Most amphetamines that are found on the streets being abused today are actually legal amphetamines—that is, they are legal when they are used by the user who is prescribed the drugs by a legitimate doctor and when they are used correctly by that user.
Legal amphetamines make up the majority of amphetamines with the exception of methamphetamine which is actually a double synthesized version of the drug amphetamine which is derived from the Mu-Huange plant.
The most common legal amphetamines include:
All of these drugs can be legally prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of various medical and psychological disorders.
Why are Legal Amphetamines Prescribed?
There are a number of different reasons why a doctor might prescribe legal amphetamines to a patient.
The most common uses of amphetamine containing drugs include:
- Weight loss
- ADHD treatment
- ADD treatment
- Narcolepsy treatment
Unfortunately, amphetamines, even when taken as prescribed can lead to physical and psychological dependence. According to the University of Maryland, these drugs are very habit-forming and sustained or continued repeat use of amphetamines, even legal amphetamines, can lead to addiction.
What is Amphetamine Addiction?
Amphetamine addiction develops when the body develops a physical or psychological tolerance to the drug and actually depends on amphetamines as a means of “feeling” normal or to cope. Amphetamine addiction can occur even when legal amphetamines are taken and even when they are taken as prescribed although the risk of addiction is much lower for those who take these drugs for a prescribed purpose and who do not stray from the doctor’s recommended use of the drugs.
Amphetamine addiction can lead to a number of physical and psychological side effects and long-term consequences including:
- Permanent mental disorders
Various other side effects of amphetamines are also possible and due to the chemical changes that occur within the brain, amphetamine addiction is a lifelong problem that really never goes away even with treatment.
How do Legal Amphetamines Work?
Legal amphetamines work by producing a stimulant reaction in the brain that causes the release of adrenalin and other stress hormones called endorphins including epinephrine and norepinephrine. Amphetamines cause changes in the way that the central nervous system reacts and sustained use can lead to an inability of the brain to produce the “pleasure” sensing neurotransmitters the way it once did. As a result, the user may no longer feel happy or good unless he or she takes amphetamine; this effect is similar to the effects that those addicted to alcohol or cocaine feel.