Amphetamine is a stimulant. Other names are speed, whizz, phet or pep. Amphetamine is almost always available as a powder, but also exists as a pill.
There are various types of amphetamines. This information is about the type of amphetamine that is called “speed” as well. That’s the type we mainly come across in the Dutch party scene. It is not about methamphetamine.
Amphetamine is a stimulant. The effect of a substance is determined by the properties of the substance itself, but also by the set and setting of the user. Here we describe the effects of amphetamine in general.
Amphetamine increases your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Your pupils get bigger, and you get a dry mouth because your body produces less saliva. You have to urinate more often, you sweat more and you have stiff jaws due to increased muscle tension. Breathing is easier because your bronchi (airways) expand. Hunger and tiredness disappear like snow in the sun. You feel cheerful and full of energy, you feel like talking a lot and quickly, you are alert and you can dance all night long. You have more stamina and muscle strength. Some users become more confident. Others feel restless, anxious, paranoia, irritable, or aggressive. also typical are repetitive movements and the moving and putting back of objects.
After amphetamine wears off, tiredness sets in and users experience a hangover. An annoying side effect is that it is difficult to fall asleep after using amphetamine. Amphetamine depletes the energy stores in your body. The days after amphetamine use you can therefore be tired. Some people feel depressed for a few days. The hangover after amphetamine gets worse if you don’t eat enough before, during and after use.
|Positive effects||(negative) Side effects|
You have feelings of being energized. Sitting still is sometimes more difficult and this energetic feeling is often expressed through the urge to dance or move.
Increase in blood pressure and heart rate
Due to increased cardiac stimulation, heart rate and blood pressure rise.
This drug can make you more active than usual. You are feeling sharp, awkae and it is easy to focus your attention on the things that are happening around you.
Increased body temperature
Stimulants cause increased activity in muscles, and increase the “base temperature” of the body. This causes the body temperature to increase.
Increase in self-confidence
You feel more confident. It may be easier to ignore the opinions of others, and you will feel less self-conscious about yourself and your own actions.
Increased muscle tension can cause the jaws to clench together. As a result, the teeth are firmly pressed together and it is possible to bite your tongue and/or cheeks.
Need for contact, conversation and intimacy
Having a good conversation with someone, or cuddling, can be very pleasant and interesting.
Some drugs keep you from falling asleep. Stimulants often have this effect, but even after using psychedelics or downers, sleep is disrupted and it is possible that you can’t sleep.
(Nederlands) Verandering in tijdsperceptie
The passage of time could feel altered during drug use. Some parts of the evening fly by, while some parts feel a lot slower. When you are feeling comfortable, it can be nice that the feeling does not seem to stop. But if you feel uncomfortable, this can be a bothersome experience. So this effect can work both ways.
Stimulation of the fight-or-flight response in the body can suppress appetite.
Using this drug may cause mood swings in users. These mood changes may be either positive or negative, and often alternate between extremes.
Confusion and restlessness
Confusion and restlessness
Increased sexual desires. You feel more attracted to others and feel a stronger need for sexual intimacy.
You are easily irritated or agitated.
Thinking seems to go faster. It’s also easier to think clearly. You can go through certain steps in your head faster and make choices faster.
Pressure on the chest / heart palpitations
Pressure on the chest / heart palpitations
An uneasy and tense feeling in the abdomen, which may cause discomfort. Nausea often precedes vomiting.
The feeling that someone is spinning, or that the world is spinning around someone. This impairs balance.
In response to the increased stimulation and changes in body temperature, the skin will start to secrete sweat to cool the body temperature back to normal levels.
Due to an increased noradrenaline level in the body after taking certain drugs, the pupils become larger. The pupil size is influenced by many different processes. Increase in noradrenaline plays a role in some of those processes.
Stimulation of sympathetic pathways decrease saliva production, this causes the mouth to feel dry.
Problems getting an erection.
In hallucinations you perceive things that are not there. It really is an observation that seems to be real. For example, you may hear sounds (auditory hallucinations) or see something or someone (visual hallucination). This is in contrast to a change in sensory perception where normal perception is distorted. Think of a person’s voice that sounds higher or lower or a face that seems to have a big nose.
Hallucinations can be both desirable effects (with psychedelics) and unwanted side effects (with high doses of MDMA, or with being awake for too long).
Amphetamine can be snorted (nasally), swallowed (orally), injected (intravenously), or plugged (anally).
Snoring is most common. Swallowing speed can be done by dissolving a little powder in a drink or by putting the powder in a rolling paper (bomb) or capsule.
The strength of speed can be very different. It is often cut with caffeine. This makes it difficult to determine a dosage. You can already feel the effect with a very small dose (a tip of your key). To find out how pure your amphetamine is, you can have it tested anonymously.
|Low||5 – 15 mg|
|Medium||15 – 40 mg|
|Low||5 – 30 mg|
|Medium||30 – 80 mg|
Risico’s op korte termijn
Taking this drug increases the risk of having an epileptic seizure if you are prone to it.
Risico’s op lange termijn
Regular use of this drug can lead to physical addiction. This means that in addition to the psychological urge to take more, withdrawal symptoms arise when using is interrupted or stopped. Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to: poor sleep, sweating and becoming restless.
Withdrawal symptoms are often a reason to start drinking or using again. In actuality, those phenomena are only temporarily suppressed.
Tolerance or habituation also occurs. That means if you use it regularly, you need more to feel the same effect.
Tolerance and stimulants
With stimulant use, tolerance will build-up for both the mental changes and appetite-suppressing effect, but not for cardiovascular effects. The higher your dose, the higher your blood pressure.
After prolonged use, the skin often looks less healthy. You are also more likely to suffer from pimples or other skin conditions.
Damage to nasal mucosa
Snorting drugs can damage the nasal mucosa. This can manifest itself in a reduced sense of smell and taste. It can also lead to chronic colds and nosebleeds.
Deterioration of teeth and gums
Using this drug has a negative influence on your teeth. Your teeth can discolour, but the risk of inflammation or cavities also increases.
HIV and hepatitis infection (only with injecting)
When injecting drugs you run an increased risk of HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne infections. Injecting is strongly discouraged for this reason. If you do decide to inject, make sure you don’t share equipment such as needles with others and that you use a clean needle every time.
Combining different types of drugs can be risky and unpredictable. When you combine drugs you can have a higher risk of health problems. In the following paragraphs you can read about the effects and the risks of a number of combinations that occur frequently and also a about few that are extra hazardous. Also check our theme combining drugs.
Alcohol and speed or other stimulants
Using speed makes you feel awake and cheerful. As a result, you may feel the sedating effects of the alcohol less and you may tend to drink more alcohol. Be careful, because this can cause an extra large hangover. So do not drink alcohol while taking speed use or make an agreement in advance with yourself or your friends how many glasses of alcohol you want to drink. This prevents headaches the next day and is better for your health!
Benzodiazepines and stimulants: ecstasy/MDMA, speed, cocaine, 4-FA
Sometimes people use benzodiazepines to help them sleep after using a stimulant. Read more about that here.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you don’t need a benzodiazepine to sleep. Plan your doses so that you can sleep when you want. If you get used to always having a benzodiazepine on hand, chances are you’ll use more and more often.
- Do not take uppers a few hours before going to sleep, gradually reduce your party (take it easy, drink tea (without caffeine/theine)).
- Try to go to sleep without sleeping medication first. Maybe you are tired enough to fall asleep without sleeping pills.
- Have you tried everything? Are you really not able to sleep? And do you really want to sleep? Then a sedative/benzodiazepine may be an option.
- Do you realize that when you take a benzo, you mainly rest physically, and less mentally. A benzo inhibits your emotional processing and memory storage.
- Make sure you have the right dose.
- Are you taking a benzo? Then go to bed, otherwise you won’t fall asleep.
- Do not use benzos too often, and only if there is really no other option. Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming addicted to it.
- Choose a short-acting drug such as temazepam (Normison), this generally works better for sleep and if you take a long-acting drug such as diazepam (Valium) you will be drowsy the day after and you can’t drive a car, for example.
- Never use benzos for more than 2 weeks in a row if you have severe sleeping problems.
Speed and caffeine
Speed is often cut with caffeine. The caffeine often makes you feel a bit more jumpy or rushed, in a negative way. Both drugs increase the heart rate.
Cannabis and stimulants like speed, 4-FA, ecstasy, MDMA
Some users find it a pleasant combination. Cannabis can soften the ecstasy rush, especially at the end of the experience. However, it can also make the experience a bit more vague, which is not always positive.
Sometimes people use cannabis after or while using speed to calm down or fall asleep more easily. Cannabis can soften the amphetamine effects, especially at the end of the amphetamine rush. However, this is not recommended for everyone, some people may feel anxious or restless. If you suffer from insomnia after using speed, it is advisable to time your use better. Keep in mind what time you want to go to sleep and do not take any more about 12 hours before you want to go to sleep.
GHB and speed/amphetamine
Speed is sometimes combined with GHB to take the edge off speed or to get hornier when used in a sexual setting. The risk of this is that due to the stimulating effect of speed, you will not feel the anesthetic effect of GHB properly, increasing the chance of overdosing with GHB. If you then take too much GHB, your body is still stimulated, but you are no longer or not fully conscious. This looks rather weird and intense. Someone then moves very strangely and is no longer (properly) approachable.
Here you can read more about what to do if someone passes out.
Some people think that combining speed with GHB works against passing out. You can then feel clearer than under the influence of GHB alone. But it doesn’t really stop passing out. There is also a chance that you will take more GHB than you would if you were only using GHB. There are indications that if you go into a coma due to an overdose of GHB in combination with speed, the chance of a deep and longer coma is many times greater. And the likelihood of complications during the coma is higher. So never use ‘uppers’ to prevent passing out. Only sensible dosing with GHB helps against passing out. In addition, there is an increased risk of epileptic activity in the brain and an increased risk of movement disorders (automatic movements, agitation, self-mutilation).
Ecstasy/MDMA and other stimulants like speed and cocaine
Combining MDMA with uppers mainly ensures that you notice less of the MDMA. The desired effects, such as euphoria, are smoothed out. So you feel less of the MDMA. There is a chance that you will then take more MDMA to get a bit more effect. The uppers also remove the vagueness of the MDMA. You feel a little brighter.
The more MDMA you take and if you combine it with other uppers, the bigger the hangover. You feel empty and exhausted.
The combination also causes more brain damage. And a greater load on the heart and blood vessels.
You can never be 100% safe when using amphetamine. The risks can be limited, however, so please read our Unity tips:
- Use only when you feel well, both physically and mentally
- Do not use to eliminate the unpleasant effects of last use (like exhaustion or depression). This can easily lead to addiction.
- Rest well before and after using amphetamine
- Eat healthy before and after amphetamine use. Especially foods like nuts and peanuts, and foods containing a lot of vitamins (oranges, kiwi, broccoli). It is difficult to eat during and after amphetamine use, but try it anyway. Good food clearly reduces the hangover! If you can; eat a salty cookie or some salty chips. If you cannot eat solid food, think about juices, breakfast drinks, smoothies. You can take extra vitamins and anti-oxidants before and after amphetamine use
- Make sure you do not get too hot during amphetamine use: rest every now and then, do not wear warm clothing, no headgear, and drink water or soft drinks
- Drink adequately but no more than two glasses of water per hour, otherwise the risk of water intoxication increases
- If you have snorted amphetamine, it is best to clean your nose before you go to sleep. You can do this with a moist cotton swab to remove the remains that are still in your nose, or with a nose spray containing water and salt or by cleaning your nose with your fingers in the shower.
- Swallowing is more preferable than snorting because snorting can cause damage to the nasal mucosa and you have a higher risk of getting addicted
- Preferably don’t inject amphetamine (increased risk of addiction)
- Do not use it when you suffer from diabetes, a weak heart, high blood pressure, epilepsy and mental problems and do not use it in combination with medications
- Do not combine it with alcohol or other drugs
- Do not participate in traffic
- Amphetamine can make your mouth dry, and combined with teeth grinding this increases the risk of damage to your teeth. It is important to stimulate your saliva production. This can be done by chewing on sugarless gum, for example. You can also buy saliva substitutes or artificial saliva (like Saliva Orthana, Xialine and Oral Balance) without prescription.
- Provide a personal snorter and do not share it with others
- Are you on the pill? Take it a few hours before you use amphetamine
- Do you not feel well, or does any of your friends? Keep an eye on each other, take care of each other and visit the first aid
- Have your amphetamine tested!
Unity tips for using stimulants
- Do not combine high stimulant doses with other stimulants
- Do not use stimulants if you suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy or psychological afflictions. Also, do not use stimulants if you are pregnant, or in combination with medications (especially MAO inhibitors and asthma medication).
- Make sure you don’t get too warm while using stimulants: rest every now and then, don’t wear (too) warm clothes or headgear and drink water/soft drinks occasionally.
- Get enough rest before using stimulants. If you are very tired or suffer from insomnia, do not use stimulants!
- Moderate use is key. Keep track of how much you take.
- Drink enough to keep yourself hydrated, but no more than 2 glasses of water per hour. Exceeding this increases the risk of water intoxication.
- Stimulants can give you a dry mouth, which, combined with teeth grinding, increases the risk of damage to your teeth. It is important to stimulate your saliva production. You can do this by chewing sugar-free gum. Saliva substitutes or artificial saliva (such as Saliva Orthana, Xialine and Oral Balance) can also be used and can be purchased without a prescription.
Unity tips for using drugs
- When using a drug for the first time, take only a small dose to see how your body reacts to the substance
- Only use drugs when you are feeling well
- Use drugs recreationally, not to combat psychological issues like fatigue
- Avoid using drugs if you have (had) psychological afflictions or if you have a family history of psychological diseases (such as depression) in your family
- Test your drugs before use at a drugs-testing service
- Make sure to prepare a good set and setting for drug use
- Only use drugs sparingly. Keep track of your use over time.
- Decide in advance how much you are planning to use over the evening, and stick to that.
- Do not combine drugs with other substances or medicines
- Do not participate in traffic after drug use
- Prevent infectious diseases; Use your own snorter/sniffer and do not share paraphernalia with others
- After insufflating, rinse your nose well with lukewarm saline water (for example, by using a nasal spray or nasal douche)
- Are you, or one of your friends not feeling well? Keep an eye out for one another, take care of each other and visit the first aid (if one is available)
- Call 112 in a life-threatening situation
- Eat healthy before and after drug use. In particular, foods with lots of antioxidants and vitamins (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, kiwi, broccoli). This is perhaps the most important tip! It can be difficult to eat during and after drug use, but make sure to try to eat something anyway. Eating well is a great way to reduce the hangover! If you can’t hold in solid foods, try juices, breakfast drinks, and smoothies.
Do you want more information about amphetamine, do you have any questions or do you want to talk to someone about your amphetamine use? Click here for our contact details in your area or e-mail us via email@example.com
How do you dose powder or capsules?
To be able to weigh a certain dose properly, you need a good scale. Have a scale that can weigh milligrams, to 3 decimal places (0.001 mg). A scale that weighs 0.01 (2 decimal places) may be just accurate enough for MDMA, but not for many other substances.
Where can you find such a scale?
On the large international online webshops you can find scales for around 20 euros that can weigh 3 figures after the decimal point. You can buy empty capsules in different sizes at pharmacies, smart shops or drugstores. Some are also suitable for vegetarians. You can write the drug and dosage on the capsule with a waterproof marker or a CD marker.