What is speed?

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

Energetic feeling

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.

Jaw clenching

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.

Decreased appetite

Stimulation of the fight-or-flight response in the body can suppress appetite.

Mood swings

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 libido

Increased sexual desires. You feel more attracted to others and feel a stronger need for sexual intimacy.


You are easily irritated or agitated.

Accelerated thoughts

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.

Head ache

Head ache

Increased sweating

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.

Dilated pupils

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.

Dry mouth

Stimulation of sympathetic pathways decrease saliva production, this causes the mouth to feel dry.

Erection problems

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).

Dose and route of administration

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.

Snorting dose
Low 5 – 15 mg
Medium 15 – 40 mg
Strong 40+ mg
Oral dose
Low 5 – 30 mg
Medium 30 – 80 mg
Strong 80+ mg


Risico’s op korte termijn

Epileptic seizure

Taking this drug increases the risk of having an epileptic seizure if you are prone to it.

Risico’s op lange termijn

Physical addiction

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.

Unhealthy skin

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.

Liver damage

Amphetamines (MDMA, speed, meth) can affect liver function in a multitude of ways. These include cell damage because of overheating, toxic metabolites, and increased blood clotting.


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.

Unity tips

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 info@unity.nl


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.

I am planning to use cannabis and speed (amphetamine). What are the consequences?

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.

I am planning to combine 4-FA with speed and/or ecstasy (MDMA). What are the consequences?

4-FA is a stimulant that can cause complaints on your cardiovascular system. This risk is increased by combining it with other stimulants such as speed or MDMA. The effects reinforce each other and because 4-FA continues to work for a long time, you increase the risk of unpleasant side effects and risks such as: tight jaws, muscle tension, heart palpitations, pressure on the chest, sleeping problems, a strong hangover and hangover the days after. You are also more likely to suffer from severe headaches.

Someone close to me uses this substance almost every weekend. Should I worry?

When someone close to you uses a substance often it is normal to worry. There are risks: to physical health; that he/she will gradually use more and more and become dependent. When only using it on weekends, there is the possibility that he/she is able anymore to go out without using. It can then be useful to have a conversation with each other in an open, non-judgmental way. Mention the impact the use has on you as a person, for example that you are worried. If you would like tips or advice for this, please contact the addiction care institution in your region.

I am planning to use speed (amphetamine) in combination with another drug. What are the consequences?

Combining different drugs is extra risky and unpredictable. If you combine, you are more likely to have problems with your health. Check the theme combination use for more information.

Cannabis and speed

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.

Is it true that speed use can damage your teeth?

If you use speed often, your teeth can suffer. You clamp your teeth together or grind your teeth, which can cause extra pressure and therefore wear. You can also bite your tongue or damage your gums, and get wounds that irritate and don’t heal quickly. Bacteria also have an earlier chance to inflame your gums due to reduced saliva production. This in combination with drinking sweet drinks is very bad for your teeth. Therefore, use sugar-free chewing gum (or special chewing gum for your teeth) and take good care of your teeth after using speed. This prevents unnecessary damage to your teeth!

What is the difference between wet and dry speed (amphetamine)?

Wet speed is speed dissolved in a solvent, for example methanol.

To get from wet speed to dry speed you have to let it dry for a while. The solvent will then evaporate. Solvents are toxic and you don’t want to ingest them. When the speed is dry, there is no difference from speed that was already dry when it was sold.

It is often thought that wet speed is better or fresher than dried. It would come straight from the source. But those solvents can just as easily be added again after cutting it. The fact that speed is wet tells you nothing about the quality. The test service also shows that wet speed is still often cut, for example with caffeine.

But to reduce the risks, it is better to let your speed dry first! That also makes it easier to use.

Can the use of speed (amphetamine) damage your brain?

In animal experiments, amphetamine has been shown to cause brain damage. However, this has not been demonstrated in humans. Several studies show that people who use amphetamines have impaired functions such as memory, concentration and attention and decision-making. The problem is that these people have often also used other substances and it is therefore difficult to say whether this is only due to the use of amphetamine. It is also still unclear whether this recovers if you have stopped for a longer period of time.

According to various researchers, the brain damage attributed to MDMA is partly determined by combination with amphetamine use. In any case, it seems that the use of amphetamine increases the risk of brain damage. More and more research is appearing that makes this plausible.

Are there different types of speed (amphetamine)?

Yes, there are three forms of amphetamine: left rotation, right rotation, and racemic (50-50 left- and right rotation).

Amphetamine can be dextro-rotatory and levo-rotatory. Left-handed amphetamine is also called levo- or l-amphetamine. Dextrorotatory amphetamine is also known as dex- or d-amphetamine. Dextrorotatory amphetamine fits better on the receptors of the brain than levorotatory, and therefore has a stronger effect. Dextrorotatory and levorotatory amphetamines can be compared with a right and left glove. If you put the left glove on your right hand, the glove is the same, but it does not fit optimally because it is mirrored. The amphetamine that is offered ‘on the street’ in the Netherlands is always a combination of dextrorotatory and levorotatory amphetamine. This is called racemic.

In addition, there are other substances that resemble amphetamines:

  1. Ephedrine is found in the ephedra plant and also has a stimulant effect.
  2. 4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) is a different drug than amphetamine, with effects that are similar to those of MDMA.
  3. Methamphetamine (meth, crystal, Ice, Tina, Shabu) is a different drug than amphetamine, with effects similar to it. It is often experienced as very addictive. Methamphetamine is a variant of amphetamine and is rare in the Netherlands. An important difference with amphetamine is that methamphetamine dissolves better in fat than regular amphetamine and is broken down more slowly. As a result, methamphetamine enters the brain more easily and has a longer effect. It is 2 times stronger than the (dextrorotatory) dex-amphetamine. In addition, methamphetamine is smokeable.

What about the law and speed (amphetamine)?

Amphetamine is considered a hard drug in the Opium Act. It is on list 1. This means that possession, production and trade are punishable by law. The police will generally not intervene when a quantity is intended for personal use. However, the police can confiscate the drug.

The police consider possession of a 1/2 gram as intended for their own use. Unless there are clear suspicions that you are a dealer.

During some events or in some places, stricter controls can be applied, then a so-called ‘zero tolerance’ policy is enforced. This means that at those moments stricter penalties can be imposed, even for the possession of small quantities.

Is it possible to overdose on speed (amphetamine)?

You can overdose on speed. Whether a dose is harmful depends, among other things, on how often someone uses it. It is therefore difficult to give clear advice about a safe dosage of speed, this is different for everyone.

Symptoms that are consistent with an overdose of speed are: anxiety, agitation/aggression, motor restlessness, tremors (involuntary movements), sudden muscle twitching, psychosis and an excited delirium syndrome. Ultimately, an overdose of speed can lead to high blood pressure, overheating (hyperthermia), cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, seizures, acute kidney and/or liver failure, electrolyte disturbances and in rare cases even death.

Is Ritalin (methylphenidate) the same as speed?

No it is not the same. The active ingredient in Ritalin is methylphenidate. This is a substance similar to amphetamine, but not the same. Although the effect of methylphenidate is similar to amphetamine, it is less strong.

Does amphetamine hit you faster when you snort it compared to swallowing?

Speed/amphetamine is used in different ways. The most common ways are snorting and swallowing. Drugs that are snorted enter the bloodstream faster through the nasal mucosa and therefore work faster than drugs that are swallowed. The peak is higher but the effects do not last as long. Because it works faster, snorting is more addictive than swallowing, because your brain makes the connection between the moment of use and the effect, so that the association between the drug and the effect is stronger! Keep in mind that the dose is higher when swallowing than when snorting. So you need less when you snort.

What if I have medical complaints after the use of partydrugs?

Some complaints after using drugs can last longer, A medical explanation or even treatment may then be necessary. The Brijder has set up a national consultancy for party drugs related medical complaints. If you have medical complaints after the use of party drugs, you can call the consultancy: 088 – 358 29 40. This service is only available in the Netherlands.


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