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Amphetamine

Stimulant

Amphetamine is a synthetic drug and one of the most impure illegal drugs currently available on the street. Purity may be up to 10% but is more commonly less than 5% with some samples as low as 1%. Amphetamine is often mixed (cut) with sugars, caffeine and/or ephedrine and sometimes with paracetamol, Vitamin C, chalk and talcum powder.

Amphetamine (commonly referred to as speed) is usually an off-white or pinkish powder and can sometimes look like small crystals. The ‘base’ form is usually purer and is a pinkish-grey colour and feels like putty.

Users feel very up, alert and energised, but it can also make them agitated and aggressive. Speed makes people feel wide-awake, excited and chatty and is used by clubbers because it gives them the energy to dance for hours without getting tired.

Eating

Eating

Dabbed onto the gums, mixed into drinks, or rolled up in a cigarette paper and swallowed.

Injecting

Injecting

Prepared to make a solution for injecting.

Snorting

Snorting

Divided into lines and snorted up the nose.

  • Powerful stimulant
  • Feeling excited and chatty
  • Hyperactivity
  • Nausea
  • Delusions of power
  • Increased aggressiveness and irritability
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mental illness including paranoia and acute psychotic episodes
  • Risk of death when mixing amphetamine with anti-depressants or alcohol
  • Increased strain on heart

Risks from injecting:

  • Overdosing
  • Damage to veins and arteries
  • Ulceration and gangrene
  • Contracting a blood borne virus (if sharing needles)
Amphetamine powder

Structure

Molecular structure of amphetamine

Street Names

speed, fet, whizz, powder, white, sulph, paste, billy, fettle, throttle, base, uppers, dexies

Legal Status

Class B Substance

Possession of the drug can lead to up to five years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to 14 years in jail, an unlimited fine or both.

When prepared for injection

Class A Substance

Possession of the drug can lead to up to seven years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to life imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.

For more information about drug classifications and the associated penalties visit the Home Office website.