History of Amphetamines

Amphetamine actually emerged as a synthesized formulation that was not targeted for a specific disease. While it was first formulated in Germany in 1887, amphetamine was not actually prescribed to treat ailments until the late 1920s, when it was investigated as a cure or preventative treatment for a variety of maladies such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, alcoholism, opiate addiction, migraine, head injuries, and radiation sickness. From 1927 to 1937, amphetamine was used to treat:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hay fever
  • Central nervous system disorders
  • Narcolepsy

Types of amphetamines include laevoamphetamine (Benzedrine), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), and methamphetamine (Methedrine). Today, amphetamines are most frequently prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy.

Amphetamines For ADHD

One of the most notable uses of amphetamines came in 1937 when they were found to help people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When given amphetamine, people with ADHD saw an improvement in their concentration and performance. It was expected that amphetamine would make ADHD sufferers more stimulated, but instead, it appeared to calm them down. It was in that same year that amphetamine was made available by prescription in tablet form.

Legal History of Amphetamine

In 1965, it became illegal to obtain amphetamines in the US except by a doctor’s prescription.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act severely restricted the legal production of injectable methamphetamine.

Amphetamine Abuse

Abuse of amphetamines was particularly noted in the military to keep soldiers going during both World War II and the Vietnam War. In fact, American soldiers used more amphetamines than the rest of the world did during WWII.

As amphetamines became more readily available, the increase of non-medical use of the drug was particularly noted among college students, truck drivers, and athletes. Amphetamines became used for things like staying alert and focused, weight control, and treating mild depression.

Noted Amphetamine Abusers

Popular personalities who were amphetamine users include:

  • John F. Kennedy (injected amphetamine)
  • Adolph Hitler (took daily injections and tablets)
  • Charlie Parker (American jazz saxophonist and composer – put benzedrine in his coffee)
  • Ted Haggard  (evangelical preacher)
  • Lenny Bruce (American stand-up comedian, writer, social critic and satirist)
  • Judy Garland
  • Johnny Cash
  • Elvis Presley

Amphetamine Addiction Help

If you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamine, please call our toll free number today. We want to partner with you on the journey to a drug-free life. Someone is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about amphetamine addiction treatment, so call now.

1 (866) 932-8792