Amphetamines are a group of synthetic psychoactive drugs called central nervous system stimulants. Amphetamine is used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, and is typically prescribed as amphetamine mixed salts or as dextroamphetamine.
It has historically been used to treat obesity. This drug increases activity related to the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This causes resistance to fatigue, elevation of mood, heightened libido, euphoria, and loss of appetite. Repeated high-dose exposure can lead to a mental state characterized by delusions, psychosis, and paranoia. The effects of amphetamines on serotonin transmission may contribute to hallucinations, appetite suppression, and hyperthermia. Recreational doses are generally far larger than prescribed therapeutic doses, and recreational use therefore carries far greater risk and far more serious side effects.
Amphetamine and methamphetamine pills can be ingested orally, crushed and snorted, dissolved in water and injected, or smoked (inhalation of the vaporized drug). “Glass” and “ice” (pure methamphetamine, which look like clear crystalline rock) is most often smoked (vaporized and inhaled) in a glass pipe, allowing for quick absorption into the bloodstream without the risks of injecting the drug. “Crystal” the powder form of methamphetamines, is consumed orally, injected, or inhaled.
Many of the effects of amphetamines are similar to cocaine. Addiction to and withdrawal from amphetamines are both possible. Amphetamine use also causes tolerance to its effects. This means that more and more amphetamine must be used to “get high” Amphetamine withdrawal is characterized by severe depression and fatigue. Users will go to extreme measures to avoid the “downer” that comes when the effect of amphetamines wears off.
Amphetamines Short term effects
According to the NIDA, amphetamines effects last up to 4 hours or sometimes even longer depending on the dosage, the type of amphetamine taken and other factors. The physiological effects of amphetamines are similar to cocaine effects, both produce a euphoric state and increased alertness but the effects of cocaine only last about an hour and the effects of amphetamines tend to last at least four times that.
As stimulants, they act on the central nervous system to produce the following:
- Quicker reaction times.
- Feelings of energy/wakefulness.
- Irregular heartbeat or heart rate
- Increased attentiveness and concentration.
- Feelings of euphoria.
Long term Effects
Long-term and heavy amphetamine use bring upon:
- Violent behavior.
- Cravings for the drug.
- Compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
- Malnutrition due to extreme decreases in appetite.
- Rotting teeth.
- Respiratory problems.
- Loss of coordination.
- Obsessive behavior.