Amphetamines produce powerful stimulant effects which can be helpful for some patients who are prescribed the drugs but can be potentially deadly for those who abuse these drugs recreationally. The long term effects of amphetamines are often significant as the user develops more prominent symptoms of the drug use with each time an amphetamine is taken. Much like cocaine, amphetamines can cause heightened senses, increased alertness and raised blood-pressure; repeat us is often responsible for an array of long term side effects.
Amphetamines are often responsible for delusional feelings of power that can create serious consequences for the user. Many amphetamine abuses become injured as a result of their decision to attempt erratic stunts or to fight with others because they mistakenly believe that they are untouchable.
Amphetamines produce significant increases in anxiety and paranoia. Anxiety is one of the most prevalent long term effects of amphetamines, one of the most difficult symptoms to treat and the most likely symptom to stick around and cause problems for the user.
Persistent use of amphetamines can make it very difficult for the user to fall asleep. Once he or she does fall asleep, the sleep is usually broken by symptoms of withdrawal. Often times, people who take amphetamines for a prolonged period of time will require medication to help regulate their sleep patterns later in life.
According the DEA, chronic abuse of amphetamines can lead to a psychosis that is much like that experienced by people who suffer from schizophrenia. Symptoms will include severe paranoia, picking the skin and becoming completely preoccupied with the thoughts that one has. There could even be hallucinations or delusions in a user who suffers from an amphetamine induced psychosis.
Chronic or repeat use of amphetamines can lead to extreme, and sometimes unwanted, weight loss. The long term effects of amphetamines, including weight loss, often dissipate when the user quits taking the drugs but not always. Some will struggle with their weight and with other symptoms of the amphetamine abuse for many years following the decision to quit.
Much like the feelings of power, amphetamines will often cause people to act out aggressively. This can lead to injury or potentially fatal consequences in some cases. The aggressive behavior often becomes worse with prolonged use of these types of drugs—this only escalates the dangers.
People who abuse amphetamines are at an increased risk of developing a tolerance and potentially becoming physically dependent on the drugs. Physical dependence will likely require professional treatment in order to help the user recover.