Speedball: Everything We Know

Speedball: Everything We Know


A speedball is a mix of Cocaine (COC) and opioids like 6-MAM or Morphine substances meant to generate a specific, exceptionally powerful high. A speedball is a combination of a stimulant with a depressant that can produce an instant euphoric rush. Other common speedball variations apart from the COC and 6-MAM include

  • Methamphetamine with Xanax
  • Cocaine with alcohol
  • MMJ with ecstasy
  • Benzodiazepines with cocaine
  • Amphetamines with alcohol

Speedballs are highly potent and can lead to severe consequences if taken overdose. 

Table of Contents:

The Speedball Drug Combo

6-MAM and Cocaine are the most common drug combinations in the speedball. The full effects of interactions between 6-MAM and cocaine are unknown. However, we know that this combination isn't just the same as combining the results of two different medications.

6-MAM is a drug that is used to cut down the cocaine induced agitation, jitters and hallucinations. Cocaine on the other hand reduces the dampening effects of 6-MAM by managing the sedating effects thereby playing a balancing act. This makes the user get pleasurable high and easier comedown.

Furthermore, this speedball combination strongly influences the dopamine system, which contributes to the desire to use this drug combination indefinitely. This may result in a cumulative effect rather than a reaction influenced by one substance or the other.

Because of the combination of the two substances, how they work on the body, and the potential physical and mental effects of using the drugs together, this massive action on dopamine provides reinforcement for continuing use of speedballs, which can be very harmful. 

Speedball Statistics

  1. As per the NDTA (National Drug Threat  Assessment) reports, the usage of speedballs ( cocaine and 6-MAM) and super speedballs (cocaine, 6-MAM, and fentanyl) is on the increase.
  2. Ohio reported the highest number of speedball and super speedball deaths. In numbers, the deaths due to speedballs increased from 3 in 2013 to 1013 in 2017.
  3. In 2018, Columbus District Office reported the maximum number of cocaine and 6-MAM overdose deaths.
  4. The production of potential pure cocaine production had increased from 530 metric tonnes to 1030 metric tonnes in Columbus.
  5. In 2015, fentanyl and cocaine related deaths in Florida have increased from 15% to 42%.

How Does It Work?

People who abuse speedballs experience a pleasurable effect, which alludes to the combination's opposing stimulant and depressive effects.

Below mentioned are a few effects of heroin or other opioids:

  • Euphoria.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Relaxation.
  • Pain alleviation

The following are some of the desirable effects of cocaine or comparable stimulants

  • Alertness and a burst of energy
  • Subjective enhancement of cognitive.
  • Increased self-assurance.
  • Enhanced libido.

Both groups of drugs generate a pleasant euphoric experience that might perpetuate dangerous abuse habits when used together.

Unfortunately, while speedballing may alleviate some of the harmful subjective consequences of using one drug at a time, it may also present the same health concerns as each substance, as well as some new ones.

Why Do People Abuse Speedballs?

The use of this combination seems like a way to avoid some adverse effects of either 6-MAM or cocaine while getting a distinct euphoric and energized reaction from their combination.

The stimulating qualities of the combination, according to popular belief, will counteract the depressant's undesirable consequences.  

What Happens When You Speedball?

The truth is that neither substance cancels out or balances out the other. Rather, their harmful side effects become even more pronounced. Mixing 6-MAM and cocaine raises the chance of overdose and long-term psychological and physical difficulties. When you take two different medications simultaneously, your body is forced to metabolize both of them at the same time.

One of the most significant hazards of 6-MAM and cocaine is that they can confuse the central nervous system's activities if they counteract one another. This counterbalance creates a “push-pull” reaction. Cocaine, for example, causes the body to need more oxygen. 6-MAM, on the other hand, slows down the respiratory system. As a result, the body is unsure whether to breathe more or less. This is the same effect speedballing has on the body's other systems and organs.

Mixing Stimulants And Depressants Can Be Dangerous

Some of the harmful side effects of antidepressants can be concealed stimulants. One of the most severe risks is that 6-MAM lasts longer in the body than cocaine. As a result, the full effect of 6-MAM may be felt by the user, who may have taken more 6-MAM than intended while the effects were concealed. The user is then in grave danger of overdosing on 6-MAM.

Speedballing is predicated on the erroneous assumption that combining a stimulant with a depressant will make both of them safer. In reality, it exposes the user to a slew of dangers, including the genuine chance of a fatal overdose.

Speedballing's Short And Long-Term Effects

When used simultaneously, both 6-MAM and cocaine may create a robust rush while negating the adverse effects of the other.

The short-term adverse effects of speedballing:

  • An exhilarating rush
  • High blood pressure
  • Heartbeats that are too fast or too irregular
  • Anxiety and agitation are two symptoms of anxiety.
  • A rise in body temperature
  • Drowsiness
  • Breathing rate decreases
  • Heart rate has slowed
  • Impairment of the mind
  • Incoherence
  • Confusion
  • Hazy vision
  • Paranoia
  • Stupor

The long-term adverse effects of speedballing

  • Injecting oneself with HIV or other infections
  • Injected particles cause vascular irritation and blood vessel blockage
  • Injections can cause abscesses, cellulitis, and tissue necrosis
  • Ischemic organ injury in other organs
  • Anorexia nervosa and malnutrition
  • Stroke can be ischemic or hemorrhagic
  • Ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Aortic dissections
  • Injury to the kidneys and liver
  • Angina pectoris
  • Seizures
  • Long-term mental and cognitive deficits
  • Parkinson's disease is more likely to develop as a result of this.
  • Impulsivity problems

Speedballs And Mental Illness

To cope with the overwhelming symptoms of mental illness, almost half of people with mental illness may take medications. This is simply a reprieve from their anguish. Using speedballs masks the real issue while causing different problems, such as mental health degradation and serious physical health problems. It's critical to recognize and seek help for speedball misuse and recovery.

Staying away from drugs is the safest thing to do if you know you have a prior mental illness or illness. Any psychoactive substance carries hazards, especially for persons with a mental illness, who are more vulnerable to negative consequences.

Mania, sadness, anxiety, delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations, psychosis, sleeplessness, and cognitive impairments can all be exacerbated by speedballs. If you have a problem with speedball usage and addiction, you should start your treatment immediately without hesitation.

Treatment For Speedball Addiction Or Drug Abuse

One difficulty in addressing speedball consumption is that treatments for 6-MAM addiction are only marginally effective in assisting persons who use speedballs. There are no medications available for treating cocaine addiction, and pharmaceuticals intended to treat 6-MAM addiction are unlikely to aid recovery from speedball misuse.

Psychotherapies, counseling services, group support, dual diagnosis treatment, and other non-medication treatments can, nevertheless, assist people in better managing their addictive habits. These can be quite effective, mainly when used in comprehensive, long-term addiction treatment programs.

Safe Way To Use Speedball

It is better to prevent using a speedball in the first place. But, If you want to use speedball, it is best to follow below points that may help you to prevent addiction.

  1. Keep the amount as low as possible - As the effects of 6-MAM and cocaine can cancel each other, keeping the substance amount low can possibly make you feel that you have not used it.
  2. Do not use regularly - Regular usage of even small amounts might make you addicted. 
  3. Do not use it alone- Always have your friend or your well-wisher so that you may get help if things go south.
  4. Know the trouble - Speedball usage might bring you short and long-term effects. It is better to know about it before taking them.
  5. Home drug test - Even if you are an occasional user, the drug traces might stay in your system. It is better to use high-quality home based drug testing kits to know the drug presence. This may help you to postpone or reduce the usage that could possibly reduce the chances of getting addicted.
  6. Naloxone - Always keep your Naloxone kit handy if you are a speedball user. Naloxone can reduce the effects of 6-MAM and cocaine temporarily. It is better if you use Narcan as it is easy to use and can be available in any pharmaceuticals without prescription.

Final Words

Speedball can affect your respiratory system and can lead to severe health problems. If taken overdose, it may lead to death. So, it is better to prevent using speedballs and super speedballs to maintain good health. Make sure that you get adequate counseling or treatment if you think that you are addicted to speedball.

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