Are you ready to rev up your curiosity? Buckle up because today we’re diving into the electrifying world of speed! No, not the kind that makes your car go zoom – we’re talking about a potent drug with an intense kick.
Whether you’ve heard whispers of it or are completely new to the scene, this blog post is here to unravel the mysteries and reveal all there is to know about what drug is truly behind “speed”.
Get ready for a wild ride as we explore its origins, effects, and everything in between. Hold on tight – it’s going to be a thrilling journey!
Definition and History of Speed
Speed, also known as amphetamine or methamphetamine, is a powerful stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system.
It belongs to a class of drugs called psychoactive substances, which means it alters brain function and can cause changes in mood, perception, and behaviour.
While speed may refer to either amphetamine or methamphetamine, the two drugs have distinct chemical structures and effects on the body.
Amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887 by Romanian chemist Lazar Edeleanu, but its stimulating properties were not discovered until the 1920s when it was used as a nasal decongestant. Methamphetamine was developed shortly after in 1919 by Japanese chemist Akira Ogata.
The use of amphetamines for medical purposes began in the 1930s when they were prescribed for conditions such as asthma and narcolepsy. During World War II, both amphetamines and methamphetamine were used by soldiers to increase alertness and combat fatigue.
The dangerous side effects of these drugs became more apparent during this time as reports of addiction and psychosis emerged.
In the post-war era, amphetamines gained popularity as weight loss pills due to their ability to suppress appetite. This led to widespread abuse among individuals looking to lose weight quickly. In the 1960s, recreational use of amphetamines increased with the rise of counterculture movements such as hippies and beatniks.
Chemical Composition and Effects on the Body
The chemical composition of speed, also known as amphetamine or methamphetamine, is what gives this drug its powerful and dangerous effects on the body.
These substances belong to a class of medications called stimulants, which work by increasing activity in the central nervous system and producing feelings of alertness and energy.
Amphetamines are synthetic chemicals that are structurally similar to natural neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
This similarity allows them to interact with these neurotransmitters and alter their levels in the brain, leading to changes in mood, behaviour, and physical responses.
Speed can come in different forms, such as powder, pills, or crystal meth. The most common form is amphetamine sulfate or “speed” powder, which is usually snorted or injected for a quick and intense high. On the other hand, crystal meth is a more potent form of amphetamine that is typically smoked for a faster onset of effects.
When ingested into the body through any route of administration, speed rapidly crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to receptors on nerve cells throughout the brain.
This results in an increase in dopamine levels – a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating pleasure and reward pathways – leading to intense feelings of euphoria.
Common Uses of Speed
Speed, also known as amphetamine or methamphetamine, is a powerful stimulant drug that is often abused for its euphoric and energizing effects.
It belongs to the class of substances called psychostimulants and has a wide range of potential uses. In this section, we will discuss the most common benefits of speed.
- Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
One of the main approved medical uses of speed is in treating ADHD. This disorder is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulty focusing on tasks. Speed works by increasing levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which help improve attention and concentration in individuals with ADHD.
- Weight Loss Aid
Another common use of speed is as a weight loss aid due to its ability to suppress appetite and increase metabolism. It was commonly prescribed for this purpose in the past but has since been replaced by other medications with fewer side effects.
- Narcolepsy Treatment
Speed can also be used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden bouts of sleep throughout the day. By stimulating the central nervous system, speed can help individuals with narcolepsy stay awake during the day and improve their overall quality of life.
Forms of Speed
When it comes to the drug known as speed, there are various forms in which it can be consumed. The most common and well-known form is methamphetamine, but other variations fall under the category of “speed.” In this section, we will explore the different forms of speed and how they are typically used.
- Methamphetamine (Meth)
Methamphetamine, or meth for short, is a highly addictive and potent stimulant that is usually found in white crystal form. It can be snorted, smoked, injected or taken orally. Meth is known for its intense rush of euphoria and increased energy levels. However, prolonged use can lead to serious physical and mental health issues.
- Amphetamine (Adderall)
Amphetamine is a prescription medication commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also known by its brand name, Adderall when combined with dextroamphetamine. This form of speed comes in pill form and is often abused by individuals seeking increased focus and alertness.
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
Dextroamphetamine is another prescription medication used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It works similarly to amphetamine but has a stronger effect on the central nervous system (CNS). Dexedrine pills are often crushed up and snorted for a faster high.
Risks and Side Effects of Using Speed
Using speed, also known as amphetamines, can have serious risks and side effects on the body. While it may provide temporary feelings of increased energy and alertness, it is important to understand the potential consequences that come with using this drug.
- Physical Risks: One of the main risks of using speed is its impact on physical health. This drug can cause a range of harmful effects on the body, such as high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and irregular heartbeat. It can also lead to dehydration due to excessive sweating and lack of thirst sensation. In some cases, long-term use can even result in heart failure or stroke.
- Psychological Risks: The use of speed has been linked to various psychological issues, including anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and psychosis. These symptoms may be temporary while under the influence of the drug but can become more severe with prolonged use. In extreme cases, it can even trigger pre-existing mental health conditions or lead to new ones.
- Dependency: Speed is highly addictive, and repeated use can lead to dependence on the drug for both physical and psychological reasons. Users often develop tolerance over time, which means they need larger doses to achieve the desired effect. This cycle of increasing dosage can quickly spiral out of control, leading to addiction.
- Impaired Cognitive Functioning: Speed affects brain chemistry by increasing dopamine levels, which are responsible for pleasure sensations in our brain’s reward system.
Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
Addiction and withdrawal symptoms are two major concerns associated with the use of speed or amphetamines. These powerful stimulant drugs can cause both physical and psychological dependency, making it difficult for users to stop using them.
When someone becomes addicted to speed, their body develops a tolerance to the drug, meaning they need higher doses to achieve the same high as before. This leads to increased consumption of the drug, which further intensifies their addiction.
Some common signs of speed addiction include:
- Preoccupation with obtaining and using speed: People who are addicted to speed often spend most of their time thinking about how they can get more of the drug.
- Loss of control: As an individual’s addiction progresses, they will find it increasingly difficult to control their use of speed. They may try to quit or cut back but fail due to intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Neglecting responsibilities: Addiction can take over a person’s life, causing them to fail important responsibilities such as work, school, family obligations, and social relationships.
- Continuing drug use despite negative consequences: Despite experiencing negative effects like financial problems or strained relationships due to their drug use, individuals struggling with speed addiction will continue using the drug.
- Withdrawal symptoms: When someone who is addicted stops using speed suddenly or reduces their dosage significantly, they will experience unpleasant physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Legal Status of Speed
The legal status of speed, also known as amphetamine or methamphetamine, varies depending on the country and its laws. In some places, it is considered a controlled substance and possession or distribution can result in severe penalties. In contrast, in others, it may be available with a prescription for medical use. Understanding the legal status of speed is essential for anyone considering using or possessing this drug.
In the United States, both amphetamine and methamphetamine are classified as Schedule II drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that they have a high potential for abuse and dependence but have accepted medical uses with severe restrictions. Possession without a valid prescription is considered illegal and can result in fines and imprisonment.
However, there are some exceptions to this strict enforcement of speed’s legality. For example, Adderall (a brand name for amphetamine) is commonly prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. While still a Schedule II drug, possession with a valid prescription is allowed.
In contrast, countries like Canada have stricter laws when it comes to speed. Amphetamine and methamphetamine are both listed as restricted drugs under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Possession without authorization carries significant penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
In some European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, amphetamine is not considered illegal if used for personal purposes only. However, possession with intent to distribute is punishable by law.