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Speedballs: What is It?

A man sinks to his knees and admires a mountain-top view of the sunset.
True joy comes from living your best life instead of risking your life for a quick high.

Comedians Chris Farley and John Belushi died from them, as did musician Chris Kelly and actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

A speedball is regarded as one of the most dangerous drug combinations there is. It’s said to offer an incredible high if you live long enough to experience it.

What Are Speedballs?

Most people don’t know exactly what a speedball is. A speedball is a mix of cocaine and heroin that is taken from an injection. Some people snort instead of injecting the mix, but that’s not considered a true speedball. Morphine is also sometimes used instead of heroin.

The theory behind a speedball is that the cocaine will suppress the drowsiness that comes with heroin, and the heroin will suppress the anxiety and palpitations that come with cocaine.

While that may sometimes work, it’s an imperfect science wrought with potential for error – especially deadly ones.

The Risks of Speedball Drugs

It’s hard to know exactly what makes speedballs so dangerous. Researchers can’t exactly recruit subjects for a research study on the drug combo because of the dangers. However, several theories have been proposed.

One theory is because the two drugs tend to blunt the negative side effects of each other, it’s easy for users to underestimate how high they are. As a result, they may “reload” too soon and put themselves at risk for overdose.

Another theory is because the stimulant effects of heroin wear off more quickly than the sedative effects of heroin, respiratory depression often occurs once the full effects of heroin are felt without the balancing effects of cocaine. This is referred to as a delayed opioid overdose.

Whatever the reasons are, it’s clear that speedballs can kill. By doing them, you’re risking your life for a temporary high. If you can unravel yourself from the need to use drugs or alcohol, you’ll find that there is another path available to you.

And that path is lined with the real, lasting joys of life.

Hope and Healing at The Raleigh House

At The Raleigh House in Denver, Colorado, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the alcohol out of your system. We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually and socially as well. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the heroin addiction and cocaine addiction treatment programs at The Raleigh House.

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