Amphetamines are stimulant drugs, which means they act to speed up heart rate and breathing. Some types of amphetamines are legally prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and Parkinson’s. Other types of amphetamines such as speed are produced and sold illegally. The more potent form is crystal methamphetamine (ice), speed now mostly contains methamphetamine of varying purity. Speed aka amphetamines come in various forms including powder, tablet, paste (ox-blood) and crystal.
Know Your Body & Mind — ‘Set’
Know Your Environment — ‘Setting’
Know Your Drug — Practice Harm Reduction
Most commonly snorted but can also be swallowed, injected, smoked and shelved.
DURATION OF EFFECTS
Total duration: 3 – 6 hours
Onset: 5 – 10 minutes
Peak: 15 – 40 minutes
Coming down: 45 mins – 3 hours
Hangover/After effects: 1- 12 hours
Total Duration: 4 – 8 hours
Onset: 15 – 30 minutes
After Effects: 1 – 12 hours
Total Duration: 2 – 4 hours
Half life: Even though the apparent effects of the drug wear off after 6 hours, the drug is still active in your system for up to 12-14 hours after you have taken it. Try to remember this if using other substances or redosing.
Effects vary from person to person. Check out our table below that has listed the potential physical, psychological and emotional effects.
Taking drugs is never without risk. In an unregulated market it’s impossible to know the purity or dose of any drug. ‘Dose’ depends on the form a drug is in (liquid, powder, pill, crystal) and how you have it (snort, eat, inject).
Depending on purity, amphetamine doses will vary. Prescription based amphetamines, like Adderall contain their own prescribed dosage information.
A standard recreational dose of snorted amphetamine is between 10mg and 40mg.
Roadside Police: Roadside saliva tests do look for speed (amphetamines) and other substances can be detected that might have been cut into your speed. It is illegal to drive under the influence of any illicit drugs, including speed and any driver may be subject to a roadside behavioural impairment test. Wait at least 72 hours before driving.
Workplace: Urine: 1-4 days Hair: Up to 90 days Blood: 12 hours
‘Pill Testing’/Drug Checking: Lab-quality testing has been trialed in Australia and is not available as a health service yet but DIY reagent testing is an option. Marquis and Mandelin give a reaction. Mecke and Robadope do not give a reaction. This information can be used to cross-reference results. See photos of testing results here > verbinding.110110
Carrying speed and paraphernalia (e.g. injecting/snorting/plugging equipment) puts you at risk of criminal charges including trafficking, even if you don’t deal.
Know your local laws e.g. the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld), the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substance Act 1981 (Vic).
- Increased energy, alertness and hyperactivity
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive talking
- Tightened jaw muscles, teeth grinding, headaches
- Increased body temperature and sweating
- Restlessness and agitation
- Body rushes – hot and cold
- Insomnia – decreased need for sleep
- Increased sexual activity/desire
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
- Heart palpitations
- Seizures, stroke, heart attack or coma
- Tooth decay as a result of dry mouth and teeth grinding
- Increased Empathy & compassion
- Anxiousness or nervousness
- Repetition of simple acts
- Increased self confidence
- Increased motivation and focus
- Abrupt change of thoughts and speech
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal tendencies/thoughts
- Suspicion & paranoia
- Compulsive picking/scratching skin
- Sense of confidence and power (delusions of grandeur)
- Visual and auditory hallucinations (hearing voices)
- Psychotic episodes and/or mania
- Excited Delirium Syndrome
- Start with a small amount as you don’t know how strong it will be.
- Remember to eat well then wait 20-30 minutes before using.
- Be aware of overheating and try to cool down & chill out regularly.
- Remember to keep your fluids up but don’t drink too much – 1 cup of water (250ml) p/h when resting & up to 500ml p/h when dancing or active.
- Crush the powder so there’s no crystals (sparkles can cause little cuts).
- Snort water before and after to avoid damaging the protective lining in your nose
- Use your own clean straw/spoon for snorting to prevent the risk of infection, ‘Snorter’ warts (HPV), or blood borne virus transmission (‘BBV’ e.g. hepatitis C) via microscopic amounts of blood
- Do not use money – it is covered in bacteria.
- Repeated snorting can damage the membranes of the nose leading to possible permanent damage to the septum (the middle bit). It can lead to frequent nosebleeds and runny nose, loss of smell, and problems swallowing
- Switch nostrils regularly and give your nose a break.
- Ingesting amphetamines results in slightly different effects to snorting or injecting. If taken as a ‘parachute” (wrapping a dose in a cigarette paper) the effects take longer to feel and the experience will last longer. You can also break the pills to have lower doses and swallow with water.
- Gumming is another less common way of doing it. A small amount is applied on the inside of the lips or gum. This can damage your gums and lips.
SHELVING (dry)/ PLUGGING (wet mix)
- Use lubrication to avoid tearing the skin
- Use a condom or latex/vinyl glove to avoid internal scratches
- Wash your hands before and after using
- Find a discreet and safe place to do it
- Dispose of used condom / glove responsibly.
- Avoid Blood Borne Viruses ‘BBVs’ (eg. Hepatitis C, HIV) by using new & sterile syringes & equipment.
- Use sterile water to mix up.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after, you can also use an alcohol swab to clean your fingertips.
- Alcohol wipes can reduce the risk of skin infections if they are used correctly. For maximum effect, swab once, in one direction on the injection site, and leave to dry naturally.
- Dispose of syringes & equipment responsibly in a yellow disposal bin, all NSPs have bins available.
LONG TERM EFFECTS
- Physical and Psychological Dependency
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
- Poor health and nutrition
- Lowered resistance to illness
- Poor dental health
- Fatal kidney and lung disorders
- Possible brain damage and/or psychological problems
- Vein collapse or infection (long term injecting)
- Blood Borne Virus and liver damage (long term injecting)
High doses and frequent heavy use can also create an ‘amphetamine psychosis’, characterised by paranoid delusions, hallucinations and out of character aggressive or violent behaviour. These symptoms usually disappear a few days after the person stops using amphetamines and regular sleeping patterns returned.
- After 2-3 hours remember to keep your electrolytes up
- If you’re finding it hard to eat try a smoothie or a soup
- Sleep! Or lay down and cover your eyes during a 24-hour period. Many of the negative effects of ice are caused by sleep deprivation.
- Take good care of your teeth.
- Factor in and plan recovery time before you need to do another activity.
Environmental / Weather: As a stimulant, speed will increase your body’s temperature and breathing rate, and make it more difficult for your body to regulate itself. Taking stimulants in hot indoor/outdoor environments can be deadly or lead to multi-organ failure.
It is not recommended to use speed if you have or are at risk of:
- Heart Problems
- Psychotic disorders
- Respiratory problems
- Heart problems
- Pregnant/ Breastfeeding
Polydrug use has many possible outcomes. What could be fun for one person could be dangerous for another. We do not endorse any of these combinations and recommend you proceed with caution.
- Tramadol – Increase of risk of seizures
- MAO-B inhibitors – can increase the potency and duration of phenethylamines unpredictably.
- MAO-A inhibitors – with amphetamine can lead to hypertensive crises, psychosis, agitation and aggression.
- 2C-T-x – Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences. In extreme cases, they can result in severe vasoconstriction, tachycardia, hypertension, and in extreme cases heart failure.
- DXM (cough syrup) – Both substances raise heart rate, in extreme cases, panic attacks caused by these drugs have led to more serious heart issues.
- Psychedelics (LSD, Psilocybin) – can increase anxiety levels and risk of thought loops leading to negative experiences
- Stimulants (Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Caffeine etc) – Combination of stimulants will increase the strain on the heart risking stroke, as well as potentially causing anxiety and greater physical and mental discomfort.
- Alcohol – Stimulants reduce the sedative effects of alcohol which can lead to excessive drinking and the risks associated with that.
- GHB/GBL– Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of sedatives. If the stimulant wears off first then the sedative may overcome the patient and cause respiratory arrest.
- Opioids – Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of sedatives. If the stimulant wears off first then the sedative may overcome the patient and cause respiratory arrest
- Ketamine – No unexpected interactions, though likely to increase blood pressure but not an issue with sensible doses. Moving around on high doses of this combination may be ill advised due to risk of physical injury
Low risk effects
- Nitrous – These drugs can sometimes work together to cause an effect greater than when taken on their own.
- MDMA – Amphetamines increase the neurotoxic effects of MDMA
- Benzodiazepines – Both can dull the other substances effects, so if one wears off before the other it’s possible to overdose due to the lack of counteraction so be careful! Also using a depressant drug to help with the come down effects may result in a cycle of dependence on both types of drugs.
Check out the TripSit drug combinations chart here for info on other combinations.
Call 000 if experiencing adverse effects, feel unwell or concerned in any way
This educational resource has been developed collaboratively by healthcare workers and people who use drugs for their peers and the wider community. The role of Hi-Ground is to provide practical, evidence-based, unbiased information to assist you to make educated choices and to promote harm reduction, community care, and wellbeing.
In an unregulated market it’s impossible to know the purity or dose of any substance. Taking drugs from an unregulated market carries its own risk, and you can educate yourself and practice harm reduction to reduce this risk.
Knowledge is power.
This resource is produced by DanceWize & Hi-Ground