What To Expect During Speedball Detox
October 27, 2022
Speedballing is a practice that combines two drugs with opposing actions: heroin and cocaine. Heroin is a depressant, while cocaine is a stimulant. Users believe the drugs will balance each other out, preventing any negative side effects. However, the truth is these two drugs amplify each other’s adverse effects, making speedball a dangerous combination.
While you will experience both effects of heroin and cocaine, the consequences on your body are not something to take lightly. One of them is addiction, which is easier to develop since you’re taking two drugs at once.
Cases of polydrug abuse (using more than one drug simultaneously) require more careful and meticulous treatments. If you are addicted to speedball and want to kick the habit, you need to go through a comprehensive drug rehab program. This includes speedball detox. Here is what you can expect.
Why is speedball highly dangerous?
Speedball combines two already addictive drugs – heroin and cocaine – making it more addictive than just one. Your body will experience the effects of both drugs as well as their side effects. Taking heroin and cocaine together does not cancel out each other’s adverse effects.
Heroin is an opioid drug, and one of its main effects is pain relief. If you take heroin recreationally, you will feel an additional rush of pleasurable feelings along with reduced pain. But as it is a depressant, you will later feel drowsy. Also, you may think the world is slowing down around you. Your breathing and heart rate may also slow down.
Cocaine, on the other hand, is a stimulant. When you take it, it makes you feel more awake and alert. You will feel like you can do anything as if you will not run out of energy. This increase in activity will easily tire you out if you don’t get enough oxygen, so your body will demand more of it.
But this increased oxygen demand cannot be fulfilled with slower breathing. Thus, your body will get fatigued more easily, and it may be deprived of oxygen. If you do not seek medical help, you could suffer from a fatal respiratory failure.
Once you are addicted to speedball, quitting on your own will be nearly impossible. Once you try to stop speedballing, you will get a series of withdrawal symptoms. These can quickly become intolerable, compelling you to speedball again just to get relief.
What are the withdrawal symptoms?
The withdrawal symptoms of speedball may be similar to those of heroin and cocaine. Here are the withdrawal symptoms of heroin:
- Abdominal pain
- Drug cravings
- Muscle spasms
On the other hand, here are the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine:
- General feelings of discomfort
- Increased appetite
- Vivid, unpleasant dreams
- Impaired alertness
When you are addicted to speedball and try to quit, you may experience any combination of the symptoms above. If your addiction is more severe, your withdrawal symptoms will likewise be more uncomfortable. Most users who try to quit on their own end up relapsing because they think it’s the only way to make the symptoms go away. For this reason, most attempts to quit speedball alone are not successful.
The best step to take at this point is to enroll in a treatment program, which includes detox.
What is speedball detox?
Speedball detox is typically the first stage of a full treatment program. The aim of detox is to achieve a zero dose of speedball while managing withdrawal symptoms. For best results, you will be assisted by doctors and other medical professionals throughout the entire duration of the procedure.
Under medical supervision, you will slowly reduce your dose of speedball until your body can tolerate taking none of it. This gradual “taper” is the recommended method for most drug detox procedures. It does not produce severe withdrawal, unlike quitting “cold turkey.” In some cases, quitting cold turkey can even produce potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms.
Speedball detox may take longer than detox from either cocaine or heroin alone. The combined effects of the two drugs require more caution during detox. It would be done slowly and surely, ensuring your safety and the best possible outcome.
For addictions to only one drug, medically-assisted detox procedures typically last around a week. But for cases of polydrug abuse, like speedballing, detox will often take longer than a week. The actual length varies depending on how severe your addiction is.
During detox, you may still feel a few unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Even if tapering off from speedball minimizes withdrawal, it is possible for some symptoms to become unbearable. When this happens, doctors may prescribe a few medications to give you relief.
The medications used in speedball detox may be the same as those used in heroin and cocaine detox. These medicines counteract the negative effects of each drug. Some of them act on specific withdrawal symptoms, like Baclofen for muscle spasms.
Such medications include:
Doctors will closely monitor the dose of and your body’s response to each prescribed medication. If they give you adequate relief, you may continue taking them until the end of detox. But if you get any negative side effects, your doctors may change the medication or take you out of it entirely.
Overall, the goal of the doctors and other medical personnel watching over you is to make the detox as safe and painless as possible. That way, you will have the best recovery outcome.
What comes next after detox?
Detox is just the first step of a complete rehab program for speedball addiction. After it, you will go through a number of behavioral therapies designed to help you rebuild a drug-free lifestyle.
One popular and highly effective evidence-based therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. The aim of CBT is to equip you with the skills you need to ward off drugs, drug triggers, and the desire to take drugs.
Other methods include contingency management, family therapy, counseling, and talk therapy (otherwise known as psychotherapy).
Once these behavioral therapies are complete, you can expect to live a sober lifestyle again.