Amphetamines are part of a drug group called stimulants. Amphetamines accelerate the signals between the body and the brain, resulting in a feeling of euphoria, higher energy, concentration, self-assurance, and dose-dependence.
Doctors legally prescribe certain types of amphetamines to treat disorders such as syndrome of attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) and narcolepsy, where a person's desire to sleep is uncontrollable.
Many people illegally use amphetamines to get intoxicated. In backyard labs, amphetamines are sometimes developed and combined with other compounds that may have adverse or harmful effects. Long-term abuse of amphetamines can result in large-scale problems including brain and heart damage, malnutrition, and psychosis.
Types Of Illegal Amphetamines
There are different kinds of amphetamines that are sold in the streets of Australia. The following are the more common ones and their street names:
Dextroamphetamine (an ADHD medicine used illegally)
Methamphetamine (crystal solid form)
Methamphetamine (liquid form)
Different Forms of Amphetamines
Amphetamines are abused in various ways. Some people are crushing and snorting the tablets, producing a bigger, quicker high. One of the fastest ways of getting high from amphetamine is to dissolve the substance in water and inject it intravenously. This route almost immediately brings the drug into the bloodstream and into the brain, producing an intense high.
The amphetamine use statistics in Australia
Across Australia, there is increasing concern about the use of amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) released their findings that during 2013, as much as 7% of Australians admitted using amphetamine during their lifetime and 2% reported using the substance in the last 12 months.
It was also reported that users taking to prescription amphetamines for non-medical purposes has increased in 2016 compared to the data gathered in 2013.
It seems that the popular form of administering the substance is by smoking. The percentage of users who smoked amphetamine has doubled since 2007. This is typically referred to as "smoking ice".
More than half of users (57 percent) recorded using ice (crystal methamphetamine) compared to 20% mainly using powder (speed).
Amphetamine users’ demographic profile varies depending on the frequency and its form of administration.
Data from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS, 2018) shows that drug users (a case study of 910 people who inject drugs), including ice, identified amphetamine as their favourite drug of choice. The report also found a jump in the use of ice from 68% in 2017 to 75% in 2018.
Signs of Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamine addiction happens when amphetamines are used to enhance performance or simply to get high. Addiction means that the mind and the body are dependent on the drug, meaning, its use has become uncontrollable.
Some of the signs of dependency are:
If you or a loved one is experiencing strong cravings for the drug, and or any of the signs mentioned above, it helps to have support and treatment. The Arden Centre is equipped with bespoke therapies and effective strategies to help you cope.
Amphetamines And Psychosis
Psychosis is when a person perceives sensations or feelings that are not focused on the external reality of any kind. Heavy users may have visual or auditory hallucinations, claiming to hear things that have never really transpired. There are several factors that contribute to the development of meth-psychosis, including:
It can be difficult to detect co-occurring drug use and psychosis and is not easy to deal with. Meth-induced psychosis can resemble that of paranoid schizophrenia. One of the effects of meth-psychosis is increased violence against others and incapacity to control impulses. When people become more impulsive and paranoid, they may pick their skin or scrape it, creating visible wounds called meth sores.
Some of the signs that a person is experiencing meth-induced psychosis:
Long-term amphetamine use also increases the risk of overdose for users, which can be fatal. Overdose symptoms include:
Even in first-time users, overdose can occur, depending on the amount of amphetamine used in a single session. Nonetheless, in those who have developed an amphetamine dependence, the overall risk of overdose may be greater and continue using the drug compulsively — placing themselves in the way of harm over and over again.
Effects Of Amphetamine
Amphetamines are addictive and because of the effects, they create they affect the central nervous system. The side effects of amphetamines usage can range from mild concern to harmful.
Snorting or ingesting crystal meth often gives rise to euphoria but is comparatively slower acting. Individuals who snort crystal meth may feel high in 3-5 minutes, whereas oral absorption can take up to 15-20 minutes before full effects occur.
Users can experience the following short-term effects after the initial high of crystal meth:
The long-term and heavy use of amphetamine involves:
The user will begin to develop a habit of frequent use and will feel the need to take more and more to get the results he is looking for. This pattern of taking increasing amounts of amphetamine puts the user at risk for addiction.
Although these symptoms are uncomfortable and hard to deal with, they can be overcome. No matter how hard it gets, there is always hope — meth-dependence and any illness associated with it can be treated successfully by the professionals of The Arden Centre.
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