So What Exactly is a Speedball?

As the team at Drug Testing Kits UK, frequently explain: a speedball is a combination of the illegal drugs, cocaine and heroin. Generally speaking:

"Speedballing involves both substances being injected into the bloodstream via needles, but they are sometimes snorted nasally together as well. Individuals who Speedball claim to experience a more intense, longer lasting high than that experienced when taking either drug alone" [1]. - And this is why it is essential to carry out random workplace drug testing which screens for multiple drugs, including cocaine and heroine. This can easily be achieved by using Drug Testing Kits UK's cutting-edge CE-approved, highly accurate, rapid result, non-invasive saliva or urine drug testing kits. All of the in high-demand, best-selling kits, come in economy cases of 25, 50, and 100 tests. Moreover, they can easily be administered by a responsible, dedicated member of staff (who has previously practised on a few subjects).

 The Low-Down

Heroin is a popular illegal opioid which derives from morphine. (Note: opioids are a broad range of drugs which are designed to relieve pain). Employees who take heroin, pose a serious threat to health and safety in the workplace. This illicit drug can slow down the user's breathing and culminate in respiratory failure, particularly when it is taken with another depressant (e.g., alcohol). Conversely, cocaine is classed as a stimulant, and as such, generates a very different effect. In this case, it revs up the user's energy and heart rate, and causes rapid breathing [1].

Of note: contrary to what many people surmise, mixing cocaine and heroin together, will neither

balance, nor negate heroin's negative side effects. In fact, as their negative effects amplify when taken simultaneously, speedballing is far more harmful than just taking one of these illicit drugs on ]its own [1].

"Speedballing is especially risky because it forces the body to process more types of drugs simultaneously. Taking a depressant and a stimulant together, causes a “push-pull” reaction in the body that can be very dangerous. Cocaine use requires the body to take in and use more oxygen, while Heroin slows breathing, putting a strain on overactive lungs, heart, and brain, and causing confusion and turmoil in the body. In particular, Speedballing makes it more difficult for the body to receive the amount of oxygen needed to stay safe and balance out the effects of cocaine. And as cocaine wears off much faster than heroin, people who speedball tend to inject more often than those who use either heroin or cocaine separately [1]

What Speedballing Side-Effects Might Be Seen in the Workplace?

Opioid such as heroin, are frequently associated with a slow breathing rate, and drowsiness; whereas, common side effects from cocaine, include a rapid or irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, hypersensitivity, and anxiety. Yet when these two illegal drugs are taken as a cocktail, the speedballing generates a very high risk of unpredictable side effects, many of which impact the brain. These comprise:

  • Incoherence or confusion

  • Paranoia

  • Drowsiness

  • Blurred vision

  • Mental impairment caused by insomnia

  • Uncontrollable movements

  • Daze

  • Moreover, there is evidence of users experiencing manic episodes, paranoia, or depression, as well. [1]

What is the Long-Term Impact of Speedballing?

The body's major organs, including the heart, liver and lungs, are negatively affected.

Furthermore, there is a high probability of death. Possible fatal side effects comprise:

  • Respiratory failure

  • Aneurysm

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke [1]

The Crucial Need to Run Regular On-Site Multiple Drug Screening Tests

"Drug-related deaths associated with stimulants, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine and methylphenidate, doubled between 2011 and 2021. And deaths associated with using both stimulants and opioids, such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl and methadone, increased by about sevenfold over the same period. The biggest increases have been seen since about 2019" [2]

Did You Know?

At the present time, scientists do not have any answers as to why people take both drugs simultaneously. It is not apparent that the euphoric impact significantly changes when these two drugs are taken together; however, cocaine could assist users who are trying to quit heroin. An alternative explanation could be that by consuming the two drugs simultaneously, the user balances the depressing and stimulating sides of the drugs. Indeed, a number of medicated opioid abusers take stimulants to: 1. Counteract their medication's sedative effects; and 2. To achieve an alternative high [2].

Speedballing is Now Europe’s Problem Too

No longer just an issue in the US: "Data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Abuse, show that deaths from poly-drug use, especially those involving opioids, are also increasing in Europe. The European data shows that it is mostly men who are dying, and that older age groups are increasingly dying from drug taking. [Indeed, Drug Testing Kits UK is well aware that drug abuse can impact all age brackets].When these drugs are taken together, it can be seen that there may be a worldwide increase in polydrug-related deaths and in particular those involving both stimulants and opioids [2]

What Multiple Drug Tests Does Drug Testing Kits UK Recommend?

 Serving countless thousands of companies, organisations, institutes, and educational and medical facilities, across the length and breath of the UK and Southern Ireland, Drug Testing Kits UK has a number of leading-edge best-selling on-site drug testing kits. These include:


6 Panel Oral Fluid (Saliva) Multi Drug & Alcohol Test

7 Panel Oral Fluid (Saliva) Multi Drug & Alcohol Test Kit

6 Panel Saliva Drug Test Cases of 25 Tests

13 Panel Standard Size Urine Test Cup with Adulterant Test Strip (3 SVT) Cases of 25 Tests


10 Panel Urine Drug Test Cup Cases of 25 Tests


12 Panel ECO Size Urine Test Cup with Adulterant Test Strip (3 SVT) Cases of 25 Tests


13 Panel Standard Size Urine Test Cup with Adulterant Test Strip (3 SVT) Cases of 25 Tests



[1]. Addiction Centre (2023). "What is a Speedball?"


[2]. Davidson, C. (2023). "Opioids and cocaine are a deadly combination – and ‘polydrug’ deaths are rising." The Conversation.