Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that are commonly known as speed, whizz, sulph or paste. Amphetamines have some medical uses, but are also used as a recreational drug.
When people take speed, their heartbeat and breathing will speed up. They are likely to feel more energetic, confident and friendly, and unlikely to feel hungry. Some people feel tense and anxious when they use speed.
Speed can be snorted through the nose, rubbed into the gums, injected or swallowed. Speed is often cut with other substances, so you can never be sure of what you’re taking.
During World War II, soldiers and pilots used amphetamines to stop them feeling tired and keep them alert during combat. After the war, many soldiers and pilots found it difficult to function without the drug.
Tolerance to amphetamines builds up quickly. This means that people need more and more amphetamines to get the same high. If they become frequent, heavy users they will put strain on their bodies and minds.
Amphetamines are Class B drugs.