Posts Tagged Amphetamines

Commonly Abused Drugs: Stimulants

Stimulants are a class of drugs that are used to increase alertness, attention and energy, and are usually used to treat such conditions as narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They are abused by people who would like to feel a sense of euphoria.

drugsAmphetamines. The ADHD medications Dexedrine and Adderall are examples of amphetamines, and are among the otherwise legal drugs that are commonly abused. They are also known as “bennies,” “black beauties,” and “speed;” the side effects of amphetamine abuse include fast or irregular heartbeat, reduced appetite, heart failure, nervousness, and insomnia. These drugs are also addictive.

Methylphenidate. The ADHD drugs Ritalin and Concerta contain methylphenidate, a stimulant. As a stimulant, it can lead to dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular failure or lethal seizures when abused or taken in high doses. These drugs are also called “MPH,” R-ball,” “Skippy,” “the smart drug,” and “vitamin R.”

Dextromethorphan. This is the active ingredient in non-prescription cough and cold medicines. While they ideally bring relief to patients when taken according to the recommended dosage, abuse can have undesirable side effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of coordination, and impaired judgment. These are also called “Orange Crush,” “Triple Cs,” “Dex,” and “Robo” in the streets, among other aliases.

Pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is a common component in non-prescription cold medicines, and is used as an ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine, or meth, an illegal drug. It is for this reason that there are laws that restrict the number of drug products containing pseudoephedrine purchased at a time.

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Amphetamines versus Cocaine: Treatments

In previous posts, we shared with you the symptoms and effects of abusing amphetamines and cocaine. This time around, we will be sharing the treatments that are available to help abusers kick their habits.

amphetamineAn article on Testcountry shared information regarding the management of amphetamine dependency, as written by Malcolm Bruce, consultant psychiatrist in Addiction at the Community Drug Problem Service, at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Bruce shared that management protocols are classified as follows: assessment, management of dependence, and relapse.

The treatment of amphetamine addiction fundamentally starts with assessment. At this level, the objective is to identify the experimental or recreational users of the drug. Once the level of amphetamine use is determined, psychiatrists are able to dispense appropriate advice.

There are three factors that are considered in the management of amphetamine dependence: the drug, the environment of the patient, and the patient himself or herself. If, for instance, the patient is still unable to stop using amphetamines completely, then management of dependence can be geared towards reducing the harmful effects of using the drugs. Concurrent to these efforts, though, is providing education regarding the dangers associated with amphetamine use, and what options are available for overcoming the habit.

At the relapse stage, treatment consists of raising awareness about what causes relapse, development of skills to anticipate, avoid and cope with high-risk situations that may lead to relapse, and changing one’s lifestyle.

Treatment of cocaine addiction, on the other hand, focuses on reducing cravings and managing depression. Lois White, in the book Foundations of Nursing, wrote that cocaine users experience an intense craving for the drug, and is in denial regarding its being addictive. Some patients who need to be treated for cocaine dependency may require in-patient care, while others can receive out-patient treatment.

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Amphetamine: Most Dangerous Illegal Drug in the US

One of the issues being faced by the United States – as well as other countries – is drug abuse. The term drug abuse refers to the abuse of several substances, including such legal substances as prescription drugs.

Among the illegal substances that are widely known to be abused, amphetamines rank as among the most dangerous. Author Lena Butler shares several reasons as to why this is so.

AmphetaminesFor one, amphetamines are classified as Schedule II drugs in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This classification points to the fact that amphetamines are highly addictive, and are susceptible to abuse. At the same time, however, amphetamines are legally used for the treatment of certain medical conditions, such as ADHD, although its use is severely restricted.

Amphetamine abuse is also known to have adverse effects to a person’s health; it can increase heart rate and blood pressure, and cause heart attacks. When used in conjunction with other drugs – which, unfortunately, happens – “drug cocktails” that contain amphetamines can have consequences that may prove to be fatal. There are amphetamine abusers who mix the substance with other drugs, such as ecstasy, cocaine or heroin, which intensifies the effects of the drug.

Aside from the physical side effects, amphetamines can also adversely affect an abuser’s psychological state. Those who abuse amphetamines are prone to hallucinations, and can become delusional. They may also develop anxiety or suffer from mood disorders.

All these information will hopefully serve as a way to prevent amphetamine abuse, as we work together towards defeating drug abuse.

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