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Effects of Amphetamines

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Amphetamines are part of a subset of drugs known as stimulants that create powerful euphoric effects when they react within the central nervous system. There are an array of different types of amphetamines including dextroamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine and even methamphetamine—all of which produce similar effects when used in excess or repeatedly.

There’s no easy way to know how the effects of amphetamines will infiltrate the user as each person reacts differently to the drugs. Overall, the effects of amphetamines generally include increased energy, feelings of power, and reduced appetite. Some of these effects can evolve into very severe side effects when amphetamines are abused in excessive. While amphetamines can be effectively used to treat certain cases of narcolepsy, ADD and ADHD as well as obesity, when they are in the wrong hands they have the potential to cause seriously dangerous consequences.

Effects of Amphetamines on the Brain

what are amphetamines

Amphetamines have a number of unintended effects, including anxiety and restlessness.

Amphetamines cause the release of neurotransmitters within the brain and can inhibit the reuptake of these neurotransmitters. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “this influx causes the buildup of neurotransmitters at synapses in the brain.” As a result, amphetamines can cause serious side effects with the user’s brain due to the chemical changes that take place. Nerve cells within the brain become activated with amphetamine use and this causes alertness and improved ability to concentrate when the drug is taken in small doses. However, when excessive doses are taken, the effects on the brain can be much the opposite causing the user to lack focus, feel paranoid and have a distinct inability to concentrate.

Short Term Effects of Amphetamines

When the user takes amphetamines, he or she will feel an array of short term or immediate effects. These effects include:

  • increased energy
  • increased body temperature
  • increased desire to talk
  • increased desire to move about
  • euphoria
  • a heightened sense of well-being
  • dry mouth or dehydration
  • suppressed appetite
  • rapid palpitations
  • increased heart beat
  • increased blood pressure
  • changes in sexual orientation or behavior
  • twitching
  • reduction of social inhibitions
  • feelings of strong competence

Long Term Effects of Amphetamines

When amphetamines are used regularly, either in large doses or for a prolonged period of time, the effects can be much more dangerous and they may even stick around longer once the user decides to quit. Some of the long term effects of amphetamines pose serious health threats to the user and will essentially never go away rendering the user chronically sick.

Long term effects of amphetamines include:

  • amphetamine induced psychosis
  • behavioral disorders
  • breathing problems
  • insomnia
  • arrhythmia
  • ulcers
  • malnutrition, extreme weight loss and vitamin deficiency
  • mental instability
  • paranoia and increased anxiety
  • twitching or other forms of repetitive motor activities
  • mood swings characteristics of bi-polar disorder
  • feeling very tired
  • feeling very weak

Dangerous Effects of Amphetamines

In some cases, the effects of amphetamines can pose serious dangers to the user. Long term use of these drugs can be responsible for kidney or liver damage, organ failure and other serious side effects. Short term use of amphetamines can also lead to dangerous outcomes including:

  • coma
  • seizures
  • convulsions
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • injury resulting from lack of coordination
  • death

According to Neuroscience for Kids, amphetamines can also cause hallucinations and delusional behavior. Paranoid psychosis or amphetamine induced psychosis can result from extended or excessive use of amphetamines and may require extensive treatment in order to help the user get well. Studies have proven that in cases in which the user has psychosis as a result of their drug use, the effects can linger on for years even with abstinence.

In addition to the potential for serious health effects associated with amphetamine use there is also a heightened risk of addiction when a user takes amphetamines regularly or for a prolonged period of time. Amphetamine addiction can lead to withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to cope with and which may require medical treatment for the continued safety of the user in recovery.

Some users will experience chronic cravings for amphetamines long after they quit using the drugs. This is especially true for those who are addicted to Adderall or certain natural amphetamines such as Caffeine. Similar cases of cravings and an urge to use are reported with methamphetamine addicts too.

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