Speedballing Dangers

June 19, 2017

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Speedballing Dangers

Speedball, or speedballing, is an exciting, fast-paced sport that combines many aspects of other sports. Speedballing dangers are minimal for those athletically inclined, who enjoy quick reflexes, and it can be a lot of fun.

It is a rather sad statement that this definition has become hard to find, having been superseded by the now more common definition for speedball as: a combination of two drugs, one a stimulant such as cocaine, the other a depressant such as heroin or morphine, the two drugs taken intravenously, usually in the same syringe, to achieve maximum effects. This is also known as a powerball. The drugs can also be insufflated, a medical term loosely used here to refer to “snorting” or sharp inhalation through the nose, though purists may say this technically is not a speedball.

Effects Experienced from Speedballing

Speedballing dangers stem from the effects that are produced by abusing this drug. The effects are a combination of the euphoria of heroin, along with the energy of cocaine.

Speedballs are appealing to addicts as a way to achieve the best effects of both drugs while negating the less desirable effects. Heroin negates the anxiety and paranoia created by cocaine, and the cocaine negates the sedation of the heroin.

The cocaine wears off long before the heroin does and the user may experience heightened effects from heroin when this happens.

Speedballing dangers and side effects can include:

  • Increased blood pressure and fluctuating heart rate
  • Headache, drowsiness and/or confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of coordination and motor functioning
  • Loss of memory and/or ability to learn

More Speedballing Dangers

The speedball drug high does not last very long and withdrawal effects are painful, so many users choose to use the drug repeatedly. This results in a rapid cycle of addiction as their body chemistry adjusts to the drugs. Because heroin and cocaine have opposite effects on the body, combining them causes a rapid change between energetic and sedated that is extremely rough on organs.

Long-term speedballing effects can include:

  • Brain damage and loss of vision
  • Organ failure of the kidneys, livers, and heart as well as respiratory failure and collapsed veins.
  • Mental illness: high risk of psychosis, long-term depression, anxiety

There is also the risk of contraction of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C as addicts are repeatedly injecting cocaine (the high lasts for about ten minutes when injected) and users are more likely to share needles.

Heroin and cocaine are two of the top three drugs most commonly associated with overdose deaths. (The third is prescription painkillers.) Combining and injecting these substances, which are also the most likely to be impure (i.e. cut with unknown filler substances) poses obvious dangers. It’s no surprise then that the addiction rate for speedballs is higher than those of heroin and cocaine use, and overuse and abuse lead to speedballing dangers, which have been commonly associated with overdose.

The overdose risk is also increased as the user may inject more heroin than usual because of the counter-effects of cocaine and when the cocaine wears off, the heroin dosage may become damaging or fatal. This occurs as the cocaine speeds up the heart rate and eventually wears off. When it subsides, the heroin takes hold of the heart and slows it down significantly. The rapid change in heart rate is the most common cause of overdose among speedball users. Such an overdose is often fatal as many celebrities have died as a result of it, including comedian John Belushi, musician Layne Staley, and actor River Phoenix. Several more have suffered near fatal heart attacks.

Rehab Options

As with any other substance abuse, the first step is to recognize the problem and seek treatment. Because of the intensity of heroin and cocaine’s effects on the body, medically supervised detox is highly recommended to combat the intensity of the withdrawal. Contact Stop Your Addiction today to receive help.

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