Head Games: Drugs of Abuse – Amphetamines

A m p h e t a m i n e s  

 Introduction

Amphetamine is a synthetic form of Ephedrine, which is found in the herb ma huang, as this herb has been used in China for the past 5,000 years. Amphetamine is a stimulant and has some of the same effects on the person as the drug cocaine does (which is faster acting). Amphetamine and methamphetamine are produced in “home labs” in predominantly Western countries and could be taken orally as a tablet or capsule, sniffed, injected, or consumed in a liquid.

Slang/Street Names

Bennies, hearts, pep-pills, dex, beans, black beauties, crank, pink football, dexies, speed, crystal, meth, uppers, moth, crosses, ice, methlies, quick.

Pharmacokinetics

Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, and MDMA (“Ecstacy”) primarily affect the Sympathetic Nervous System, which causes the “flight or flight” response. However, like cocaine, they cause the release of Norepinephrine (NE) and Dopamine (D) from the endings of the neurons and block their re-uptake. They are well absorbed from the intestinal tract; and they are excreted unchanged, which adds to the intensification of their effect.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Abuse/Dependence

Acute effects of Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, and Ecstasy abuse include wakefulness, alertness, heightened concentration, and an increase in energy in addition to an increase in blood pressure and pulse rate. Acute effects also include decreased appetite, reduced weight, and delayed sleep. People who use these stimulants may become acutely psychotic (auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations) and may be prone to violent outbursts, even to the point of homicide. Chronic effects of these stimulants cause severe hypertension, cerebral hemorrhaging, seizures, and coma.

Withdrawal and Overdose

Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, and Ecstasy users, just as those who abuse cocaine, will experience a depression, agitation, anxiety and intense craving for more of the drug followed by fatigue, distorted sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, suicidal or homicidal ideation, and anhedonia, or the absence of pleasure from the acts one would normally receive pleasure in doing. Overdose could cause seizures, heart attacks, elevation in blood pressure and temperature (leading to cardiovascular shock and even death), hallucinations, convulsions, and possibly death.

If you are struggling and abusing amphetamines, please consider asking others for help, by clicking here.

Other HEAD GAMES Drugs of Abuse:

Alcohol

Cocaine

Hallucinogens (Marijuana and LSD)

Opiates 

Sedative/Hypnotics


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