What Are Amphetamines? 

Amphetamines are classified as stimulant drugs, meaning they have an activating effect on the central nervous system. Amphetamines produce effects such as increased focus and higher energy levels. 

A brief history of amphetamines according to research summarizes: “Amphetamine was discovered as a drug in the late 1920s, and its pharmacological effects on attention and cognition, emotions, and appetite were explored thoroughly in the 1930s and 1940s. By the late 1940s, it had achieved medical and market success as an antidepressant and was quickly gaining such success as a diet medication.

In contrast, both careful testing and extensive military experience had left the impression that the drugs’ benefits for attention and cognition were more subjective than real and that any objective benefits were explained mainly by the drug’s mood-elevating effects. Because of its unpatentable status, methamphetamine had been introduced for all the same uses by drug firms competing with the holder of the amphetamine patent. The drugs were being widely used non-medically and their abuse potential was becoming recognized by medicine, eventually leading to their strict control internationally around 1970.”

Today, amphetamines are available in prescription form through drugs used to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) such as Adderall and Vyvanse. 

Amphetamine Abuse Side Effects

Amphetamines are commonly abused by individuals taking them for non-medical use. When abused, amphetamine can cause serious physical and psychological health risks. In recent years, much has been researched and written on the uptick in college students misusing amphetamines, such as Adderall, seeking to improve their academic performance

Side effects of amphetamine abuse include: 

  • Hypertension
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Psychosis
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney disease
  • Appetite issues
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Overdose 

Dangers of Amphetamine Abuse 

Amphetamine abuse is dangerous, with or without a prescription. Published survey results on stimulant use in the state of Georgia in 2018 show that from 2017 to 2018, overdose deaths involving stimulants increased by 11%, from 631 to 703 deaths. In 2018, amphetamines were involved in more deaths than any other stimulant. In 2020, that number rose to 996 deaths involving stimulants, representing 51% of all overdose deaths. 

Amphetamine Abuse and Addiction Symptoms

When an individual is abusing or addicted to amphetamines, common symptoms that may appear include: 

  • Intense cravings and urges to use amphetamines
  • Desire to stop using amphetamines, but unable to do so
  • Increased tolerance to amphetamines, requiring larger doses for effect
  • Great amounts of time and energy spent seeking, using, and recovering from amphetamine use 
  • Inability to complete daily commitments and responsibilities due to amphetamine use 
  • Amphetamine use continues despite danger, negative consequences, or threats to health 
  • Withdrawal symptoms appear when amphetamine use is stopped or decreased 

Help For Amphetamine Abuse and Addiction 

If you are considering seeking amphetamine addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, rest assured that help is widely available and recovery is possible. If you have questions or concerns, call us today. We at Rehab Carolinas are experienced in substance abuse and addiction and are here to help.