Amphetamines (am-fet-a-meen) also known as speed or base, were first used to treat asthma and was also given to World War II soldiers to combat tiredness. Today it is used as a medicine to treat conditions like ADHD and chronic fatigue, although it remains a popular recreational drug often being used in clubs and as a performance enhancing drug.

Amphetamine is a stimulant (upper) drugs which make you feel energetic and confident. It also increases your heart rate and breathing. People using it can experience increased alertness, concentration, motivation and sex drive and a decreased

appetite and desire to sleep. Other effects include jaw clenching, restlessness, aggression and paranoia.

It comes in an off-white or pinkish powder and is usually snorted but it can be swallowed in a cigarette paper (bombed) in a pill, diluted in juice or injected into a vein. Injecting is strongly discouraged due to the risk of vein damage or getting blood borne viruses including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The purity of amphetamines varies which can make it difficult to judge your dose. An average dose for snorting will give around 25 lines from a gram (this dose should not be taken as a recommendation).

Snorting and injecting often causes effects to come on quicker than swallowing and it can be a more intense experience although effects tend to last longer when the drug is swallowed.

People taking amphetamines can feel a need to redose often which will lead to increased damage and increased risk of dependence.

What you need to know

If you choose to take amphetamines:

-Eat and sleep well before and after taking amphetamines to replace energy and nutrients lost during use.
-If snorting, wash your nose out after each session and use vitamin E cream to reduce damage.
-Avoid using a note as a snorter and try not to share- a post it or a straw is disposable, reducing the risk of blood borne viruses.
-Amphetamines can cause jaw clenching so have chewing gum handy
-If injecting: don’t use citric acid (dissolve in sterile water), use the smallest needle possible, only use clean equipment, rotate your sites, wash injecting sites/ hands and never share equipment!
-Try to have a few drug free days a week to allow your body to recover.
-Comedowns can be unpleasant so stay with friends.
-Avoid mixing with alcohol and other drugs.