Street names: Speed, Whiz, Billy, Uppers, Sulphate, Amph (Ice, Meth), phet

Similar drugs: Cocaine, Ecstasy

Drug type: Stimulant

Are amphetamines legal in the UK?

Legal status: Amphetamine Sulphate (speed) is a class B drug. If you're caught in possession of it, you could go to prison for five years. The maximum sentence for dealing is 14 years, plus an unlimited fine.

If amphetamine is prepared for injection when you're caught with it, it's considered to be a class A drug. That means you could go to prison for seven years for possessing it and for life for dealing it, plus an unlimited fine.

What are amphetamines?

Amphetamine is a man-made drug. It usually comes as a white, grey, yellow or pink powder, but sometimes in tablets too.

Methamphetamine is a stronger form of the drug and may come as a powder, tablet or in crystals known as 'ice'. Methamphetamine is a class A drug. Another form of the drug, base amphetamine, is a putty-like substance.

Powdered amphetamine can be snorted, swallowed, mixed into drinks or prepared for injection. Base amphetamine is usually swallowed in wraps called 'bombs', while crystals are normally smoked.

What are the effects of amphetamines?

How it can make you feel: known effects of Amphetamines can be an increase in your heart and breathing rate and body temperature. It can also make you feel alert, energetic, confident, increase your stamina and suppress your appetite. Your pupils may become dilated too. These effects usually last for around four to eight hours.

The risks: You can start feeling anxious, irritable, paranoid, aggressive and restless, especially during 'come downs' from amphetamine. The drug can also make you lose weight and cause insomnia, heart and blood pressure problems.

Amphetamine image courtesy of Talk to Frank, Crown Copyright.