Some addicts like meth with their heroin. Others prefer to mix it with cocaine. Either choice can lead to dual addiction. And both can be downright deadly.
Goofballs vs Speedballs
Goofballs used to be slang for barbiturates such as Seconal, Luminal and Nembutal. The term eventually expanded to include benzodiazepines (aka benzos) such as Valium and Xanax. Now though a goofball generally means a mix of methamphetamine and heroin. The combo is usually taken intravenously. But it can also be snorted or smoked. Whatever the method, goofballs can kill you.
Speedballs are a mixture of cocaine and heroin or other opioids. Like goofballs, they can be shot, snorted or smoked. And like goofballs, they can also be lethal. In fact, John Belushi, Chris Farley, River Phoenix and Layne Staley all died from speedball overdoses.
Speedballs provide an immediate euphoric rush so strong it begs to be repeated over and over again. They also make people feel mighty and invincible. When the cocaine wears off however, the user is left with the effect of the heroin. And this can cause delayed overdose.
Goofballs, in contrast, make people feel both silly and blissful. Hence the name. Like speedballs, it's hard to accurately calibrate the mix. Meth has a longer high life than cocaine. It's also a lot stronger. Consequently, goofballs often require a higher dose of opioids in order to achieve the desired result. That, of course, increases the risk of overdose.
Both goofballs and speedballs are incredibly dangerous drug combinations. They're also both doubly addictive.
The Rise of Dual Addiction
Speedballs may be the classic drug cocktail, but goofballs are increasingly becoming a problem. In fact, a Drug and Alcohol Dependence study found 34% of opioid users also reported using meth in 2017. That's nearly double the amount from 2011.
The problem is especially acute in the Western states where meth has long held a foothold.
"Deaths involving methamphetamine are up," reports NPR's April Dembosky. "Hospitalizations are [also] up." So are rehab admissions.
Researchers believe the new meth crisis got a kick-start from the opioid epidemic. They claim once doctors began to cut down on writing opioid prescriptions, addicts were driven to buy meth on the street instead.
"Methamphetamine serves as an opioid substitute," researchers write. "It provides a synergistic high."
Meth also balances out the effects of opioids. This makes it possible for folks to function 'normally.' Once an opioid addict discovers meth can be both "pragmatic" and "exciting," there's rarely any going back. And it isn't long before the goofball user has a dual addiction.
The same applies to the addict who begins with meth. Meth causes agitation and paranoia. (It's called "tweaking.") Heroin and other opioids significantly reduce that effect. That makes opioids very attractive to meth addicts. It also rapidly leads to dual addiction.
Treating Dual Addiction
Whether you start with meth. Then add heroin. Or touch up your heroin with speed. Chances are you've got a dual addiction. Same goes for those who mix cocaine with their opioids. A goofball is just as addicting as a speedball. And both are as dangerous as a deadly bout of dodgeball.
But whether you're addicted to goofballs or speedballs or both, know this: There is hope. There's also help. How do we know? Because we at Recovery Boot Camp have long been providing both. Yep. We treat meth addiction. We treat cocaine addiction. And we treat opioid addiction. We also treat dual addiction. (We do dual diagnosis to boot!) And we do so comprehensively -- and effectively. And that, in turn, provides hope for every addict out there.
Want proof? Check out our addiction treatment center reviews and video testimonials. There you'll find first person proof from men who found both hope and help right here at Recovery Boot Camp. Want even more proof? Then scope our Vista Research Group page. There you'll find actual evidence-based, by-the-numbers proof.
So if you or your loved one is battling addiction to meth or cocaine or opioids or any drug cocktail combination, do give us a call. We're here for hope. And we're here to help.