Facts You Should Know about Speed (Amphetamines) - IDHS 4490

Illinois Department of Human Services

Amphetamines are drugs that are stimulants to the central nervous system. These drugs may be used medically to treat depression, obesity, and other conditions. Amphetamines are often used illegally to avoid sleep, improve athletic performance, or counter the effects of depressant drugs.

Slang Terms:

  • Uppers
  • Black Beauties
  • Speed
  • Jollies
  • Bennies
  • Dexies
  • Wake ups
  • Ups

Methods of Intake:

  • Smoked
  • Swallowed
  • Snorted
  • Injected


Amphetamines increase energy and produce a sense of pleasure and peace. The drug can fight fatigue and allow people to work around the clock. It induces exhilarating feelings of power, strength, energy, self-assertion, focus, and enhanced motivation. This high is long lasting compared to other drugs and can often linger for 8 to 24 hours. The high is usually followed by intense mental depression and fatigue.


Amphetamines can trigger a number of unpleasant, sometimes deadly effects. They are often associated with violence and anti-social behavior.

Side Effects:

  • Rapid Speech
  • Exaggerated movements
  • Dilated pupils
  • Aggression
  • Convulsions
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Chest Pain
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Dizziness
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Paleness
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Headache

Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Severe exhaustion
  • Psychotic reaction
  • Extreme hunger
  • Deep depressions
  • Anxiety Reactions
  • Deep sleep from 24 - 48 hrs



If you would like to know what substance abuse treatment providers are in your community, contact one of the following helplines:

1-800-662-9832 (Espanol)
1-800-228-0427 (TTY)

If you have any questions about alcohol or other drugs, call:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
1-866-213-0548 (toll-free Voice)
1-866-843-7344 (toll-free TTY)

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

  • 1-800-843-6154
  • 1-866-324-5553 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays) For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer and Provider Assistance
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4490 (R-03-14) Drug Series - Amphetamines

Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.

2,000 copies P.O.#14-1268