Many people who take amphetamines widely underestimate the dangers of these drugs. It’s simple for a drug user to rationalize their behavior or decision to use by claiming that “amphetamines are safe because they are prescribed by a doctor,” or, “amphetamines can’t be dangerous because they come from a pharmacy.” Unfortunately, when amphetamines are used for recreational purposes, without a prescription or in a manner other than how they are prescribed, they can be extremely dangerous. The dangers of amphetamines extend well beyond the beaten path of increased risk of overdose, there is a risk of physical dependence, organ damage, psychosis and even death.
Sustained amphetamine use can lead to deep periods of depression when the drugs are not being used. Typically, what happens is the user depletes the storage of neurotransmitters in the brain and these neurotransmitters are responsible for feelings of happiness and pleasure. When they are gone, the user no longer feels happy or pleasurable and intense sadness sets in. According to the US National Library of Medicine, deep depression following a period of using amphetamines can lead to serious consequences and dangerous outcomes such as suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Sustained use of amphetamines dramatically slows the digestive process. This results in the user no longer feeling hungry or thirsty. The real danger comes as the user continues to abuse drugs and focus less and less on how much they are eating or drinking or on the types of foods or drinks that they are consuming. Anorexia can set in and malnutrition becomes a serious concern.
Continued use of amphetamines can lead the user to develop a tolerance to the drugs. This causes the user to require more and more of the drug in order to feel the same effects. As tolerance increases, so too does physical dependence and addiction to the drugs. Once the user is addicted, the decision to stop using drugs becomes more difficult and the idea of turning back becomes less visible without professional help.
Amphetamines cause the heart to beat more quickly and this increases the blood pressure significantly. Increased blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attacks placing the user at great risk for long term damage. Heart attack is also the leading cause of death associated with amphetamine overdose. It’s important to refrain from ever taking more amphetamines than are prescribed and to realize that there are serious dangers that may occur with taking amphetamines without a prescription.
Many amphetamines, especially street versions such as methamphetamine, have been found to cause permanent damage to cells. This can lead to lifetime complications and possibly even brain damage. Using amphetamines may lead to permanent psychological disorientation, brain damage, or psychosis that cannot be reversed.
The organs have to work overtime when a user is taking amphetamines. Sustained use can lead to organ failure or toxicity that results from the body’s inability to filter out the toxins as quickly as they are entering the body. Amphetamines cause the kidneys to flush toxins back into the bloodstream and then the liver must work overtime in an effort to eliminate these toxins. The result is a toxicity that can cause permanent damage to other organs in the body and may lead to bladder infections, kidney failure, liver damage, heart attack, or other serious health complications.