Speed ​​(drug): Characteristics, Consumption And Effects

The speed is a synthesized drug from amphetamine sulfate consumed nasally (snorting) or orally. Its main consequences are a feeling of well-being, increased energy, the level of alertness and activation, a decrease in the feeling of fatigue, hunger and sleep, and a generalized overactivation of the mental state. ANDhe consumption of this drug can be highly dangerous and reports a series of very negative long-term and short-term effects.

Speed ​​is a drug that belongs to the phenethylamine family, that is, it is part of the group of amphetamine substances. Its scientific name is amphetamine sulfate and it is synthetically composed from the substances of amphetamine.

Amphetamines are natural drugs that stimulate the brain’s central nervous system when consumed . Methamphetamines, for their part, are synthetic compounds made from this substance that are made with the aim of producing drugs of abuse.

Speed ​​is made in laboratories to be marketed illegally and to be administered as a recreational drug. TO Despite having therapeutic properties used in narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatments, its main use is carried out in party spaces.


Speed ​​is generally consumed snorted, a fact that produces more immediate effects, although it can also be consumed smoked and orally and intravenously.

People who consume it report effects such as increased energy, increased good humor, happiness, suppression of the feeling of fatigue and a general state of well-being.

However, the consumption of this drug produces an overstimulation of the brain that can also produce unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, palpitations, dizziness or headaches. Likewise, the risks of this drug are accentuated when it is consumed in a prolonged, abusive or chronic way.

Keep in mind that speed specifically stimulates the central nervous system and, unlike amphetamine, it is synthesized to produce very high effects.

In this way, the drug overstimulates the brain in an uncontrolled way, so it can cause brain damage and psychopathological alterations very easily. Likewise, this drug has a high addictive potential, so it is relatively easy to “get hooked” on speed if it is consumed periodically.

Effects of speed on health

Dangerous intoxication

First of all, it must be taken into account that the consumption of speed can have negative consequences with a single consumption. LThe repercussions do not appear only with the prolonged use of the drug since a simple poisoning can already have negative consequences.

Speed ​​overstimulates the central nervous system, so when we consume the drug and it reaches our brain, our mental functioning can be greatly modified.

The main negative symptoms that speed consumption can bring are feelings of irritability, hyperactivity, restlessness or even aggressiveness. These symptoms are usually annoying but above all they can make a serious danger for the person intoxicated by speed.

The fact of being over-activated, restless, hyperactive or even aggressive can lead the person to carry out risky behaviors that can interfere with their physical integrity. On the other hand, the consumption of speed can also cause hallucinations, seizures or insomnia, symptoms that can be highly dangerous.

Finally, it must be taken into account that the overactivation and overstimulation produced by the drug also increases the heart rate, which can cause palpitations, tachycardia, nausea, headaches or even death.

Amphetamine toxic psychosis

Abandoning the direct effects of consumption, we now focus on the long-term consequences that consumption of speed can produce.

It should be noted that these effects that we will discuss below do not always occur when speed is consumed periodically, however, they do occur in a large number of cases of people who abuse this drug.

The first of all that we will discuss is amphetamine toxic psychosis. This type of psychosis is a mental illness very similar to schizophrenia in which the person suffers from a psychotic disorder through the direct effect of speed.

Although this condition does not appear in all cases, it must be borne in mind that it is not necessary for the person to consume speed for a long time for years to suffer from toxic amphetamine psychosis.

Normally, this condition is characterized by the typical symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and extravagant behaviors, and it subsides when the effects of the drug have worn off.

However, sometimes this psychosis can end up in a pure psychotic disorder whereby the psychosis becomes chronic.

Anxiety crisis

Another alteration that prolonged consumption of speed can cause are anxiety attacks. This disorder is characterized by suffering from sudden states of extreme anxiety in which the person is totally paralyzed by their fear.

Anxiety attacks or panic attacks appear abruptly and unpredictably, and from them the individual experiences fear of the possibility that they may recur. Likewise, seizures occur repeatedly, so that the person is constantly suffering from unpredictable anxiety attacks.

During the attack, the individual who suffers from it may present palpitations, heart jerks or increased heart rate, sweating, tremors or shaking, feeling short of air or breath, feeling of suffocation, tightness, nausea or dizziness.

Likewise, you may suffer from instability, lightheadedness or fainting, depersonalization, fear of losing control or going crazy, or fear of dying, and you experience the crisis as an extremely unpleasant moment.

This psychological disorder does not appear only with the consumption of speed, since it has other types of causes, however, the brain alterations that this drug makes can predispose the chronic user of speed to suffer anxiety attacks.


Dependence and tolerance are undoubtedly the most important problems presented by all substances that have an addictive component. In fact, if addictive substances did not cause any of these two symptoms in the user, it is very likely that the others would not appear either.

We can understand this in this way since a consumer of any drug would surely stop taking it as soon as he began to perceive the negative effects of taking the substance periodically.

Speed ​​is a psychotropic drug with a clear addictive component, so the person who takes this drug can get hooked on it with relative ease. DDue to the high release of dopamine (the main neurotransmitter of addiction) in the brain that produces methamphetamine, speed is one of the most addictive drugs.

This highlights the high danger of consuming this type of drug, since years of use are not required to create a clear addiction.


Tolerance refers to the habituation of the body and mind to the consumption of the drug. When speed is consumed for the first time, possibly with a very small dose, we will already be able to notice the effects we want from the drug.

However, as a person is consuming this drug on a regular basis, tolerance to the substance will be greater.

This means that as a person consumes greater amounts of speed, they require increasingly higher doses to experience the effects that they previously experienced with much smaller doses.

In addition, tolerance does not only affect the rewarding effects but also the more negative effects caused by not consuming speed. Chen a person begins to consume this drug frequently, his brain asks him to administer speed when he has not used it for a certain time.

At first, these cravings of the speed-consuming brain can be satisfied with small and infrequent doses, however, as more is consumed and tolerance increases, the brain will require more and more doses of the substance.

Severe depression

Speed ​​is a central nervous system psychostimulant drug. Brain stimulation is done mainly through a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, a substance that is in the brain that is responsible for connecting neurons with others.

Although the functions of dopamine are multiple, one of them stands out above all: the sensation of reward and pleasure. ANDThis neurotransmitter is the main brain component that allows us to have feelings of pleasure and gratification.

The modification of this neurotransmitter that causes speed is the main aspect that explains the clear addiction that its consumption causes. However, by modifying the sensations of pleasure in the brain as high as speed does, the mood can also be highly altered.

When we consume speed we accustom the brain to experience gratification only when we consume high amounts of a substance that produces an immense release of dopamine.

It is very likely that the dopamine that our brain releases when we do pleasant activities is too low, so we can begin to not be able to enjoy anything, decrease motivation and, over time, develop severe depression.

Brain impairment

The repeated consumption of speed not only modifies the functioning of substances in our brain, but it can also change and deteriorate certain brain structures.

The prolonged consumption of speed affects and deteriorates in a very notorious way parts of the brain known as raffe nuclei. This region of the brain is responsible for performing a large number of physiological functions such as:

  • Regulation of pain.
  • Corporal temperature regulation.
  • Intake of food and drink.
  • Motor activity
  • Control of cardiovascular function.
  • Muscle contraction, regulation of sexual activity.
  • Memory and learning processes.

Consuming speed for a long time can cause dysfunctions in these activities.

Deterioration of teeth, gums and nails

It should be noted that the consumption of speed not only causes alterations at the mental level but can also deteriorate other parts of the body.

In this sense, the teeth, gums and nails can be clearly damaged and cause various alterations.

Acne and dry hair

Finally, along the same lines as the previous point, the consumption of speed is usually very harmful to skin and hair development.

Thus, the appearance of acne on the skin and dry hair are two typical symptoms caused by the use of this drug.


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  5. Stahl, SM Essential psychopharmacology Barcelona: Ariel. 2002

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