Amphetamine is the collective term for several substances including amphetamine sulphate, laevoamphetamine (Benzedrine), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), and methamphetamine (Methedrine). Amphetamines are produced from a colorless oil base which is insoluble in water. The most common form of usage is powder that may be made into capsules or tablets. Amphetamine is often mixed with adulterants such as sugar, glucose or ephedrine.
Effects of Usage
Amphetamines can be injected, snorted, smoked or taken orally. Amphetamines are psycho-stimulants and their primary effect is to speed up the activity of the brain and nervous system. The user’s heart and breathing rate increases and they may experience tremendous energy, alertness and confidence. The abuser suffers from low appetite but become excited and more talkative.
Effects of short-term amphetamine use include:
• Increased heart rate
• Increased blood pressure
• Reduced appetite
• Dilation of the pupils
• Feelings of happiness and power
• Reduced fatigue
Long term amphetamine use can result in:
• Insomnia, restlessness
• “Paranoid psychosis”
• Violent and aggressive behavior
• Weight loss
The less sought after effects include heart palpitations, nervousness and tetchiness. At higher doses, amphetamine can cause irregular heartbeat, headaches, faintness and panic attacks. Long term, heavy usage can lead to insomnia and psychological and emotional problems such as depression, obsession and extreme fierceness can develop. In some cases, abusers will experience amphetamine psychosis – a psychological state, similar to schizophrenia – accompanied by paranoid hallucinations.
Amphetamine Effects on the Nervous System
Amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system and sympathetic division of the peripheral nervous system. Amphetamines mainly increase the synaptic activity of the dopamine and nor-epinephrine neurotransmitter systems. Amphetamines can:
1. Cause the release of dopamine from axon terminals.
2. Block dopamine reuptake.
3. Inhibit the storage of dopamine in vesicles.
4. Inhibit the destruction of dopamine by enzymes.
All of these actions result in more dopamine in the synaptic cleft where it can act on receptors.
Many of the effects of amphetamines are similar to cocaine. Amphetamine withdrawal is characterized by severe depression and weariness. Users will go to extreme measures to avoid the withdrawal symptoms that emerge when the effect of amphetamines start wearing off. Amphetamine use also causes tolerance to its effects that means, more and more amphetamine must be used further to get the desired effect.
The above information gives you an insight into the effects caused by the abuse of Amphetamines, which helps you in keeping away yourself and your dear ones from abusing drugs like Amphetamines.