Overview:

Amphetamines are stimulants that speed up the body’s system. Many are legally prescribed and used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Street Names:

Bennies, Black Beauties, Crank, Ice, Speed, Uppers

Looks Like:

Amphetamines can look like pills or powder. Common prescription amphetamines include methylphenidate (Ritalin® or Ritalin SR®), amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall®), and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®).

Methods of abuse:

Amphetamines are generally taken orally or injected. However, the addition of “ice,” the slang name of crystallized methamphetamine hydrochloride, has promoted smoking as another mode of administration. Just as “crack” is smokable cocaine, “ice” is smokable methamphetamine.

Effect on body:

Physical effects of amphetamine use include increased blood pressure and pulse rates, insomnia, loss of appetite, and physical exhaustion.

Effect on mind:

The effects of amphetamines and methamphetamine are similar to cocaine, but their onset is slower and their duration is longer. In contrast to cocaine, which is quickly removed from the brain and is almost completely metabolized, methamphetamine remains in the central nervous system longer, and a larger percentage of the drug remains unchanged in the body, producing prolonged stimulant effects. Chronic abuse produces a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia and is characterized by: Paranoia, picking at the skin, preoccupation with one’s own thoughts, and auditory and visual hallucinations. Violent and erratic behaviour is frequently seen among chronic abusers of amphetamines and methamphetamine.

Drugs causing similar effects:

Drugs that cause similar effects include: dexmethylphendiate, phentermine, benzphetamine, phendimetrazine, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and khat.

Overdose effects:

Overdose effects include agitation, increased body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, and possible death.