Slang: Speed, Dexy's Midnight Runners, phet, meth, base, glass, uppers, whizz, billy, sulph, wake-up and crank paste.

Background: Speed is the most popular name for amphetamine, which is a chemical compound that acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Its chemical structure closely resembles the body's own chemical transmitter norepinephrine, which plays an important role in the fight-or-flight response to stress and excitement. There are three main pharmaceutical classes of amphetamine (the common brand names are in brackets): laevo or dl-amphetamine (Benzedrine), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methylamphetamine (Methedrine).

The latter is also known as crystal meth and, weight-for-weight, is the most potent of the three. The most common street speed is amphetamine sulphate, which contains equal amounts of laevo-amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Amphetamines comes as a grey, dirty-white or pinkish powder which is snorted, rubbed on the gums, dissolved in liquid for injection or drinking, or swallowed in pill form. A 'speedbomb' consists of speed wrapped in Rizlas, which is then swallowed. It's the most impure illegal drug available in the UK - it can be heavily cut with paracetamol, baby milk, talcum powder or other substances, so it's unlikely you'll know exactly what you're taking. Base speed - which is pinkish-grey and feels like putty - is purer.

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The information we share is to help inform you, If you have any questions or concerns please discuss them with your nurse, doctor, other members of your care team or an advocate