Amphetamine is a psychostimulant drug that is known to produce increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite. Amphetamine is related to drugs such as methamphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are a group of potent drugs that act by increasing levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine in the brain, inducing euphoria. The group includes prescription CNS drugs commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. It is also used to treat symptoms of traumatic brain injury and the daytime drowsiness symptoms of narcolepsy, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. Initially, amphetamine was more popularly used to diminish the appetite and to control weight. Brand names of the drugs that contain amphetamine include Adderall, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine. The drug is also used illegally as a recreational drug and as a performance enhancer. The name amphetamine is derived from its chemical name: alpha-methylphenethylamine.
Methamphetamine takes the form of a white, odorless, and bitter tasting crystalline powder, readily soluble in water or alcohol.
Street Names
Recreational users of amphetamine have coined numerous nicknames for amphetamine, some of the more common names for amphetamine include speed and whizz.
Street methamphetamine is referred to by many names including meth, zip, go-fast, cristy, chalk, and crank. Pure methamphetamine hydrochloride, the smokeable form of the drug, is called ice.
Routes of administration
Chronic users of amphetamines sometimes snort or use drug injection to experience the full effects of the drug in a faster and more intense way, with the added risks of infection, vein damage, and higher risk of overdose with drug injection.
Methamphetamine can be ingested orally.
Tolerance is developed rapidly in amphetamine abuse, therefore increasing the amount of the drug that is needed to satisfy the addiction. Repeated amphetamine use can produce "reverse tolerance", or sensitization to some psychological effects. Amphetamine does not have the potential to cause physical dependence, though withdrawal can still be hard for a user. Many users will repeat the amphetamine cycle by taking more of the drug during the withdrawal. This leads to a very dangerous cycle and may involve the use of other drugs to get over the withdrawal process. Users will commonly stay up for 2 or 3 days to avoid the withdrawals then dose themselves with benzodiazepines, barbiturate, and in some cases heroin, to help them stay calm while they recuperate or simply to extend the positive effects of the drug.
Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection, the user experiences an intense rush that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable.
Smoking or injecting produces effects fastest, within 5 to 10 seconds. Snorting or ingesting produces a euphoria high but not the rush that comes with smoking or injecting. Snorting produces effects within 3 to 5 minutes, and ingesting orally produces effects within 15 to 20 minutes.
Physical Effects
Physical effects of amphetamine can include reduced appetite, increased/distorted sensations, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, flushing, restlessness, dry mouth, erectile dysfunction, headache, tachycardia, increased breathing rate, increased blood pressure, fever, sweating, diarrhea, constipation, blurred vision, impaired speech, dizziness, uncontrollable movements or shaking, insomnia, numbness, palpitations, and arrhythmia. In high doses or chronic use convulsions, dry or itchy skin, acne, pallor can occur.
Occasionally amphetamine use in males can cause an odd and sometimes startling effect to occur in which the penis when flaccid appears to have shrunk. The reason this occurs is because amphetamine is a potent vasoconstrictor or an agent that constricts blood vessels. The rigidness of the erection and the size of the penis are in part affected by the amount of blood flow to the penis. When amphetamine constricts the blood vessels enough it reduces blood flow to the penis and then can produce a penis that is slightly smaller and this effect is often coupled along with impotence and erectile dysfunction. Upon erection the penis returns to normal size.
Young adults who abuse amphetamines may be at greater risk of suffering a heart attack.
Psychological effects of amphetamine can include anxiety and/or general nervousness (by increased norepinephrine), euphoria, metacognition, creative or philosophical thinking, increased confidence, perception of increased energy, increased sense of well being, increase of goal-orientated thoughts or organized behavior, repetitive behavior, increased concentration/mental sharpness, increased alertness, feeling of power or superiority, Increased aggression, emotional lability, excitability, talkativeness and occasionally amphetamine psychosis, typically in a high and/or chronic doses. Effects are similar to other phenylethylamine stimulants and cocaine.
Withdrawal effects
Withdrawal from chronic recreational use of amphetamines can include anxiety, depression, agitation, fatigue, excessive sleeping, increased appetite, short temper, psychosis and suicidal thoughts.
An amphetamine overdose is rarely fatal but can lead to a number of different symptoms, including psychosis, chest pain, and hypertension.

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