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Speedball Drug

Speedball Drug Effects, Legality, Overdose Symptoms & Addiction Treatment Programs

What Is A Speedball Drugs?

Cocaine and heroin often are abused together in a combination known as a “speedball.” Cocaine and heroin exert different effects on the brain, and little is known scientifically about how the two drugs interact. Current medications for heroin abuse, such as methadone, are only moderately effective in reducing speedball abuse and at present, there are no effective medications for cocaine abuse. Combinations of medications that target the effects of either cocaine or heroin have shown promise in reducing speedball self-administration in preclinical studies. [1]

Mixing Opioids And Stimulants

All drugs have risks, but mixing and matching are one of the worst things one can do as they can produce unintended, even fatal effects. It’s important for people to know that taking drugs in combination can be far more dangerous than taking each of those substances by themselves.

An example of this would be if a person were to take opioids at the same time as they took a stimulant such as methamphetamine or amphetamine, or cocaine. So, opioids are nervous system depressants, and they slow down your nervous system, they slow down your breathing rate. Whilst stimulants speed up your body’s need for oxygen, that can make it more likely that you would have a drug overdose and potentially die.

Speedball Drug
Mixing Heroin (an Opioid Depressant) and Cocaine (a Stimulant) is commonly known as a speedball drug.

Speedball Drugs

Cocaine is a stimulant and heroin is a depressant, so taking the two together has a push-pull effect. When combined, they’re supposed to give you an intense rush while canceling out the effects of the other.

Cocaine Effects

Short-term health effects of cocaine include:

  • Extreme happiness and energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Hypersensitivity to light, sound, and touch
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others [2]

Heroin Effects

People who use heroin report feeling a “rush” (a surge of pleasure, or euphoria). However, there are other common heroin effects, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Warm flushing of the skin
  • Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe itching
  • Clouded mental functioning
  • Going “on the nod,” a back-and-forth state of being conscious and semiconscious [3]

Respiratory failure is another risk of speedball drugs. The stimulating effects of cocaine cause your body to use more oxygen, while the depressant effects of heroin slow your breathing rate. This combination significantly increases your chance of experiencing respiratory depression or respiratory failure. In other words, it can cause fatally slow breathing.

Effects Of Speedball Drug

Death from overdose can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. Many people who use cocaine also drink alcohol at the same time, which is particularly risky and can lead to overdose. Others mix cocaine with heroin, another dangerous—and deadly—combination.

Laboratory submissions of “speedballs” (cocaine and heroin) and “super speedballs” (cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl) continue to increase. When mixing cocaine and opioids intentionally, the desired outcome is to experience the “high” of the cocaine with the depressant (heroin and/ or fentanyl) helping to ease the otherwise sharp comedown after the effects of the cocaine subside.

However, many times cocaine and fentanyl are packaged together for street sale without the users’—and sometimes the dealers’— knowledge. These mixtures target users who are typically unaware they are consuming fentanyl and may not have the opioid tolerance of habitual opioid users and thus are more likely to experience an adverse reaction than those who intentionally sought out the opioid. [4]

Speedball Drug Side Effects

Outside of their more pleasurable effects, speedball drugs can produce some intense, harmful side effects.

Stimulants, including cocaine, may cause:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Increased body temperature

Depressants, including heroin, may cause:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Clouded mental function

When you take cocaine and heroin together, these side effects might feel more intense.

You might also experience:

  • Confusion
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Paranoia
  • Stupor

Is Speedball Drug Illegal?

Heroin is a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and serve no legitimate medical purpose in the United States. [5]

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and has an accepted medical use for treatment in the United States. Cocaine hydrochloride solution (4 percent and 10 percent) is used primarily as a topical local anesthetic for the upper respiratory tract. It also is used to reduce bleeding of the mucous membranes in the mouth, throat, and nasal cavities. However, more effective products have been developed for these purposes, and cocaine is now rarely used medically in the United States. [6]

The fact that heroin is illegal, and the combination of the two is not medically accepted due to its harmful effects and high risks of overdose, NO, speedball drug is not a legal thing to do.

Speedball Drug
Speedballs have quite the reputation for being the cause of several high-profile deaths and overdoses.

Factors That Influence How Speedballing Drugs Impacts The User

Evidence suggests that nonmedical opioid users quite commonly use other drugs, and this polysubstance use contributes to increased morbidity and mortality. Reasons for adding other substances to opioids include:

  • Enhancement of the high (additive or synergistic reward)
  • Compensation for undesired effects of one drug by taking another
  • Compensation for negative internal states, or a common predisposition that is related to all substances consumption

But consumption of multiple substances may itself have unique effects. To achieve the maximum benefit, addressing the overlap of opioids with multiple other substances is needed across the spectrum of prevention and treatment interventions, overdose reversal, public health surveillance, and research. By addressing the multiple patterns of consumption and the reasons that people mix opioids with other substances, interventions and research may be enhanced. [7]

Speedball Drug Overdose

According to a 2018 National Vital Statistic Report, cocaine and heroin are in the top 10 drugs most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the United States. [8] One of the biggest risks of using speedballs is related to the fact that the effects of cocaine wear off faster than heroin. As a result, if the person uses much more heroin than their system can handle, they may experience an opioid overdose and respiratory failure as the stimulant effects of cocaine subside.

Speedball Drug Overdose Symptoms

According to Healthline, if you or anyone else experiences any of the following signs or symptoms, call 911 right away:

  • Slow, shallow, or erratic breathing
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Inability to talk
  • Pale or clammy skin
  • Vomiting
  • Bluish lips or fingernails
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Choking sounds or snore-like gurgling

If you’re concerned about law enforcement getting involved, you don’t need to mention the substances used over the phone (though it’s best to give them as much information as possible). Just be sure to tell them about specific symptoms so they can send the appropriate response. [9]

Break Free From Speedball Addiction

Clearing from the body and overcoming withdrawal symptoms is the goal of synthetic drug detox, which is the first step of treatment for addiction. We Level Up has a comprehensive team prescribing medications that can alleviate your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours during the detox. We prioritize your safety and comfort because this is a fragile and challenging time for you.

Once the synthetic drug detox is complete, a new doorway in treatment opens up, which is referred to as a residential level of care. The residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.

Speedball Drug
Without treatment, speedball drugs can quickly destroy your life.

We Level Up treatment tailors the program to the individual and the individual to the program of recovery. We begin by assessing our client’s history of mental health, drugs, and alcohol-related past. The needs of each patient are specific and personalized because we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment. The supportive environment is designed accordingly to give patients 24-hour care for the synthetic drug detox. Most importantly, we hope to have our clients live comfortably within the facility during this crucial and fragile time.

How We Can Help? Searched for “Speedball drug addiction detox?” or are you seeking a national inpatient rehab destination?

Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:

We Level Up prioritizes removing temptations for relapse and applying an air of recovery into every component of the treatment timeline, including synthetic drug detox. We Level Up finds that when clients are living in a supportive community, especially during their early recovery process, they can truly focus on what matters most: their recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with speedball drug abuse, reach out to We Level Up because we may be able to help you explore treatment options.

Sources:

[1] Combining Medications May Be Effective Treatment for “Speedball” Abuse – National Institute on Drug Abuse
[2] Cocaine DrugFacts – National Institute on Drug Abuse
[3] Heroin DrugFacts – National Institute on Drug Abuse
[4] 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment – Drug Enforcement Administration
[5] Heroin Fast Facts – National Drug Intelligence Center
[6] Cocaine – Drug Enforcement Administration
[7] Polysubstance use in the U.S. opioid crisis – National Center for Biotechnology Information
[8] Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: The United States, 2011–2016 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
[9] Everything You Need to Know About Speedballs – https://www.healthline.com/health/speedball-drug#experience