming in £8-£12 paper wraps and snorted or dabbed, speed kicks in pretty quickly and not long afterwards your mouth will become drier than a bag of dry stuff that no amount of lager will refresh. You might have a sudden urge to grind your teeth, often resulting in an unexpected and unpleasant exhibition of gurning.

Appetites often disappear and quality speed will probably keep you buzzing for anything up to 6 hours.

Prolonged speed use builds up tolerance quickly and you may find yourself having to take more and more for the same hit. To make matters worse, speed is often cut or adulterated with all manner of dodgy substances. Some speed has been confiscated by the police with a purity as low as 2%. Most speed will be 5% to 10% pure.


Side effects: Speed can turn people into breathtaking bores. If you've ever been cornered by someone who's just snorted a gram, expect hours of pure tedium as they recall in great detail arse-dull anecdotes from their childhood. People often get a bit emotional and will constantly reassure complete strangers that they are their best mates for life.

People often lose their inhibitions when drinking, and mixing alcohol with speed means that instead of nodding off after a few pints the speed keeps you going and there's a chance you may wake up with a stranger/horse/whatever in your bed the next morning. If you're going out on the pull be sure you keep those condoms to hand.

After a night wolfing down the sulphate, the next day (or the comedown) can be a dreadful experience.

You might feel tired, weak and unwell, and if you've really been overdoing it, depressed and even paranoid, sometimes with hallucinations. Take loads of orange juice and vitamins, eat well and resign yourself to a few miserable moods over the next couple of days.
A bit like playing a Smiths album really.


Health risks: If you've high blood pressure or a dodgy ticker taking speed could be risky. Try not to mix it up with drugs like poppers, coke or E as this could send your poor old heart AWOL. Avoid taking speed if you're on anti-depressants as this combination has been known to be fatal. Don't take speed if you're pregnant, and definitely try and avoid injecting the stuff - God only knows what it's cut with.

Speed can keep you up all night staring at the ceiling up to 12 hours after even a small amount, and some people can get a little paranoid, convincing themselves they're about to have a heart attack.

Also look out for 'base' which is like a deluxe version of speed - with more intense positive and negative effects.

Detection periods: Amphetamine can be detected in the urine up to 2-4 days after use at common levels.

THE LAW: The majority of amphetamine substances come under Class B of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Amphetamines prepared for injection are classed as Class A.

More info:
Snorting/tooting FAQ

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Special note:
This site is all about harm reduction. We realise that some people will take drugs no matter what advice they are given, so we have reproduced this guide for information purposes only. It is not medical advice. If you are being coerced into taking drugs, or are in any doubt about taking a substance, our advice is to always refuse.

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