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Amphetamines Abuse and Addiction

Amphetamines Abuse and Addiction

Amphetamines are illicit drugs widely used in United States for recreational purposes. Amphetamines are classified as schedule II substance which means they have a limited medical use but they possess a great risk for abuse and addiction. They are sometimes prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Narcolepsy.

What are amphetamines?

Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulating drugs sometimes prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Narcolepsy and obesity. When used, they increase the levels of wakefulness and alertness and produce the feelings of euphoria. They produce their effects by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain associated with the feelings of happiness and euphoria. Amphetamines have become a popular street drug so they can be easily found on the streets as well as in pharmacies. Since their use improves the level of wakefulness and suppresses hunger, they are widely abused by college students. These effects are desirable for them since they enable them to study without falling asleep. However, contrary to popular belief, amphetamines do not help improve cognitive abilities and thus they do not have any positive effect on improving grades.

Since amphetamine is a drug commonly available on the streets for the addicts, a number of street names are given to it such as:

  • Speed
  • Fast
  • Copilots
  • Wake ups
  • Crank
  • Cross tops
  • Up or Uppers
  • Louee
  • Goey
  • Dexies
  • Footballs
  • Cris or Christy
  • Crystal
  • Ice or hot ice
  • Whiz
  • Bennies
  • Pep pills
  • Glass or L.A. glass
  • Hearts
  • Black beauties
  • Bumblebees
  • Chalk
  • Go
  • Eye openers
  • Meth or crystal meth
  • Zip

Different types of amphetamines:

Amphetamines are usually available in the form of small dark or light blue pills. They are available in different compositions and are often marked with certain signs for identification.

In the pharmacies, a number of different types of drugs are available containing dextroamphetamine, levoamphetamine or both. Some of the common amphetamine based drugs are:

  • Adderall
  • Adderall XR
  • Dexedrine
  • Dexedrin spansule
  • Desxoyn
  • Dextrostat
  • Ritalin
  • Vyvanse
  • Zenzedi
  • ProCentra

All of these medications are taken orally.

Why are amphetamines addictive?

Amphetamines are among the most addictive drugs in the world and once the addiction has been developed, getting rid of it can be a difficult process. Amphetamines are useful for therapeutic purposes when taken exactly as prescribed. However, the potential of development of adduction never goes away, even when they are used for therapeutic purposes. When the drug is used for extended periods of time, the user develops tolerance and it takes higher amounts of the drug to produce desired effects each time. Tolerance is among the early signs of addiction.

Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants which means they produce their effects by increasing the brain activity. The levels of certain neurotransmitter such as dopamine and nor epinephrine are significantly increased in the brain and the user experiences increased energy, wakefulness and alertness. The appetite is also suppressed. With the prolonged use, the brain becomes used to function in the presence of high amounts of neurotransmitters and when they are not supplied, it shows a violent reaction termed as withdrawal symptoms.

Medical uses of amphetamines:

Amphetamine is often used for therapeutic purposes. Conditions amphetamine is used for the treatment of include:

ADHD: In this disease the person becomes hyperactive, experiences lack of concentration and behaves impulsively. The disorder is more common among kids than adults, and doctors treat it with the help of amphetamines in both kids and adults. For older people, often different medicines are used because the use of amphetamines can create serious health issues.

Narcolepsy: It’s a disease in which the patient feels excessive sleepiness during the day. The patient gets sleep attacks in the middle of important activities such as eating and driving. The issue becomes more serious when the patient can’t perform regular work on daily basis. Students also take amphetamines to stay up during the exams. Doctors have been using amphetamines since 1930 to treat narcolepsy. since amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system, the user feels alert and focused.

Obesity:   Amphetamines reduce the appetite; so many people use the drugs to lose weight. Obesity is a common issue, especially in the US, and lots of people try drugs for weight reduction. Obese people often start using amphetamines without even consulting a doctor. Doctors don’t recommend taking amphetamines for weight reduction.

Depression: Doctors sometimes prescribe amphetamines with other antidepressants to manage depression. But, amphetamines should be avoided with certain antidepressants since the interaction can be deadly. They should not be used unless prescribed by the doctor.

Common amphetamine drug combinations:

There are certain drugs that can produce negative effects on health when taken in combination with amphetamines. The user should consult a doctor before combining amphetamine with other drugs. There are certain antidepressants that react with amphetamine, damaging the nervous system.

Alcohol when combined with amphetamine is also extremely harmful. Alcohol slows down the brain function, whereas amphetamines stimulate the brain activities. The effects of alcohol are masked by amphetamines that lead the user to drink more and more alcohol that can even result into an overdose.

Combining amphetamines with Xanax and Adderall is also harmful. To be safe, the doctors usually don’t recommend amphetamines with any kind of drug even if they don’t contradict.

Statistics on amphetamine abuse:

Although the selling of amphetamine by the pharmacies is highly checked and the drug is only available with a valid prescription, it is still the second most widely abused drug in United States following marijuana.

  • The students of grade 10-12 have admitted abusing amphetamines at least once.
  • People who abuse Adderall or amphetamines are more likely to abuse other drugs as well. Most of the college students who abuse amphetamines are also binge drinkers.
  • An MIT open course reportrevealed that the chances of abusing stimulants like amphetamine are doubled for the students who are enrolled in a high merit college.
  • About 30 million Americans have abused amphetamine at some point.
  • A report by DAWNsuggested that the number of emergency room visits due to stimulants overdose has increased a great deal between the years 2005 and 2010.