Amphetamines are commonly used drugs in the United States. While they can help when used within the parameters prescribed by medical professionals, they also run at a high risk of abuse. Amphetamines can be dangerous primarily due to how commonly they are prescribed to adolescents and adults. Anyone who is prescribed any amphetamine should be cautious when using the drug and only use it as intended.
Amphetamines are a class of stimulant drugs used to treat a variety of conditions. Most commonly, amphetamines are used today to treat disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy. Although ADHD medication is likely how most people will see amphetamines prescribed, they do have various uses, and doctors may prescribe them to treat other conditions.
Amphetamines were introduced in the 1930s as an over-the-counter medication to treat nasal congestion. Users quickly discovered that they were also useful in treating obesity and mental health disorders such as depression. Over the few decades, however, their high chance of abuse was discovered and studied further. By the 1960s, the United States had heavily restricted the production and use of amphetamines.
Only a few kinds of amphetamines are made legally today for medical treatment. Many others are still made in illegal labs to sell on the street. Six years after the FDA limited the use and production of amphetamines, a study showed that nearly one out of every three college students were still using them illegally.
Amphetamines have always been popular among students because of their effects. As a stimulant drug, amphetamines can cause the user to have a drastic increase in energy and focus. These effects can help people who have ADHD and struggle with focusing on anything for an extended period. However, these effects often lead to the drugs being commonly abused, as adolescents use them to stay up for extended hours to study or do homework.
Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that can be prescribed under a variety of names. The most common legal amphetamines in the United States are sold under brand names such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Dexedrine. All of those drug’s primary use is to treat ADHD, often in children or young adults. They may also be used at times to treat sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy.
Illegal amphetamines also go by several names. The drug amphetamine sold in its original powder form will often be referred to as “speed” on the street. Drugs already processed, such as Adderall or Ritalin, will be sold in their pill forms as “uppers” or “dexies.” When the pills are sold on the street, it is most likely to be from a legal prescription, rather than produced in illegal labs.
One of the most dangerous forms of amphetamines is methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is illegal in the United States, although it is still made in small illicit labs in the country and outside the country and smuggled in. The two forms methamphetamine is most commonly used in is as a liquid that can be injected into the bloodstream or a crystallized chemical compound, often referred to as “crystal meth.”
Yes, it is possible to die from abusing amphetamines. Due to the strain that amphetamines put on the central nervous system, they can be incredibly dangerous when abused, especially at high doses. Certain risk factors may also increase your risk of death or having a severe health complication, such as having a pre-existing heart condition.
As abuse of amphetamines continues, users will begin to build up a tolerance to the drug’s effects. This means that eventually, users will need to increase their doses more and more each time to reach the feeling they are trying to achieve. This is incredibly dangerous and one of the most common causes of overdoses.
An overdose of amphetamine can have a devastating effect on the human body. Too large of a dose can cause heart failure, fever, and blood vessels bursting in the brain. Experiencing seizures, falling into a coma, or even death are all possibilities after overdosing on amphetamines.
Overdoses aren’t the only dangerous aspects of amphetamine abuse, however. Even small doses of amphetamines can cause increased body temperature, elevated heart rate, and high blood pressure, which can be dangerous in individuals with pre-existing conditions. They can also lead to erratic and risky behavior, leading to actions that can be dangerous or fatal.
Amphetamines work in two primary ways. First, they increase natural chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine. This causes a sensation of euphoria, increased energy, and a feeling of improved motivation. Amphetamines also increase the speed at which the brain sends messages to the body. This helps with focus and concentration, as well as the feeling of being alert.
Even small doses of legal amphetamines can have adverse effects. Anxiety and paranoia are common side effects of drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. Chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and fever can also occur in people who have a terrible reaction to amphetamines, even if not abusing them.
When amphetamines are abused, the side-effects are far more severe. Amphetamine abuse can cause seizures, a loss of consciousness, or blurred vision. Hallucinations can also occur when amphetamines are taken in high doses.
Amphetamines are hazardous drugs, specifically due to the likelihood of abuse combined with the fact that they are commonly prescribed to young adolescents to treat ADHD.
A 2018 study showed that 5.1 million Americans over 12 abused prescription stimulants such as Adderall and other amphetamines. That number is incredibly concerning considering the number of young people receiving prescription amphetamines. In the United States, an estimated 2.5 million people have legal amphetamine prescriptions to treat ADHD alone.
Despite the commonality of amphetamines, they are still incredibly dangerous, especially when abused. If you or a loved one struggles with an amphetamine addiction, it is essential to reach out for the help and support you need. Medical professionals are here to help start your recovery process.
At AM Health Care, we believe in finding the treatment plan that will work best for you. Addiction affects every person differently, and their needs during recovery will often reflect those differences. Please reach out to us at 818-383-1297 to learn more about potential amphetamine addiction treatment options.
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