Speedballing is a common form of polysubstance abuse, and a quite dangerous one. A speedball is a combination of stimulants and depressants, most often injected. Use of this drug combination is incredibly addictive and dangerous, and speedballs actually made our list of the 5 Most Dangerous Drugs out there.
What is a Speedball?
A speedball may be made of many different things. Normally, it is the combination of heroin and cocaine. However, people may use other opioids like morphine or oxycodone. Some people also use a different stimulant, most commonly methamphetamine.
The drugs are combined together, or taken one after the other to produce a unique high. The two drugs have opposite effects, creating a high that seems to negate some negative side effects of each drug.
The heroin acts as a downer, inhibiting the central nervous system. This causes drowsiness, euphoria, and a calming effect. On its own, heroin is a strong depressant, or downer.
The cocaine, on the other hand, is a stimulant. It activates the CNS, causing an increase in energy and alertness, rapid heart rate, and more euphoria. Together with the heroin, it helps the person from nodding off or feeling sick.
Side Effects of Speedballing
One of the biggest dangers of speedballing is overdose. With speedballing, the overdose risk is significantly higher than using either of these drugs individually. Because the drugs can mitigate the “negative” side effects in the moment, people often do not realizing that they have gone over their limit.
The other large risk of course is addiction. Both of these substance are highly addictive, and using them together just makes this risk even stronger. An individual may find themselves addicted to one of these drugs or both of them with regular speedball use.
Furthermore, it carries with it all of the side effects of both heroin and cocaine use. People may experience sickness upon withdrawal, changes in mood, mental health disorders, and all of the normal side effects of addiction.
Recovery and Treatment
When somebody is abusing speedballs, addiction treatment is truly the best way to get help. Without professional help, the withdrawal process can be grueling. At a treatment center and detox facility, you can get the help you need to make this process as painless as possible.
A rehab facility will also help you find triggers, build coping mechanisms, and look at your drug abuse more closely. Treatment professionals will help you craft a relapse prevention plan that fits your needs and works for you. You will gain a whole new set of tools to live a life free of drugs and alcohol.
If you or somebody you know is struggling with addiction, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of interventionists, sober coaches, and counselors is here to support you.