Speed: Living Life in the FAST Lane
Speed is a part of the amphetamine class of abused substances. On the street it goes by many names: methamphetamine, meth, speed, crystal, chalk, ice and other names depending on the type of speed and its form, i.e. crystalline, powder, etc.
While speed has been around (and abused) since the early 1960s, experts have seen a growth in the number of victims caught in the snare of speed addiction. Let there be no doubt: speed in all its forms is highly addictive and extremely detrimental to physical health. It’s cheap, readily available and addicts keep coming back over and over – even as they see the physical destruction speed is doing to their health.
It doesn’t take long for a speed addiction to take its toll on physical health.
Speed addicts don’t care. The drive to get high is so strong that kicking a speed addiction is difficult, and almost certainly requires intervention by recovery professionals who understand the difficulties speed freaks face. Many addiction specialists understand speed addiction because they were once throwing money at a substance that was destroying their health.
Why is speed addiction so dangerous?
Speed not only impacts brain activity, it also takes a toll on the physical health of the addict – creating physical and mental symptoms that are difficult to hide including:
• paranoia (that may lead to violent outbursts)
• increased breathing rate
• hallucinations and psychotic episodes
• nervousness and restlessness
• inability to sleep
• fever and excessive sweating
• blurred vision
• intense headaches
• nausea and vomiting
• permanent damage to the nervous system, especially in brain activity
• heart failure and heart attacks, often fatal
• stroke that causes permanent damage to the brain and the body
• hepatitis B and C
• HIV/AIDS when addicts share needles to inject speed
• high risk of dependence and difficulty kicking this dangerous activity
• cognition issues
• bouts (jags) of sleeplessness and complete inertia
• dental problems (meth mouth)
• extreme weight loss and loss of appetite
Speed, in its many forms, is always dangerous, always highly (and quickly) addictive, and always difficult to kick. Relapse prevention therapies and strategies are useful in coping with the effects of withdrawal but relapse is often an on-going problem for long-time addicts.
Addicts also must address the psychological problems related to speed abuse and long-term addiction including: attention deficit and loss of memory, decreased impulse control, delusions, paranoia, panic disorder and panic attacks, and loss of judgement that leads to reckless and highly aggressive behaviors, even toward loved ones.
Are you addicted to speed?
You may wonder. You just started using speed. It doesn’t control your life (or wallet) yet! But, how do you know you’ve crossed the line into an addiction to a very dangerous – perhaps lethal – drug? Ask yourself some simple questions. The answers will tell you whether you’re a speed addict who needs help with recovery.
Do I use speed every day?
Do I substitute a different type of speed when my drug of choice is unavailable?
Do I abuse speed to fight depression, loneliness, lack of purpose, and unhappiness?
Do I ever become aggressive or hostile when I use speed?
Have I ever experienced symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal?
Have I ever lied about my abuse of speed?
Has my consumption of speed increased?
Do I think about speed when I don’t have it?
Do I continue to abuse speed even though it’s caused serious personal problems for my loved ones and for me?
Have I ever been arrested for substance abuse?
When you answer these questions honestly, a picture begins to emerge. You’re addicted and it’s hurting you and those about whom you care the most – your family.
Speed Addiction Therapies
Most speed addicts require a short- and long-term solution to an addiction to speed. A combination of traditional recovery therapies delivered by professionals at a recognized rehab facility can be tailored to suit the needs and personality of each resident.
During the detoxification process, as the drug slowly leaves your system, you’ll engage in a variety of therapies to discover the combination that best works for you.
There are numerous evidence-based therapies recognized by the mainstream medical community, while other forms of therapy deliver results reported by addicts learning the coping skills to live a clean and sober life.
Some of these therapies include:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies (CBT)
- Dual Diagnosis Therapy
- Clinical Hypnosis
- Animal-assisted therapies including Equine Therapy and Dolphin Assisted Therapy
Using a combination of traditional and holistic therapies, addicts learn the coping skills required to improve quality of life, kick a habit that’s dangerously unhealthy, and improve the lives of family members who mean so much to individuals.
Hawaii Island Recovery– a client-focused, eight-bed recovery facility located on the Island of Hawaii – provides the support and tools needed to kick an addiction to speed. HIR also provides on-going aftercare to lessen the likelihood of a relapse, a real possibility for many speed addicts.
Call one of our counsellors today and start your journey to a better life for you and those important people who rely on you.