The term "speedballing" refers to an intravenous (injected) concoction made out of a stimulant - or upper - and a depressant - or downer. Combining cocaine and heroin, however, has been the most known and abused method of speedballing since the late 1930s gaining wide notoriety by the 1980s when Actor & Comedian John Belushi died from it. The speedballing dangers or very serious and not to be taken lightly.
Speedballing dangers come from the addictive and innate risks arising from these drugs. While many are not fully aware of what is speedballing, abusers see the appeal because the combination of the drugs provide an extra kick - this means, it creates a more intense high while technically heightening the effects by preventing the user from passing out.
Drug addicts that use speedballing as their preferred abuse method, believe that taking the stimulant and the depressant at the same time will help by eliminating the negative effect of each individual drug.
Truth is, speedballing dangers are so much graver than any side effect arising from a particular drug. One of the most problematic and life-threatening speedballing dangers is that users tend to feel less intoxicated or high than what they actually are. This, obviously, makes them believe that their body needs or can take a higher dose of the substances.
Even if one does not fully understand what is speedballing, knowing or recognizing when someone is using this particular addiction mechanism can be useful in order to get the abuser the help they need, and maybe, even save their life.
Signs and side effects of speedballing will often include:
In addition to these, other side effects of speedballing can include abnormal abdominal pain, heart attacks, coma and sudden death.
Other speedballing dangers that can lead to a life-threatening conditions is the manner on which the process itself is done. Injecting a heroin/cocaine combination is not only cause for impaired judgement, but the constant use of needles - and even sharing them while high - poses a higher risk of exposure to contracting infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C and/or HIV.
Unfortunately, recent studies show that addiction rates for speedballing are actually higher than addiction to heroin or cocaine alone. This means that more people are addicted to the dangerous combination and don't stop to think twice before engaging in this practice, simply because they are attracted to the promise of a longer and more-intense high.
In the long term, side effects of speedballing can also be cause for psychosis, mental disorders, anxiety attacks and even suicidal thoughts. Understanding the concept of what is speedballing, is only the first simple step into knowing how severe the practice can be and how it can literally ruin someones life.
Speedballing has been the cause of a higher rise on accidental overdoses, and the fact that it is a practice that does not seem to be ending - or even diminishing with time - only means that we will see more people falling victim of the speedballing dangers.
It's important to know that the only way to overcome this type of addiction, is with an intense and comprehensive rehabilitation program. This will usually need to start with a detoxification process and followed-up with therapy sessions and counseling.
After being clean, a recovering addict will often engage in relapse-prevention practices, be taught coping skills and mechanisms, and given tools to be able to lead a healthier lifestyle.
You can get the help you need for yourself or for your loved one. A dangerous practice such as speedballing should not be the end to someones life, and there are many facilities and treatment programs that can cater to your needs.
We can help you find the right treatment facility and rehabilitation program for your health issue. Call us now at (973) 679-3011.
Book: Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment By Jerome J. Platt
Book: Pulse Check: National Trends in Drug Abuse: Summer 1998 By Barry M. McCaffrey