Amphetamine – What is it? How Does it Work? Any Side Effects?

Scientists discovered Amphetamine in the year of 1887. Since then, people used it to treat depression, narcolepsy and other diseases. Besides its innovative use in medicine, Amphetamine’s additional purpose was to increase athlete performance. This is despite its manifold positive effects.

What Is Amphetamine

Of course, you should only use Amphetamines under prescription. This is due to their dangerous and habit-forming properties.

Amphetamine contains two potent ingredients:

  • D-amphetamine (releases dopamine into the synapse)
  • L-amphetamine (releases norepinephrine)

Some of the most common amphetamine-based drugs people use are Adderal, Concerta, Dextroamphetamine, Levoamphetamine, ProCentra, etc.

What are the Effects of Amphetamines?

Amphetamines primarily exude their effect on the central nervous system. Therefore, they serve as a CNS stimulant. Essentially, amphetamines increase the level of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in a person’s brain. As a result, it leads to an increased sense of happiness. This happens as the dopamine levels goes up artificially in our system.

Amphetamines impact dopamine levels in three different ways:

  • Push the additional amount of dopamine in one’s synapses
  • Regulate the intensity of dopamine levels in one’s system
  • Aid transporters pump additional dopamine in the synapse

Amphetamines and Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, amphetamine works as an anorectic or appetite suppressant. Moreover, it also increases energy levels in a person’s body. However, some doctors freely prescribe weight loss medication with this base to obese patients. Meanwhile, other doctors deem it unsafe due to its habit-forming properties. As a result, they believe that its cons outweigh the benefits.

What is the Link Between Amphetamines and ADHD?

For children with ADHD, amphetamines have significant short-term effects. As a result, they decrease problems with attention by helping these children to focus on their tasks. In addition, Amphetamines also help in improving social interactions, and self-esteem of people with ADHD.

What is the Link Between Amphetamines and Narcolepsy?

amphetamine abuseAnother important use of amphetamines revolves around Narcolepsy treatment. Narcolepsy is a neurological disease where a patient suffers from episodes of sudden loss of consciousness. It means that they can fall asleep without warning. This is because they don’t have the ability to control sleep-wake cycles. As a result, they are tired all the time. This can be very dangerous in some situations.

They use Amphetamines in narcolepsy treatment due to the stimulative effect on one’s central nervous system. They do it by increasing dopamine level. Amphetamines help narcolepsy patients maintain awareness.

What are the Side Effects of Amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a highly addictive substance with many dangerous side effects.

It can cause:

  • Chest pains
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart pounding
  • Psychological problems such as paranoia and hallucinations
  • Changes on the skin
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle pain
  • Digestion problems
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • High heart rate
  • Impotence
  • Nose bleeding
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, make sure to tell your doctor.

Important Things to Note

Above all, you should only use Amphetamines under prescription. Furthermore, you should never self-medicate or increase your dose without professional supervision.

Other situations when you should NOT be using medicines with this base are:

  • Took MAO inhibitors such as Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, etc.
  • Are allergic to any stimulant
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Suffer from a cardiovascular disease
  • Have thyroid problems
  • Have a mental illness such as anxiety
  • Are with a history of drug abuse

You should always inform your doctor if anyone in your family suffers or have suffered from any symptom from above.

Amphetamine usage is strictly forbidden during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Also, they don’t recommend medications with this base for children younger than six years old.

Amphetamine Abuse

Due to its highly abusive nature, amphetamine addiction is very common. In most cases, when the rehabilitation process starts, the damage on one’s body is already complete. Unfortunately, some of the cognitive issues that occurs can be permanent. For example, it could be memory problems.

Some of the signs of amphetamine abuse are:

  • Malnourishment
  • Drug craving behavior
  • Aggression
  • Hostility
  • Paranoid behavior and thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Heart problems
  • Seizures
  • Tolerance

Needless to say, relapse is very common during rehabilitation. Withdrawal symptoms are quite severe and even life-threatening. It is why they highly recommend medical supervision during detox period.

Individual therapy, family counseling, group meetings are only a few of the necessary steps that lead to full recovery. This is after the initial detoxification. Of course, without a strong support system, relapse is almost inevitable. There are a couple of major challenges for an ex-addict. First, it is finding new ways to deal with everyday problems. Second, it is re-learning how to experience joy in life without amphetamines.

Statistics on Amphetamine Use

Unfortunately, young people fearlessly abuse this substance to achieve certain effects. They include elevate their mood, energy levels and their overall sense of well-being. This is despite the various life-threatening effects recreational amphetamine use can have. According to statistics, in 2005, 169,500 emergency room admissions were for primary amphetamine abuse. Tragically, even though recreational amphetamine use is illegal, more and more young people revert to this stimulant. Even worse is that they do it without the regard of the awful future consequences.

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