Speed Use Signs and Symptoms – How To Tell if Someone is Using

Speed Use Signs And Symptoms

“Speed” refers to a class of illegal drugs called amphetamines that act as central nervous system stimulants.
When someone misuses speed, the body’s systems induce an effect similar to a constant state of panic with increased heart rate, body temperature, attention, alertness, and restlessness followed by a crash of exhaustion.

Speed Overview

The term “speed” refers to a class of illegal drugs called amphetamines that act as central nervous system stimulants. The name comes from the effect they have on the body. They speed everything up. Amphetamines are medicines typically prescribed for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. When taken as prescribed they can be very effective. Signs are noticeable when someone takes too much or is abusing speed.

Speed Use Signs

The central nervous system controls the fight or flight response. When someone uses too much speed, the central nervous system activates body systems to a level higher than when someone is in danger. Imagine being in a constant state of panic. The effects of speed normally last 2-4 hours and include:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Greater attention and alertness
  • Restless and jittery
  • Increased movement
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Increased body temperature
  • Irritability and impatience

Everyone reacts differently to the stimulating effects of speed. Overdose can happen with first use. Overdose can include convulsions, heart attack, severe agitation, hallucinations and even death.

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After speed wears off, there is usually a “crash” of exhaustion. Someone who is abusing speed may show behavior cycles of frantic hyperactivity followed by fatigue and depression.

Long-Term Speed Use Signs

Abusing speed is dangerous. When someone abuses amphetamines for a long time, the symptoms of using are exaggerated and permanent. They include:

  • Jitteriness
  • Paranoid hostility
  • Repetitive aimless activities
  • Heart problems and chest pain
  • Skin flushing
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss

How Speed is Used

depressed girl

Speed can be in pill or powdered form. Typical oral prescriptions include Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. During later stages of abuse, someone may use the powder or crushed pills by injecting it directly into the bloodstream, smoking or snorting it.

If someone is abusing pills, they will take more than prescribed resulting in difficulties getting more. Due to increased regulations surrounding prescription stimulants, prescriptions and refills are closely monitored. Someone may resort to street drugs which can include switching to methamphetamine, a hazardous and highly addictive form of amphetamine.

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Speed Use Signs and Symptoms – How To Tell if Someone is Using

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Comments 12

  • I’m really scared that my wife has went back on speed. She was doing it allot back in the 80’s and had quit taken the drug in 1990. I have never had anything to do with any drugs and I do not know what to look for with this drug. She has been over happy, down and out fast, teeth start to hurt, body gets real sore, then starts getting sick and this seems to go on from 10 days to to weeks. I walked up behind her two weeks ago and heard tell her son that I am so stupid that I did not know that they were on drugs. I have went to counseling and started to read up on the use of drugs and i’m still looking for more information on how to help my wife. I love her and want her back.

  • Please send my more info regarding this

  • I have a boyfriend who recently stopped drinking. He’s always been pretty high energy, but now he is non-stop talking, and he talks for ever! He gets riled very easy, is aggressive and always edgy. He’s lost about 20 pounds in the past few months, and sweats like crazy during sex. Could he be on something?

    • That sounds like he’s using meth or cocaine. I’ve been around people who have done both. If he sweats while just sitting around I’d say meth. From your description it sounds like cocaine.
      Watch to see if he does any of the following: grinds his teeth, chews on tongue, is constantly chewing gum, scratches/picks at skin often, is shaky. The list goes on but those are the main things to look for.
      I wish you and yours the best.

      • I know personally my boyfriend is the one who introduced me to speed he stopped using about 5 years ago and I have bin using for about less then a year and believe me he knows when I’m on it without me saying anything I chew my bottom lip and move my mouth even when I’m not talking and most important I go from calm relaxed to climbing and almost bouncing off the walls and climbing him for sex FYI sex on speed when we both take it is Fn awesome you can go all night. but you need more to keep going or it hurts like hell when you come off a binge.

  • I really need some advice. I think my brother maybe using some sort of drug. Regarding his behaviour,he puts it down to depression or a break down. His relationship with his partner broke down around five years ago,when his partner suspected him of taking some sort of drugs,which he denied. Since then i am taken him to the doctors,counselling even had him rehabilitation,but to no avail. He has never admitted to taking any drugs.
    Due to the failure of his relationship he has lost his job. We found out that he stolen from his family,has admitted,but never shown remorse. He now lives with mum as he has no where else to go. We are all at loss how to help. All you get is.no one cares,no one helps,no one understands. His symptoms are,very talkative,can not keep still,arms and body are all over the place. His teeth are disgusting,shallow skin,sweats
    no appetite. This is not everyday,but most days. When he is having a bad day,he stays in bed. It is not fair
    on our mum is in her eighties and should not have to cope with this. The doctors do not seem willing to help. Please can you give us any advice

  • I have a feeling my partner is using speed again . I found and empty bit of plastic in his pocket with a powdery substance i tasted it and it was like crushed paracetamol with a bitter after taste . Hes very irritable and snappy and seems to run on nothing . He will go shops but take 2 or 3 hours and when confronted gives me every excuse in the book . He has constant tooth pain and is awake til early morning most days and seems to have a cohple pf hours sleep for 3 or 4 days then crashes so to speak .. im thinking of buying a narcotics test kit to see if that shows anything up on the little samples ive found . I have confronted him but he seems to get really miffed at me for asking . Im at my witts end .

  • stay away from this stuff ive done it for years long term, no good will ever come of it………. itchy scratchy moody , up and down like a yo yo…………. after years of abuse im finally clean so no big deal, but the stuffs a lot harder to quit then you think, depends on the individual

  • Hi I think my now ex had his drinks spiked with speed. He was going out with a new group of friends, suddenly had issues with insomnia, was very irritable was often fidgety then hit mega lows, he lost over two stone in just over a month and had terrible stomach problems which the doctors cannot find a source for despite loads of tests, he also had a sudden blood clot and painful legs. He would not talk to me and would disappear for long walks. He became a bad lier and when on a bad low broke up with me, I never saw him as low as the 7 years we were together and all this happened within a month.

    I still see him and he has become irrational, very defensive aggressive and makes crazy and dangerous decisions, then he is really low for a few days but still aggressive and nasty.

    He was always very level headed and sensible.

    One of the new friends is a user and he told me he drinks his speed in red bull. I am wondering it is possible that he has been spiking his drinks causing the sudden mood swings and dramatic change in. personality.

    I was suspecting perhaps he was taking the drug as it all fits with the symptoms but am now thinking he has been spiked, or am I worrying about nothing.

  • My husband has used speed occasionally in the past and I always new as he had all the usual symptoms as well as having freezing feet but a hot body temp and he was never able to get an erection while on it, I’m suspicious he’s on something but not speed, he has some symptoms as talking not sleeping and not a good sleeping pattern, still has problems with erection but his feet are not freezing and this was the one sure thing I knew about speed, so I’m asking is there another drug that is similar but has different side affects?

  • im 14 years old my mum is taking speed… she told me its so she can do things around the house but she is sitting in her room playing poker.. i have asked her to stop before but she ignored me.. today she has been very paranoid and all over the place she cant say a sentence without stuttering. my mum needs help im trying and i dont know what to do anymore … there was a day i asked her when she last ate she said “last week” then i asked her when she last slept she said “i dont know what day is it” it is Easter we were meant to do an Easter hunt with my 8 year old brother but she forgot what day it is. please someone help

  • I’m really concerned about my brother, he leaves the house fine like a normal person and comes back crazy, for example. He was laughing about the rain when we were talking about it as a family. He concentrates mostly on my father with widened eyes and lots of aggression. As well as grinds his teeth, slams walls and hides in his room most of the time. He barley eats and sleeps a lot. Very depressed with anxiety. His symptoms are almost bipolar. He’ll be a complete crazy person then be calm as a cucumber.

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