Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Speed can lead to sleep deprivation

Speed can lead to sleep deprivation
beginning of content

Speed

Speed is a drug that targets your brain’s ‘reward system’ to produce a positive sensation that can become addictive. Using speed can lead to health, social and financial problems.

What is speed?

Speed is classed as a ‘stimulant’ because it speeds up the messages going to and from your brain. It is part of the amphetamine family of drugs, which includes the more potent crystal meth (ice).

Some amphetamines are prescribed by doctors to treat medical conditions such as narcolepsy (an uncontrollable urge to sleep) or ADHD. Others, including speed, are produced and sold illegally.

Speed powder can range in colour from white to brown and may contain traces of grey or pink. Its ingredients can vary so you don’t really know how strong each dose is, or even what’s in it.

Speed has a strong smell and bitter taste. It can be swallowed, injected, smoked or snorted. It’s also known as whizz, gogo, pure and gas.

Speed effects

Speed has a lot of physical effects. For example, it increases your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, and can stop you from feeling hungry and increase your sex drive.

You might take speed to feel ‘pumped’ and happy, to get an energy boost and to feel more alert.

The effects are felt immediately if the drug is injected or smoked, or within half an hour if snorted or swallowed. They last up to 6 hours, depending on the dose. Coming down can take days. You might experience poor sleep and exhaustion, headaches, dizziness, hallucinations or paranoia or depression while you’re coming down.

People who take speed often sweat, grind their teeth and overheat.

People who take speed for long periods can lose weight, get heart and kidney problems, become dependent on it, develop dental problems, have a stroke and increase their risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis infections. Sometimes heavy users develop psychosis that usually goes away when they stop taking the drug.

Taking speed with alcohol, over-the-counter drugs and prescribed tranquilisers (for example Xanax or Valium) can cause unpredictable, dangerous effects.

Find out about speed’s mental health effects including speed psychosis and treatment for drug addiction on the Druginfo website.

Last reviewed: March 2017

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 20 results

Amphetamines - Better Health Channel

Amphetamines are psychostimulant drugs that speed up the workings of the brain.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Amphetamines: what are they? - myDr.com.au

Amphetamines (speed) belong to a group of drugs called psychostimulants.

Read more on myDr website

Amphetamines | Drugs | ReachOut Australia

Amphetamines are a stimulant (or upper) drug that speeds up messages sent to and from the brain.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

ADF - Drug Facts - Amphetamines

Amphetamines are stimulant drugs, which means they speed up the messages travelling between the brain and the body.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Ice | Drugs | ReachOut Australia

Ice, or crystal meth, is a very pure form of methamphetamine. Its a stimulant drug that speeds up messages to and from the brain. Find out more at ReachOut.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Ecstasy, ICE and other Amphetamines TINO : Tune In Not Out

Our music section is about helping you to think about the positive ways and impact of your music engagement

Read more on Tune In Not Out website

PMA and PMMA

PMA & PMMA are stimulants with hallucinogenic effects similar to MDMA. In fact most people who take PMA or PMMA think they are taking ecstasy.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Ecstasy: what is it? - myDr.com.au

Ecstasy is a street name for the drug MDMA (methylenedioxymethylamphetamine). It is a type of stimulant.

Read more on myDr website

Cocaine: what is it? - myDr.com.au

Cocaine is a stimulant drug and is made from the leaves of the coca bush. It is most commonly snorted.

Read more on myDr website

Understanding amphetamines for young people

Read more on headspace website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback