What are amphetamines?

What are amphetamines?

Amphetamines are a stimulant drug. A stimulant drug temporarily increases the activity of an organism or any of its parts. Amphetamines trigger the release of epinephrine (adrenaline) which stimulates the central nervous system. Amphetamines are sold under a variety of different names, but they are commonly known as "speed" or "bennies." Amphetamines come in tablet or capsule form. Abusers can grind and sniff the capsules or even shoot the drug into their body by making it into a solution. Amphetamines speed up the physical and mental processes, lessen fatigue, boost energy and create a sense of excitement but there are serious side-effects and long term risks.

How do amphetamine users feel?

Amphetamine users characteristically feel confident of their ability to think clearly and perform any task exceptionally even though amphetamines in fact, do not boost performance or thinking. Higher doses of amphetamines can make a person feel "wired" -talkative, excited, restless, irritable, anxious or moody. If the drug is taken intravenously, the person will feel a "rush" of elation and confidence but he or she can also feel confused, ramble or speak incoherently, feel a lot of anxiety, suffer from headaches, and palpitations.

Are there risks and complications?

Amphetamines are addictive. Users can develop dependence on the drug with occasional or daily use. Taking high doses of amphetamines is dangerous, they can cause rapid or irregular heartbeats, loss of coordination and tremors and if the drug is injected, the user may experience sudden increases in blood pressure which could cause high fevers, heart failure or a fatal stroke .

Amphetamine users can develop an acute paranoid psychosis. This means the user may hear, see, and feel things that do not exist. He or she may also have delusions (irrational thoughts or beliefs), become paranoid and/or violent. Amphetamine use can also lead to delirium which is a state of mental confusion and disorganization.

Effects of Amphetamines

Amphetamines have many dangerous side-effects including fatal overdoses. In the long-run, they can severely damage your health.


Long-term effects:

* loss of appetite
* blurred vision
* trembling
* nausea or vomiting, suspiciousness
* delusions
* hallucinations
* palpitations
* unusual perceptions such as a sensation of insects crawling on the skin
* increased heart rate
* elevated blood pressure
* impaired breathing
* loss of muscle tone
* users develop dependence on the drug
* suffer from chest pains
* seizures
* abnormal heart rhythms
* malnutrition
* ulcers
* lack of sleep
* paranoia
* brain damage
* violent behavior
*heart failure
* coma
* fatal overdose


When a user feels the drug is starting to wear off, he or she is experiencing a crash. Generally, users will "binge"- this means they will take higher doses of the drug for a couple of days to try to prevent "crashing." Crashing is when users crave for the drug; they may experience shakiness, irritability, depression, and anxiety which usually takes two or more days to recover.

Withdrawal usually lasts for more than 24 hours after the last intake of the drug. The user may feel very tired, have disturbing dreams, sleep a lot or hardly at all, have an increased appetite, and experience a speeding up or slowing down of physical movements. Symptoms usually peak between two and four days even though feelings of depression and irritability may last for months. Suicide is a major risk during this period.


Inpatient hospitalization may be necessary for those who inject amphetamines or those who are severely depressed or suicidal. Therapy is the essential part of treatment in recovery and relapse prevention however,some medications can help. Antipsychotic medications can help manage delusions, hallucinations, and confusion while antidepressants can help treat those who experience severe depression after withdrawal.