Speed is a common street name for methamphetamines or amphetamines, referring to the wakefulness and hyperactivity that usually results from recreational use of these substances. Speed addiction, however, can slow down all your life plans or even bring them to a complete halt. Fortunately, speed addiction treatment is an effective way to get your life back on track and successfully break the cycle of addiction.
If you are troubled about your own use of speed or you are watching someone you love exhibit signs of amphetamine or methamphetamine abuse, there is always help available. No matter what walk of life you come from or what stage of addiction you have reached, treatment centers can offer respectful, professional care.
What Is Speed?
As a recreational drug, speed is usually available in the form of fine white powder or brightly colored tablets. Sometimes, although less commonly, speed refers to crystal meth, which resembles chunky, transparent crystals. Speed is typically injected, snorted, smoked or taken orally.
Amphetamines and methamphetamines are very similar substances, although methamphetamines contain phenylethylamine that has been methylated twice instead of once. This process means that methamphetamines are more potent than amphetamines. Both substances can be referred to as speed, but they also have other names that you may recognize. For methamphetamines, these street terms include meth, glass, ice and crank. Uppers usually refer to amphetamines, but the names for the two substances may be used interchangeable. Speed is a common street term that refers to both.
“Amphetamines and methamphetamines are very similar substances, although methamphetamines contain phenylethylamine that has been methylated twice instead of once.”
Since some people use the two substances interchangeably, speed addiction treatment can be useful for people who are addicted to amphetamines, methamphetamines or both. Both substances are sometimes prescribed by medical professionals for the treatment of certain medical conditions, although this is somewhat rare. Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD), narcolepsy and obesity are some conditions that may be treated with controlled and carefully supervised amphetamine or methamphetamine use. Both substances act as stimulants and appetite suppressants.
Warning: Even when a doctor prescribes amphetamines or methamphetamines, abuse is still a risk. Some people who start out taking medications for a valid medical purpose still end up requiring speed addiction treatment and speed detox. Always follow your doctor’s orders closely and never share your prescriptions with other people.
According to research carried out in 2009 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, as many as 1.2 million Americans over the age of 12 years old had tried meth at least once during the previous year. Since speed use can affect anyone of any age, everyone deserves respectful treatment and recovery options.
What are the Effects of Using?
Speed stimulates the central nervous system, altering the chemicals in the brain and nerves. Serotonin and dopamine are some of the major neurotransmitters that are affected. As a result, the mind becomes more active and impulse control is decreased. While using speed, most people experience a combination of the following psychological and physical effects:
- Feelings of anxiety, paranoia and restlessness
- A rapid or uneven heart rate
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sexual impotence
- Loss of appetite and rapid weight loss
- Physical tremors
- Dry mouth or strange tastes in the mouth
- Feelings of intense euphoria or invincibility
- Heightened sex drive
- Increased ability to focus and concentrate
- Increased energy
Since speed allows people to focus for longer periods of time, as well as providing extra energy and reducing the need to sleep, it can sometimes be used as a performance enhancing drug. Students or people who have demanding jobs may use the stimulant as a way to study more frequently or work longer hours. Athletes may use speed to increase their endurance and energy. No matter what the reasons for using speed, speed addiction treatment is available.
The Risk of Developing an Addiction
Speed is both physically and psychologically addictive, and the substance carries a high risk of addiction. After frequent use of speed, many people develop tolerance. This means that a person will require higher doses in order to feel the same effects as before. Physical addiction means that the body has adapted to the presence of speed and does not function the same without the substance, leading to withdrawal symptoms.
Psychological addiction occurs when the person prefers using speed to other activities or uses speed as a way to escape unwanted obligations, responsibilities or emotions. Additionally, some people may feel psychologically addicted to speed because they worry they cannot perform successfully as students, employees or athletes without the help of the drug. When a person’s relationships, job, hobbies, finances or health are negatively affected by the pursuit and use of speed, this is a strong signal that help is needed. Speed detox is a highly effective way to overcome both psychological and physical addiction, which is why speed addiction treatment is so important.
ProjectKnow is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers (AAC) and a leading provider of speed addiction treatment and recovery. If you or someone you love is abusing speed, consider treatment at an AAC facility. AAC accepts many insurance plans and can work with you on a manageable payment plan. Use our free and confidential online insurance checker to see if your insurance provider covers addiction treatment.
Withdrawal and Overdose Symptoms
As with many addictive substances, trying to stop speed cold turkey can result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include severe depression, anxiety, panic, increased aggression, overwhelming urges to use speed and strong fatigue. Since the fear of dealing with unwanted withdrawal symptoms may make it harder for some people to stop abusing amphetamines or methamphetamines, speed addiction treatment addresses withdrawal and helps the person carry out successful speed detox.
An overdose of speed can be very dangerous and requires immediate medical attention. Signs to watch out for include some or all of the following, and should be taken very seriously:
- Muscle twitches or muscular pain and tenderness
- Overwhelming panic
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Aggressive behavior
- Seizures and convulsions
- Dark urine
If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms and suspect a speed overdose, call 911 at once to receive essential medical attention.
What Detoxing from the Drug is Like
The Effects of Drug Abuse
The effects of drug abuse vary from person to person, particularly when individuals just start consuming certain drugs. However, after long periods of continued use, the majority of individuals who take both prescription and recreational drugs have a high likelihood of becoming addicted. Drug abuse and addiction can change a person’s entire life within a very short time period.Read More
When a person tries to stop using speed and avoid the substance entirely in his or her usual environment, the same psychological or social pressures that led to speed use in the first place may come into play. The temptation to start using speed again can be tricky to avoid, especially if the body has built up tolerance to the substance and high doses are required for the full effect of the drug.
Even though the psychological effects of recovering from speed may be challenging, anyone who seeks freedom from the cycle of speed addiction can enjoy a full, healthy recovery and withdrawal. In a speed rehab facility, informed medical professionals and understanding staff members can provide important supervision and support to make the entire process easier. If the patient is experiencing depression, anxiety, fatigue or other unwanted or challenging symptoms that may follow prolonged speed use, treatment centers can help ease the process.
In some cases, doctor-prescribed medications may be helpful. Most speed detox programs offer both inpatient and outpatient options, allowing you to choose the treatment that best suits your needs. Whether you are in a supervised inpatient environment or have the support and guidance offered by a comprehensive outpatient environment, you will find the help you need to finally break the chains of addiction and move beyond the withdrawal symptoms that have been holding you back.
Rehabilitation Options for Recovery
No matter how long a person has been using speed, full recovery is always within reach. Speed rehab facilities work with each patient to address the underlying reasons for addiction and find new ways to deal with life’s stress. Since each person is seeking speed addiction treatment for different reasons, treatment centers take each patient’s private history, needs, environment and personality into account while working toward a long-term solution. Therapy and counseling are usually important parts of the recovery process. Cognitive behavioral therapy is especially helpful when dealing with the long-term effects of speed use.
Speed addiction can strike at any time of life, and everyone deserves the chance to seek treatment and gain a new lease on life. To find a speed addiction treatment facility near you, call and begin your journey towards a full and healthy recovery. We are available at every time of the day or night and have well-informed, respectful personnel that can answer your questions and help you during this critical turning point in your life. Seeking speed rehab options that will work for your needs is one of the first steps to a successful, happy and drug-free lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can’t I just overcome speed addiction on my own, without seeking professional help?
A: While it may be possible to overcome addiction on your own terms, without any outside help, people who have a framework of support, guidance and professional medical and psychological help are much more likely to succeed at fully recovering from speed addiction and returning to a healthier, happier lifestyle. Speed addiction treatment centers are not a substitute for your own inner strength and willpower, but they offer a place where you can have the support and help you need. Overcoming a physical and psychological addiction to speed might not be an easy or casual undertaking, but a full recovery is definitely possible and is within your grasp.
Q: What are the dangers of chronic speed use?
A: When a person uses speed frequently without seeking treatment, there are some potentially dangerous outcomes. Speed users may experience auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances and changes, paranoid delusions and even brain damage. However, by seeking speed addiction treatment and speed rehab options, you are avoiding these dangers and finding a better way of life. Treatment is available at any stage of addiction and there is always hope for a full recovery.
Q: How can I approach a friend or loved one who is struggling with speed addiction
A: Approaching somebody about drug or substance abuse always requires tact, sensitivity and respectfulness. Make sure you are in a non-threatening environment and stay calm rather than acting accusatory or aggressive. Quietly and calmly explain that you have noticed signs of speed use, and be ready with specific examples if challenged. Be sure to listen respectfully to the other person’s side. Express your genuine concern and offer to help the person in any way he or she needs. Although most people need to recognize their own addiction before seeking treatment, showing your support can be a strong first step.