The term, amphetamines, describe stimulants that speed up the body’s systems and include methamphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin. As psychostimulants, they increase activity in the brain and central nervous system and are prescribed to treat attention deficit disorders and narcolepsy. Amphetamines are also produced illegally and have a high potential for abuse and dependency because they can produce effects similar to cocaine which causes euphoria, excitement, awareness, and extended wakefulness.
Repeat abuse of amphetamines can lead to tolerance and physical or psychological dependence and users risk severe physical and mental health impairments from their abuse. Amphetamines can be taken orally, crushed and snorted, or diluted for intravenous injection. Amphetamine addictions are hard to treat and in most cases, the addict is a poly substance abuser or has a co-existing mental health disorder. them. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, ”Chronic abuse produces a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia and is characterized by: Paranoia, picking at the skin, preoccupation with one’s own thoughts, and auditory and visual hallucinations.”
10 Amphetamine Side Effects To Look Out For
Amphetamines can cause sleep disturbances and mood problems.
- Intense cravings are an indication of amphetamine addiction which is a serious risk with heavy or long term abuse.
- Amphetamines act on the central nervous system increasing dopamine and norepinephrine making the person feel energetic or exhilarated but, when the usage stops, the person exhibits a “crash” which produces extreme fatigue, depression, lack of motivation, and insomnia.
- Amphetamines increase respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. If these symptoms persist or worsen they can be dangerous.
- Amphetamine tolerance requires the person to use more of the drug to achieve the same desired effect and can lead to a physical and/or psychological dependency.
- Amphetamines can cause mental health issues and are frequently associated with paranoia, agitation, hostility, aggression, panic attacks, suicidal or harmful tendencies, and stimulant psychosis.
- Overdose on amphetamines involves using too much, too frequently, or combining these drugs with other substances or alcohol. Symptoms include; confusion, hyperthermia, high or low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, rapid respirations, inability to urinate, involuntary muscle twitching, and severe agitation. In large overdoses, coma seizures, stroke, kidney failure, respiratory failure, or cardiovascular problems can be fatal.
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea are common gastrointestinal effects but if prolonged they can lead to dehydration.
- Sexual side effects in males can include erectile dysfunction, prolonged erections, or frequent erections.
- Amphetamines decrease appetite and weight loss can be significant, causing weakness or other physical impairments
- Amphetamines decrease sleep and this can lead to abnormal mood disturbances and irrational behaviors.