Amphetamine is an illegal, synthetic stimulant commonly known as “speed”. It is a Class B drug and has been used as a club drug for decades. It has been taken in various forms by the military in times of war. Its use has declined in recent years since the increased use of powder cocaine and then legal highs. It is a white granular powder which is usually taken in lines. It is also water soluble Speed keeps people awake for long periods. There is a limited amount of euphoria, considerably less than cocaine and ecstasy. It is invariably heavily adulterated with purity around 20 percent and often much lower. Speed is used as an adulterant for drugs such as cocaine. It is often taken with other drugs including ecstasy. It costs about £20-30 a gram.
Also known as: Speed, Whizz, Billy Whizz. Sulphate
The main effects are a sense of alertness/hyperactivity and much increased energy. It is a stimulant so affects the central nervous system giving a strong ‘rush’ and making the heart race. A dose of around 100mgs lasts about 4-6 hours. There are the usual come down from stimulants, headache, insomnia, restlessness, fatigue and depression. It also suppresses hunger and encourages greater water intake.
The harms of speed relate mainly to effect on the heart – parallels could be drawn with the main harms of ecstasy and other synthetic amphetamines. The potential harms include palpitations, irregular heart rate and racing heart rate, anyone with high blood pressure or any heart condition is taking a big risk with speed of having a heart attack or stroke. It can have a powerful effect on mood leading to depression and paranoia – it can often cause aggression especially if taken with alcohol. Repeated use will eventually lead to addiction. Overdose is possible but rare, partly because purity is usually low. Speed will worsen any existing mental health problem.
Speed is a class B drug and is illegal to possess or supply. Being caught in possession of even very small amounts would likely result in your arrest. You may be offered a caution for possession. This means you accept the offence and will have a criminal record. There is also a smaller chance you will be charged with the offence and will have to appear in court where you will most likely be fined or possibly face some community service. If you are caught dealing you will probably be imprisoned, depending on the amount.