What is a Speedball

What is a Speedball?

The Evolution of Mixing Stimulant and Depressant Drugs

Drug addiction itself is dangerous, but mixing certain drugs can easily be fatal. I suffered from drug abuse for nearly a decade, and regularly mixed drugs like cocaine and heroin. I overdosed multiple times, facing death more times than I can remember. Before I arrived at South Shores Detox, I was at death’s door. Luckily I slammed that door shut when I sought treatment.

If you are asking what is a speedball, you have come to the right place for answers. I will share my own story and perspective on these ‘drug cocktails,’ and offer what advice I can on how to help yourself or a loved one if such mixtures have become a part of daily life.

As long as people have abused drugs, they have found ways to mix them in order to intensify the effects. The traditional speedball is a mixture of cocaine and heroin, but many stimulants and depressants can be mixed, usually with devastating consequences. Many high-profile celebrities and public figures have fallen victim to a speedball overdose.

Keep reading to learn more answers on the types of speedball mixtures, the risk of speedball overdose, and how I finally, luckily found an effective treatment at South Shores Detox!

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The Very Real Speedball Overdose Risk

With drugs like cocaine and heroin, the risk of overdose is always there. With powdered drugs, you never really know what you are getting. These days, drugs like cocaine and heroin are cut with drugs like fentanyl, which has resulted in widespread overdose deaths. Our bodies can take a lot of damage, but they are not equipped to handle multiple drug intoxication effectively.

Speedball addiction treatment is available, and I found out, called polysubstance abuse treatment, but unfortunately, many addicts won’t get the chance to try it. When I was finally sick of gambling with my life, I made the wise decision to enter South Shores Detox and work on fixing my addiction. If I could do it, I feel like it’s possible for anyone. In the following piece, I will lay out all the reasons why South Shores can help you overcome your speedball addiction.

Abusing Cocaine And Heroin on a Daily Basis

Abusing Cocaine And Heroin

My substance abuse began the same way it does for a lot of people. I experimented with alcohol and marijuana in high school and slowly began mixing in other drugs. When I first tried cocaine, I was hooked immediately. Cocaine became my drug of choice.

As a stimulant drug, cocaine speeds up the messages that travel between the brain and the body. Cocaine users often feel an intense euphoria, marked by increased activity and agitation. Coming down off of cocaine is a different story.

The Mounting Side Effects of Speedballing

Side effects include anxiety, depression, and irritability just to name a few. When I was first introduced to heroin, it was through a speedball. This mixture of cocaine and heroin was the most intense rush I had ever felt. The side effects of cocaine and heroin are similar, although there are some differences.

On the street, stimulants are referred to as uppers, while depressants are referred to as downers. I’ve often heard speedballing referred to on the street as “Upper vs Downer”. Mixing any two drugs may cause complications. Beyond drugs like cocaine and heroin, many other mixtures of drugs can prove fatal.

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Physical and Psychological Harm

Drug abuse can lead to many severe consequences, both physical and psychological. My physical health was terrible during my time as an addict. I rarely ate, resulting in dramatic weight loss. My skin was pale and corpse-like. Although I remember the one time I actually made a primary care doctor appointment, they gave me some warning about high blood pressure.

I almost laughed in their faces, my blood pressure was the absolute least of my worries.

When you abuse heavy drugs like cocaine and heroin, the withdrawal effects do a number on you. I felt sick all the time and suffered from anxiety, depression, paranoia, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.

After you suffer an overdose of any kind, it’s always on your mind the next time you use. It was for me, anyway. I continued to mix drugs and put myself in harm’s way, but I always knew there was a risk of death. Eventually, I got to a point where I didn’t care. The adverse effects no longer bothered me. I suffered multiple overdoses and went right back to my old ways each time.

Fatal Consequences Are Always Around the Corner

The person who introduced me to the speedball is now dead of a speedball overdose. Combining heroin and cocaine is a risk you do not want to take. When you mix stimulants and depressants, you are introducing counteractive effects in your body. The stimulants increase your mental and physical function, while depressants slow down both.

When you mix stimulant drugs and depressants, it sends the body mixed messages. These mixed messages can overload the central nervous system, and result in a number of complications, including overdose, respiratory depression, coma, and cardiac arrest.

These are all potentially fatal consequences. I spent years combining cocaine with depressants such as heroin, and somehow I am alive to tell my story.

Long Term Drug Abuse Began to Define Me

Long Term Drug Abuse

When you abuse drugs for a prolonged period of time, it becomes your norm. For some addicts, no heroin overdose or dope sickness is enough to make them seek sobriety. I would do anything I could get my hands on. If I couldn’t get prescription opioids, I would get heroin. If I couldn’t get cocaine, I would abuse Adderall and other stimulant drugs. For many years, my substance abuse seemed bulletproof.

I saw many people around me fall victim to a fatal overdose. It was the thing that I knew was right there beneath the surface. The possibility existed every time I mixed drugs or went on a drug binge. The idea of living a drug-free life seemed unattainable. I was always afraid of withdrawal symptoms, so I made sure that I always had drugs on hand. Drugs defined every waking moment I had.

What is the New Speedball?

The “classic” speedball of cocaine and heroin has been around forever, but these days, with the rise of drugs like fentanyl, a new version of the speedball has become popular. Messing with fentanyl at all is a dangerous practice. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is fifty to a hundred times more powerful than morphine. The smallest amount of fentanyl can cause an overdose, even for seasoned addicts like myself.

Speedball abuse can come in many forms. Some addicts prefer a mixture of fentanyl and meth. A newer version of meth known as super meth has also become more widespread. Super meth is a much stronger version of meth that is less expensive to produce and usually results in a higher yield than your average methamphetamine. Even though I dabbled with meth here and there, I was lucky enough to avoid super meth and the synthetic opioids flooding the streets these days.

Even Higher Chances for a Fatal Overdose

Drug overdose deaths have been on the rise for over a decade. This is a result of the widespread availability of prescription opioids, as well as drugs like fentanyl and super meth. A lot of people who ingest drugs like fentanyl don’t even know they’re taking it. This has become a disturbing trend among drug dealers worldwide.

A lot of the heroin and cocaine out on the street these days is cut with fentanyl. Because fentanyl is a synthetic drug, it can be made anywhere. A lot of it is smuggled into America from countries like Mexico, just like cocaine, heroin, and meth are. Every time you ingest these drugs, it could be potentially lethal.

Reality and Awareness Don’t Always Go Hand in Hand

I’ve seen what speedballs can do. I’ve seen many around me die. These are people from all different backgrounds as well. Now that I am sober, I want to educate others on how dangerous this lifestyle is, and how more people can become addicts if we continue to not want to talk about it. The number of overdose deaths will continue to steadily climb unless more people educate themselves on the dangers of drug abuse.

When I first starting using drugs, I didn’t understand the level of danger associated with them. There has been a lot of progress as far as educating people on the dangers of substance abuse, but we still have a long way to go. The stigma associated with addiction is what draws people away. People don’t want to know about it until they or someone they love finds themself in it.

Getting The Drugs Out Of Your Body

Medically Assisted Detox

When I arrived at South Shores to begin a detox, I was terrified of what I was in for. I had felt withdrawal symptoms plenty of times before. These symptoms are overwhelming and often are the reason many addicts relapse. The physical and emotional struggle associated with detox can be too much to bear.

I accepted that it would be bad. I knew going in I was in for a fight. The difference this time is that I felt I was ready. After seeing so many people around me die, I knew that I could easily be next. I made up my mind that I would try. Many addicts attempt recovery, but unless you really want it, it usually won’t go so smoothly.

Medically Assisted Detox

Even though I had overdosed multiple times, something clicked in me. I can’t explain how or why, but I got up one day and decided I was sick of it all. I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. The idea of feeling uncomfortable from detox didn’t seem so scary anymore. I was already uncomfortable all the time.

When your level of addiction is as severe as mine was, detoxing in a medically supervised environment is the best way to go. I’ve tried to detox on my own, and wasn’t even close to making it through. A medical detox will be uncomfortable no matter what, but having medical professionals at your side really helps put your mind at ease.

Getting a Start on Maintaining A Sober Lifestyle

Getting a Start on Maintaining A Sober Lifestyle

I’m not going to lie. Sobriety was brutal at first. The first couple of months were very difficult. It took everything in me to not go back to my drug abuse. I thought of getting high all the time. The only thing that got me through it was going to meetings and actively working on my recovery. It can be easy to fall off the wagon when you aren’t making your sobriety a priority.

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The Importance of South Shores in My Recovery Story

These days, I still have urges. However, the desire to stay clean outweighs those feelings. I have a great set of tools at my disposal, and it’s all because I made the decision to go to treatment at South Shores. I truly feel like they saved my life. Recovery is possible, and on most days, it is the most amazing feeling I’ve ever felt. And you can feel it too.

If you or someone you love has been experimenting with speedballs or found they have become a way of life, like for me, hope for getting clean is not lost. Not by a long shot. Reach out today and get options for recovery at ‘the Shores, I know that single call is the reason you are reading my story and not my obituary. It matters that much, so please give yourself an opportunity too and give them a call!