Amphetamines are a part of a group of synthetic psychoactive drugs called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. These drugs speed up the body’s systems and produce effects similar to cocaine but, their effects last longer. In the United States, amphetamines are legally prescribed for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity.
The most prescribed medications containing amphetamines include Adderall©, Dexedrine©, DextroStat©, and Desoxyn©. Over the years, illegal amphetamines, known on the street as meth, crystal, ice, crank, and speed, have contributed to an epidemic rise in amphetamine abuse. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “Today, clandestine laboratory production of amphetamines has mushroomed, and the abuse of the drug has increased dramatically.”
Amphetamines are abused in variety of ways and often diverted to the street where they are sold as “speed” or “uppers”. Amphetamines are usually taken orally, but they are often abused by taking more than prescribed or more often, crushing and snorting them, or intravenously injecting them. Methamphetamines, although structurally similar to amphetamines, are more potent and pose the greatest health risks in society because they are produced clandestinely and there is no way of knowing their exact chemical makeup. These drugs are often smoked or injected.
When Use of Amphetamine is Dangerous
When prescription amphetamines are taken orally and in low doses, as prescribed, they are considered safe. However, use of Amphetamine is dangerous whenever it is abused.
Consumed at High Dosages
Amphetamines should never be used in high dosages because they stimulate the central nervous system which essentially controls our entire body. Adverse health risks from too much amphetamine includes; increased heart rate or blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, overdose, seizures, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, toxic psychosis, or death.
Used Without a Prescription
Amphetamine use without a prescription is very risky. Without a doctor’s evaluation of your possible health risks, there is no way of determining what or how much is safe to use. Also, illegal Methamphetamines are commonly processed with poisonous or harmful chemicals and there is no way of knowing what is actually in the drug.
When amphetamines are abused this way for a while, they can cause damage to the delicate epithelial tissues that line the nasal cavities and air passages, resulting in open sores, nose bleeds, and possibly the deterioration of the nasal cartilage.
By injecting drugs, there is a concentrated dose, delivered quickly, and overdoses are common occurrences. Also, this method bypasses natural defense mechanisms and can cause circulatory problems, pulmonary problems, infections, and blood diseases such as Hepatitis or AIDS.
Combining With Other Drugs or Alcohol
It is always dangerous to combine Amphetamines with alcohol or other drugs. Intensified effects can lead to overdose or they may cause adverse reactions that can harm the individual.