Amphetamines is the term used to commonly define stimulant-type drugs that are chemically related to the parent compound amphetamine. To define amphetamines likely would include any one of the following definitions:
- A synthetic colorless volatile liquid used medicinally as the white crystalline sulphate, mainly for its stimulant action on the central nervous system, although it also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. It can have unpleasant or dangerous side effects and drug dependence can occur; 1-phenyl-2-aminopropane. Formula: C6 H5 CH2 CH(NH2) CH3
- a colorless, volatile liquid used primarily as a central nervous system stimulant, according to Dictionary.com Unabridged
- A derivative of amphetamine, such as dextroamphetamine or a phosphate or sulfate of amphetamine, used as a central nervous system stimulant in the treatment of certain conditions, such as narcolepsy and depression. (resource: The American Heritage Stedman’s Medical Dictionary)
- Any of a group of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system, resulting in elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and other metabolic functions. Amphetamines are used in the treatment of certain neurological conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. According to the American Heritage Science Dictionary, the drugs are highly addictive and are sometimes abused.
Ambiguity in the definition of amphetamines can lead to some confusion for researchers and law enforcement which is why many government agencies have worked diligently to define amphetamines as a standard class of drugs and to clarify what should, or should not be included in the definition of this class of drugs. The DEA has outlined an extensive list of substances that are controlled as level 1-5 narcotics with level 5 being the least likely to be abused and level 1 substances carrying a very wide potential for abuse. Many of the drugs on the list are combination compounds that are chemically related to the parent compound amphetamine and are thus considered amphetamines.