Screwball, also known as goofball, is a slang term for a combination of cocaine and heroin. This mixture became popular in the 1970s as a means to balance the effects of stimulant cocaine with the depressant heroin. However, screwball poses significant health risks and is highly addictive. So what is the best way to store screwball, and does it need to be refrigerated?
What is screwball?
Screwball refers to a mixture of cocaine hydrochloride and heroin hydrochloride. It is commonly prepared by placing the powders side by side on a surface and inhaling them together, either through the nose or by smoking. This allows the user to experience the rush from the cocaine along with the relaxation and pain relief from the heroin.
Some key facts about screwball:
- Slang terms include goofball, bad boy, dynamite, cobain, whiz bang, Hercules, and speedball
- Varies in cocaine:heroin ratio, but is often 50:50 or 60:40
- Provides fast-acting high combining stimulant and depressant effects
- Highly addictive due to synergy between cocaine and heroin
- Can be injected, snorted, or smoked
- Very dangerous – significantly increases risk of overdose
Is screwball illegal?
Yes, screwball is illegal to buy, possess, and use without a valid prescription. This is because:
- Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act
- Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance with no medical use
- Simply possessing either drug is a felony offense
Despite its illegality, screwball continues to be used recreationally for its powerful high. However, it poses serious health and legal risks.
What are the effects of screwball?
Combining cocaine and heroin creates effects greater than either drug alone. Users report an intense, fast-acting high characterized by:
- Rush – surge of euphoria and energy from the cocaine
- Relaxation – calmness and pain relief from the heroin
- Alertness and sociability – cocaine
- Warm flush – sensation from heroin
- Decreased anxiety – heroin
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure – cocaine
- Slowed breathing – heroin
However, as the drugs wear off, the user will crave more to avoid crashes or withdrawal. This makes screwball highly addictive.
What are the risks of using screwball?
Screwball is extremely dangerous due to the combined effects of cocaine and heroin. Risks include:
- Overdose – high risk of respiratory failure and death
- Addiction – highly addictive due to cocaine’s stimulation and heroin’s relaxation
- Toxic reactions – liver and kidney damage, seizures
- Infectious disease – from shared needles
- Pregnancy issues – birth defects, premature birth if used while pregnant
- Blood-borne illnesses – HIV, hepatitis from shared needles
Overdose death can occur with even a small amount of screwball due to the drugs’ synergistic effects. Seeking immediate medical help is critical.
Is screwball safe in moderation?
No, there is no safe way to use screwball recreationally. Any non-medical use poses significant health risks, including overdose and addiction after just one use. Combining cocaine and heroin multiplies the dangers – it should never be viewed as safe.
How long does screwball stay in your system?
Cocaine and heroin in screwball are detectable in the body for:
- Blood – 12-48 hours
- Urine – 2-4 days
- Saliva – 12-24 hours
- Hair – up to 90 days
- Blood – 6-24 hours
- Urine – 2-7 days
- Saliva – 24-36 hours
- Hair – up to 90 days
These detection times can vary based on the amount consumed, frequency of use, metabolism, body mass, age, and other factors. Hair testing provides the longest detection window.
What are the withdrawal symptoms of screwball addiction?
Quitting screwball after prolonged use leads to withdrawal syndrome. Since it contains both cocaine and heroin, the withdrawal is intense:
- Cocaine withdrawal
- Increased appetite
- Sleep disturbances
- Slowed thinking
- Suicidal thoughts
- Heroin withdrawal
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and pains
- Fever and chills
The dual withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable. Seeking medical help improves comfort and reduces the risk of relapse.
How is screwball addiction treated?
Overcoming an addiction to screwball requires entering a comprehensive drug rehab program that utilizes:
- Medically-assisted detox – to safely manage withdrawal
- Behavioral counseling – individual and group therapy
- Medications – methadone, buprenorphine to reduce cravings
- Education – on addiction and relapse prevention
- Evaluation – for mental health needs
- Aftercare planning – ongoing recovery support
Long-term residential rehab provides the most intensive level of care and highest treatment success rates. Treating the psychological addiction as well as physical dependence is crucial.
Can screwball addiction be cured?
Like other addictions, screwball addiction can be effectively treated but not cured. It is a chronic relapsing condition requiring ongoing management. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, periods of abstinence are possible. Steps to maintain sobriety include:
- Attending support groups – 12-step programs, therapy
- Establishing a sober community
- Identifying and avoiding triggers
- Developing healthy coping skills
- Making lifestyle improvements – exercise, nutrition, sleep hygiene
- Committing to lifelong sobriety
Though difficult, recovering screwball addicts can lead happy and fulfilling lives in recovery. But vigilance against relapse is necessary.
How should screwball be stored?
Ideally, screwball should not be purchased, possessed, or used illegally. However, active users often wonder about proper storage methods. Considerations include:
- Keep in an airtight container – prevents oxygen exposure
- Store in a cool, dark place – avoids temperature extremes
- Avoid humidity – prevents clumping from moisture
- Don’t store close to electrical devices – reduces fire risk
- Keep away from children and pets – dangerous if ingested
- Use childproof bottles or containers – reduces accidental exposure
Again, the only truly safe approach is to avoid screwball completely. But following general guidelines on storage of medicines and chemicals can help reduce risks if it is being used.
Does screwball need to be refrigerated?
Refrigeration is generally not required for screwball, for a few reasons:
- Cocaine is stable at room temperature due to its melting point of 80°C.
- Heroin is also stable long-term without refrigeration.
- The optimal storage temperature is 15-25°C (59-77°F).
- Refrigerating could increase moisture and clumping.
- Freezing is inadvisable since it may alter the drug’s potency and effects.
As long as screwball is kept in an airtight container in a dark, room temperature environment, refrigeration is not needed. However, active users may choose to refrigerate it as an extra precaution.
How long does screwball last if refrigerated?
While refrigeration is unnecessary, it may slightly prolong the shelf life of screwball compared to room temperature storage. In the refrigerator:
- Cocaine may last 12-24 months before degrading noticeably.
- Heroin may last up to 2 years refrigerated.
- The cooled environment slows chemical breakdown.
- Keeping screwball tightly sealed prevents moisture accumulation.
- The freezer should still be avoided to prevent potency changes.
Any storage longer than 3-6 months will likely result in some degradation. But the shelf life extends a few months in the refrigerator. Properly stored at room temperature, screwball typically lasts up to a year.
What happens if screwball freezes?
Freezing screwball is not recommended. This can alter the drug’s potency and effects:
- Cocaine crystals may fuse together, lowering purity.
- Freezing may damage heroin’s chemical structure.
- Thawing causes moisture issues.
- Potency and effects become unreliable.
- Dosage is harder to judge after freezing.
- Increased risk of accidental overdose.
For maximum stability, screwball should be kept in a sealed container at cool room temperature. While refrigerating provides a slight shelf life boost, freezing can reduce potency and pose dosage risks.
What are alternative storage methods for screwball?
While most screwball is stored at room temperature or refrigerated, some alternative methods include:
- Vacuum sealing – Removes oxygen to prevent deterioration.
- Humidity control packets – Absorb moisture that degrades drugs.
- Sealed medical vials – Laboratory-grade containers prevent air exposure.
- Mylar bags – Locks out humidity and oxygen.
- Liquid solution – Dissolving in water may improve stability.
- Argon gas – Inert gas sprayed into container prior to sealing.
These specialty methods aim to maximize shelf life by controlling temperature, humidity, air, and light. However, most standard room temperature storage with tight seals still provides adequate stability.
In summary, screwball does not require refrigeration for short-to-moderate-term storage. While refrigerating may slightly prolong shelf life, proper room temperature storage avoids potency changes from temperature swings. Best practice is an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Freezing should be avoided. And ideally, screwball should be avoided altogether due to the extreme risks of use. For those struggling with addiction, medically-assisted treatment provides the best hope for overcoming dependency safely.