This information is provided by DAN 24/7 the All Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline. Freephone 0808 808 2234      Click to Print This Page

Amphetamines information from DAN 24/7

Common Names

Speed, phet, whizz, billy, billy whizz, ice, crank, dex, dexies, fast, go fast, sulph, sulphate, uppers.

Scientific Names

Amphetamine sulphate, dexamphetamine sulphate, dextroamphetamine, methylamphetamine. Amphetamine-like drugs include apisate (diethylproprion), duromine (phentermine), volital (pemoline), ritalin (methylphenidate), tenuate dospan (diethylpropion).

Generic Name


Effects Of Amphetamines

Desired Effects:

Euphoria, alertness, confidence.


Insomnia, loss of appetite, dry mouth.



Anxiety, paranoia, tolerance.


Psychosis, psychological dependence.

What it looks like

5mg dexamphetamine tablets (Dexedrine), white, marked SKF.

Amphetamine sulphate powder ranges in colour from off-white to pink (known as pink champagne). Methylamphetamine comes as white crystals, and is known as ice, or in tablets known in Thailand as yabba or shabu.

How does it work?

Central nervous system stimulant.

Legal status

Class B, under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Class A if prepared for injection.

How Is It Taken?

Tablets can be swallowed, powders can snorted up the nose, dissolved in a drink, or swallowed (known as bombing). Both powders and tablets can prepared for injection. Methylamphetamine, or ice, can be smoked.


Illicit amphetamine is usually sold as 'grams' or in a paper wrap. If the drug is snorted - a razor blade will be used to chop it on a hard level surface such as a mirror or a sheet of glass or a tile. A tube or rolled banknote will be used as a 'pipe'. If injected: syringe and needle, water, tourniquet. If smoked: matches and tinfoil.

Medical uses

Sometimes prescribed as an appetite suppressant, to treat narcolepsy, hyperactivity in children, and depression.

Where does it come from?

Diverted from manufacturers, pharmacies, GPs, or made in clandestine laboratories in Britain and elsewhere and distributed through the illicit drug market.

Helping services

Most areas of the UK have 'street agencies' or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, needle exchanges and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. The increase in stimulant use has led to some agencies offering specialist counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, acupuncture and other alternative therapies and prescribing of anti-depressants, and also possible referral to residential rehabilitation. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. GPs and possibly the local hospital A&E department can make referrals to specialist drug services as well as general medical services, information and advice often in partnership with a drug agency or Drug Dependency Unit.

Parents & other relatives

Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.

If you would like to talk about Amphetamines problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234

This information is provided by DAN 24/7 the All Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline. Freephone 0808 808 2234      Click to Print This Page