National Geographic : 1969 Oct
Speed kills.1 Ask a high school kid. Boy or girl. Either one will give you the word that speed (amphetamines or pep pills) is lethal stuff. And so many kids are so scared they won't touch it. But not enough are scared enough. They get into it too easily. And they ignore the inevitable. Does speed kill outright? Sometimes. Pro longed massive doses have caused brain hem orrhages and death. Although it's unusual, it can happen. But the biggest problem is indirect. When a kid pops a couple of caps into his mouth, he experiences a real high. When he comes down, he's so low he's tempted to start another run. And that's the start of real trouble. Speed isn't addictive, but the body builds up a toler ance. So he has to take more to get the same jolt. And more. And more. He often ends up shooting massive doses into his veins. He has an abnormal feeling of power. Su periority. He can easily become violent and aggressive. If he gets in a car, look out. In his confused state, he ignores his body's normal need for food, drink and sleep. So he's easy prey for pumonia. He gets careless. And often winds up with hep atitis from a dirty needle. But even if his body survives, his mind can be badly bent out of shape. It's not unusual for him to become paranoid and commit a violent crime. Perhaps kill. Speed spreads death many ways. If you know anyone who's thinking of ex perimenting with this stuff, we urge you to have a talk with him. If he's been on it a while, get him to a doctor. You could save his life. C Metropolitan Life Reprints available in limited quantities. Write Metropolitan, Dept. N-109, One Madison Ave., New York, N.Y . 10010.