Both legal and illegal drugs come in a variety of forms for a variety of purposes. Two of the most notable classifications for drugs are “stimulants” or “depressants”. Drugs in these categories have opposite effects when used. However, some individuals try to combine them in order to attempt to achieve a balance between them, not allowing one from either category to have total control. This process is often referred to as “speedballing”. 

Speedballing Explained 

As mentioned, speedballing is a process where an individual consumes two drugs that typically have opposite effects. Most often, the combination will consist of a stimulant and a depressant. Most users who prefer to speedball two different drugs will use a needle to consume them. However, in some cases, a speedball can be consumed through snorting it nasally. 

Most Common Combinations when Speedballing

A speedball can be made from many combinations of drugs, as long as it includes one stimulant and one depressant. The most common speedball is a combination of heroin and cocaine. As a depressant, heroin consumption relieves pain, slows bodily functions, and causes numbness. Cocaine, on the other hand, increases energy, alertness and sensitivity

Why Do People Consume Speedballs? 

Many speedball users believe the combination of a stimulant and a depressant will create a balance between the two drugs. They believe they will receive the best effects from both substances while avoiding the worst effects. 

For example, an individual who consumes speedballs may want to receive pain relief from a drug like heroin without the numbness and low energy. To combat this, they will consume cocaine in an effort to have increased energy and alertness. Sadly, this sort of balance cannot be achieved, especially with drugs like heroin and cocaine because they often vary in purity and composition. 

Risks When Combining a Stimulant and a Depressant 

No matter what specific substances an individual consumes, speedballing is never a safe practice. It can lead to a number of serious consequences and side effects. 

Common Side Effects of Speedballing 

The side effects of speedballing typically depend on what substances an individual is using. However, combining a stimulant and a depressant in general will usually have some common side effects. 

For example, when combining heroin and cocaine for the most common kind of speedball, the side effects can often include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Sporadic movements

Speedballing can also cause a variety of negative effects on important bodily organs like the lungs, liver, and heart. In many cases, this is because the body becomes confused. The stimulant tells the body to speed up while the depressant tells it to slow down. No matter which direction one’s organs go, the contradictory effects trying to control the body cause immense stress.

Possibly Fatal Side Effects of Speedballing 

While some side effects of speedballing may seem unintimidating, there are also some potential fatal side effects an individual may face when combining a stimulant and a depressant. These effects can include:

  • Aneurysm
  • Respiratory failure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Overdose

Sadly, one of the most common side effects of speedballing is overdosing. By consuming more than one substance, it can be even harder for a person to keep track of how much they are consuming of not one but two dangerous substances. 

Searching for Treatment for Drug Addiction?

If you or a loved one has a stimulant, depressant, or speedballing addiction, help is available! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our team of experienced addiction specialists offer a variety of treatments and therapies to address the root causes of an addiction and help foster lasting sobriety. Contact us today for more information!  

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