Speedball is a combination of illegal drugs. The components are a stimulant and a depressant, such as cocaine and heroin. Besides these, any two stimulants and depressants can be combined to create a speedball. Some examples include:
- Alcohol and cocaine
- Alcohol and meth
- Xanax and meth
- Cocaine and marijuana
Speedball addiction is considered polydrug abuse since you become addicted to more than one drug at a time. Polydrug abuse is more complicated to treat than addiction to only one substance. It requires special attention and different treatment routes.
If you want to know how long speedball addiction treatment lasts, read on to find out.
How is speedball taken?
The preferred method of taking speedball is through intravenous injection. Users would often dissolve cocaine and heroin powder together, then inject it with a syringe into their arms. The intravenous route produces a quick, intense high that many users want.
Another way to take speedball is by snorting cocaine and heroin powder together. While snorting is easier and painless, it does not give a very powerful high. For this reason, most speedball users would rather inject the drug cocktail directly into their bloodstreams.
What does speedball do to the body?
Speedball is a mixture of two drugs with opposing actions. Users refer to stimulant drugs as “uppers”, while depressants are called “downers.” Speedball can produce a “tug of war” effect on your brain and body. The stimulant makes you feel more alive and alert, while the depressant makes you want to relax and slow down. These antagonistic effects occurring at the same time can wreak havoc on your body.
Here is one possible consequence. Depressants like heroin and Xanax can trigger a side effect known as respiratory depression, or the slowing down of your breathing rate. On the other hand, stimulants like cocaine and meth increase activity in your central nervous system.
When the brain is more active, it needs additional oxygen to sustain the increased activity. But because of the effects of the depressant, you cannot breathe faster and your body cannot provide more oxygen to your brain. If this trend continues, your brain may shut down due to a lack of oxygen, and your entire body will be affected as well.
If you do not get medical attention, you may experience a fatal respiratory failure.
Another dangerous consequence of speedball use is overdose. Since you are taking two drugs each time, the risk of overdose is much higher than taking only one drug. In addition, speedball can trick your brain that you have a higher tolerance than you actually do. You could be easily tempted to take more speedball, further increasing your risk of overdose. Moreover, the potency of speedball can quickly trigger a potentially fatal overdose.
How is speedball addiction treated?
Speedball addiction treatment has similarities to treating other drug addictions. Types of treatment include medical detox, behavioral therapies, and medications. But because speedball addiction is a case of polydrug abuse, there are certain considerations.
Suppose you have an addiction to speedballs consisting of heroin and cocaine. When you are in treatment, the effects of both substances have to be addressed simultaneously. If not, the treatment will not be very effective.
In detox, for example, both heroin and cocaine need to be eliminated from your body. This is a more delicate process than just removing either one. Withdrawal symptoms may be more severe than detoxing from just one drug. With these in mind, medical professionals must be supervising you each step of the way when detoxing from speedball. Enrolling in an inpatient speedball addiction treatment program gives you maximum supervision not just during detox, but throughout the entire treatment process.
When dealing with a polydrug abuse problem, it is always a good idea to find out if your preferred rehab facility has personnel trained to deal with polydrug abuse. Not all recovery professionals are equipped to handle polydrug users. Dealing with polydrug abuse is a matter requiring extra attention and more careful methods.
How long does speedball addiction treatment last?
The duration of treatment depends on a few things such as:
- Severity of your addiction
- Frequency of speedball usage
- Your dosage of speedball per intake
- Your current health condition
- Your mental health status
- Previous history of substance abuse
Often, treating a speedball addiction requires more time and effort than treating an addiction to a single drug. Since speedball consists of two substances, addiction to it is known as polydrug abuse. Cases of polydrug abuse are more complicated to treat, which is why it often takes longer.
It also depends if you are in an inpatient or an outpatient treatment program. Outpatient programs typically last longer – three months or more – because you are not in a rehab facility the entire time. You only have to be there during scheduled therapies. Inpatient programs, on the other hand, are more intensive. You need to live inside a rehab facility for anywhere between one to three months.
The rehab facility is a controlled environment free of potential drug triggers. This environment allows you to focus on activities that promote your recovery. These include:
- One-on-one therapies
- Group therapies
- Support groups
- Family therapy
- Recreational activities (e.g. sports, art, etc.)
All of these activities are designed to reduce your tendency to use drugs.
Your daily schedule in the rehab facility will also be managed. This way, you can develop healthy routines like consistent sleep and wake times every day, as well as having defined meal times. Your meals will consist of well-balanced diets, as eating healthy will also help you develop a sober lifestyle.
Eventually, you will be equipped to avoid drug triggers and actively pursue sobriety on your own. You will have learned healthy habits and better coping strategies for stress and negative emotions that do not involve substance use.