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Amphetamines are a group of synthetic stimulants that affect the Central Nervous System. The drugs were originally available over-the-counter, but due to the increase in addiction and abuse of the drugs, the U.S. government now restricts the drugs allowing them to be obtained only through a prescription. Adderall and Ritalin are the most well-known brand name for prescription amphetamines; for a certain generation and a certain age group, these drugs are nearly synonymous with ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Amphetamines typically come in pill form and are ingested orally. However, they are sometimes injected, snorted or smoked in the case of amphetamine abuse. Amphetamine side effects and withdrawals can range depending on the ingestion methods used. In addition to the commonly known Ritalin and Adderall, other brand names for Amphetamines include Desoxyn, DextroStat, Dexedrine, and Benzedrine. Street names for the drugs include white crosses, wake-ups, uppers, speed, pep pills, lid poppers, eye-openers, copilots, black beauties and bennies.

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About Amphetamines

Prescribed uses of Amphetamines

Most people know that amphetamines, often under the brand name of Ritalin or Adderall, are given to kids and teens with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But that begs the obvious question: why would anyone prescribe a stimulant which goes by the street name "speed" to a hyperactive child? Strangely, it has the paradoxical effect of creating mental focus and thus reducing hyperactivity. Somehow, a mind that is racing - and therefore unfocused - achieves clarity and focus when given a stimulant, amphetamines. The drug is also prescribed for nasal congestion and alertness issues. Some weight loss products also contain amphetamines.

Adderall in College

More than ever, college kids are using amphetamines to keep themselves awake for long periods of time. Adderall, the most popular prescribed amphetamines, can offer students a laser like tunnel vision; in higher doses, it creates a cocaine-like state that lasts for several hours. High school and college students are known to swallow Adderall pillsĀ - with and without a prescription - in an effort to stay focused for long hours while studying. Even those who have prescriptions for this drug to treat a legitimate medical need can become psychologically convinced that they cannot study effectively without taking it.

Amphetamines Side effects

Like all drugs, taking amphetamines can create a slew of side effects, such as:
  • Muscle twitches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Energy and heightened alertness
  • Increased respiration
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased appetite
  • Euphoria
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Hostility or paranoia
  • Cardiovascular system failure
  • High body temperature

Dangers of Amphetamine Abuse

Dangers associated with Amphetamines involve addiction to the substance, which can lead to long-term use of the drug. When individuals become addicted to Amphetamines, they lose control over their ability to do without the drug. This leads to an obsession with getting the drug and achieving the next fix. Over the course of time, abusing Amphetamines can result in psychotic behavior similar to behavior associated with paranoid schizophrenia. Withdrawal symptoms of Amphetamines include severe exhaustion, depression, troubled sleep and extreme hunger. In some cases, young people have committed suicide after coming off Ritalin or Adderall. In fact, the New York Times recently did an expose on this very issue.

Amphetamines Overdose

Overdosing on Amphetamines is not typically a fatal incident. Usually amphetamine abuse symptoms include hypertension, tachycardia, myalgia and agitation. However, in the case where someone takes an extremely high quantity of amphetamines, side effects can be more severe and include hyperthermia, stereotypy, or repetitive movements, psychosis, coma or the breakdown of muscle fibers.

Urine Drug Testing

Amphetamines can be tested in any 5 panel or greater urine drug test.

Hair Drug Tests

Hair follicle drug tests can detect usage of amphetamines over a 90 day period.