Amphetamines are stimulant medicine, which implies they speed up the messages travel between the brain and the body.
Some sorts of amphetamines are legally prescribed by doctors to treat conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (where an individual has an uncontrollable urge to sleep). other sorts of amphetamines like speed are produced and sold illegally. The more potent kind, crystal methamphetamine (ice), is covered in a separate fact sheet.
The appearance of amphetamines varies. These medicine is also in the form of a powder, tablets, crystals and capsules. they’ll be packaged in ‘foils’ (aluminium foil), plastic bags or tiny balloons when sold illegally.
Amphetamine powder will range in color from white through to brown, typically it should have traces of gray or pink. it’s a powerful smell and bitter taste. amphetamine capsules and tablets vary significantly in size and colour.
Amphetamine -Illegally made amphetamines may be a mixture of medicine, binding agents, caffeine and sugar. New psychoactive substances may even be added.
- Slang names
- Speed, fast, up, uppers, louee, goey, whiz.
- How are they used?
- Amphetamines are typically enveloped, injected or smoked. they are also snorted.
Effects of amphetamines
Amphetamines have an effect on everyone otherwise, based on:
- Size, weight and health
- Whether the person is employed to taking it
- Whether different medicine are taken around the same time
- The amount taken
- The strength of the drug (varies from batch to batch with illegally made drugs)
The effects of amphetamines could also be felt immediately (if injected or smoked) or inside half-hour (if snorted or swallowed).
The following effects could also be experienced:
- Happiness and confidence
- Talking more and feeling energetic
- Repeating simple things like itching and scratching
- Large pupils and dry mouth
- Fast heart beat and respiration
- Teeth grinding
- Reduced appetency
- Excessive sweating
- Increased sex drive
If a large quantity or a strong batch is taken, it may also cause an overdose. If any of the subsequent effects are experienced an ambulance should be called without delay by dialling triple zero (000). ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police.
- Racing heartbeat
- Passing out
- Stroke, heart failure and death
Snorting amphetamines will harm the nasal passage and cause nose bleeds.
Injecting amphetamines and sharing needles will increase the risk of:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Coming down
In the 2 to 4 days after amphetamine use, the subsequent effects could also be experienced:
- Restless sleep and exhaustion
- Dizziness and blurred vision
- Paranoia, hallucinations and confusion
- Irritability, mood swings and depression
Using a depressant drug like alcohol, benzodiazepines or cannabis to help with the ‘come down’ effects might lead to a cycle of dependence on each sorts of medicine.
Long term effects
Regular use of amphetamines might eventually cause:
- Reduced appetency and extreme weight loss
- Restless sleep
- Dry mouth and dental issues
- Regular colds and flu
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle stiffness
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Heart and kidney issues
- Increased risk of stroke
- Needing to use more to get the same result
- Dependence on amphetamines
- Financial, work and social issues
High doses and frequent over use may also create an ‘amphetamine psychosis’, characterized by paranoid delusions, hallucinations and out of character aggressive or violent behaviour. These symptoms sometimes disappear a few days after the person stops using amphetamines.1,2
Mixing amphetamines with other medicine
The effects of taking amphetamines with different medicine − including over-the-counter or prescribed medications − may be unpredictable and dangerous, and will cause:
Amphetamines + some antidepressants: elevated blood pressure, which might result in irregular heartbeat, heart failure and stroke.4
Amphetamines + alcohol, cannabis or benzodiazepines: the body is placed under a high degree of stress because it attempts to manage the conflicting effects of each types of medicine, which may result in an overdose.
Giving up amphetamines after using them for a long time is difficult because the body must get used to functioning without them. Withdrawal symptoms should settle down after a week and can mostly disappear after a month. Symptoms include:
- Cravings for amphetamines
- Increased appetency
- Confusion and irritability
- Aches and pains
- Restless sleep and nightmares
- Anxiety, depression and paranoia