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Amphetamine Category: Stimulants

Also called: speed, amphetamine sulphate, uppers, phet, billy, whiz, sulph, base, dexedrine, dexamphetamine.

How it’s used

Amphetamine is a stimulant (‘upper’). It can be a powder or tablet which you sniff, swallow or inject. Speed is an off-white or pinkish powder and can sometimes look like crystals. Base speed is purer and is a pinkish grey colour and feels like putty. You can dab speed onto your gums or sniff in lines like cocaine using a rolled up bank note. You can also roll it up in a cigarette paper and swallow. This is called a ‘speedbomb’. You can mix it in drinks or inject it. You can smoke methamphetamine in its ‘crystal’ form. It starts to affect you within 20 minutes and lasts for 4-6 hours.

Short-term effects

Long-term effects

Other dangers

If you are pregnant

Do not take if you are pregnant as we don’t know what the risks are to your baby.


You can become addicted to speed physically and psychologically, so your body craves it and you find it hard to cope with life without it.


You may have anxiety and panic attacks after withdrawal from speed. You may feel you have no energy for weeks afterwards. 

How long does it stay in your system?

Speed will show up in a urine test for 1-2 days. (The length of time depends on the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only).

What help is available?

« Back to Types of Drugs page
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