Amphetamines have been used to treat various medical problems such as asthma or narcolepsy, and were also used during World War II to counteract fatigue of the soldiers and increase their concentration.
Since 1960s, illegal use of amphetamines began to spread, increasing control over them. Although illegal substances were originally used illegally, with increased control, they began to be manufactured in illegal laboratories. This carries a great risk, since the chemicals used in its manufacture are very toxic and highly explosive.
What is the Effect of Amphetamines?
Amphetamines stimulate certain areas of brain and cause increased levels of certain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine, causing a stimulating effect, euphoric mood, increased energy level, decreased appetite and a sense of well-being.
They can make a person feel more alert and increase capacity for concentration and self-esteem. You may also feel agitated, irritable, and aggressive. Its effects can last up to 4 hours, although this depends on the type of amphetamine, the dose and other factors. If taken together with alcohol, its effects are increased, with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Its physical effects include the following;
Increased body temperature
Nausea and vomiting
Increased sex drive
However, as with cocaine, past this effect results in a large decrease in levels of neurotransmitters, which fall below normal levels which increases the desire to take amphetamines again to counteract the discomfort. Even months after stopping the use of this substance, levels of neurotransmitters may remain below the normal levels. It is also possible that, after prolonged use of amphetamines, levels of neurotransmitters will never be normal again. Over time, the person may develop tolerance to amphetamines, which means that he will need a larger dose to achieve the same effects.
Effects of Chronic Use
Long term use of amphetamines produces psychosis similar to paranoid schizophrenia. In some cases, psychosis can also occur when using a high dose for a short period of time.
They also produce very aggressive and even violent behavior, especially when the person feels threatened, as well as an increased level of anxiety, panic attacks, sleep problems and excessive weight loss that can be accompanied by malnutrition. Depression and mood swings can also occur.
Among the physical complications that may occur are heart damage, stroke and life-threatening fevers. The way in which amphetamines produce addiction is similar to that of other stimulant drugs such as cocaine.