Amphetamines stimulate, or speed up brain functioning, which thereby stimulates the body. Legal amphetamines are used to treat medical conditions such as narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are also many illegal forms of amphetamine (such as speed) that are abused to achieve a high. Amphetamines are responsible for the following problems:
- Releasing adrenaline and other stress hormones
- Increasing heart rate
- Increasing blood pressure
- Redirecting blood flow into the muscles, ultimately decreasing the appetite
With responsible use, amphetamines can energize users, calm their nerves, eliminate tiredness, and improve alertness and focus.
Is an Amphetamine High Really that Dangerous?
Amphetamine users may find drug warnings repetitive or dramatized if they do not pay attention to the actual effects the drug has on the body. The consequences of an amphetamine high are far more severe than just a ‘speed crash’ once the high wears off. Large doses of amphetamine can result in the following dangers:
- Physical risk: heart palpitations, dizziness, disorientation, blurred vision, headaches and impaired mental and physical coordination. These conditions can result in devastating injury or harm to users as well as others nearby. While high, users also lose their inhibitions and sense of judgment which can cause drugged driving accidents, unplanned pregnancy or disease transmission.
- Psychological change: when high on amphetamines a person may feel extremely anxious, nervous, paranoid, confused and irritable. This state of mind has proven to instigate severe mood swings and behavioral changes that include hostility, aggression and violence.
- Overdose: when drugs are taken to achieve a high, there is no telling how much a person is willing to take. Overdose is an extreme possibility when dealing with amphetamine abuse and can cause seizure, heart failure, stroke, unconsciousness, coma or death.
Can Amphetamine Abuse Cause Permanent Brain Damage?
High doses and chronic use of amphetamines can permanently alter the brain and its functioning. Over-exposure to amphetamines may eventually destroy the body’s ability to produce adrenaline and other stress hormones, and it can also permanently damage nerve receptors. Brain cell damage may be irreversible and can cause a number of cognitive problems such as psychosis, a mental disorder in which thought and emotion are impaired causing extreme confusion.
Long-Term Physical and Behavioral Effects of Amphetamine Abuse
The longer amphetamine abuse continues the more dangerous the consequences. A person is able to build up a tolerance to amphetamines, which means she will need to use more of the drug in order to get high. When this happens people may take dangerous amounts of the drug without thinking twice; it is this point when drug use gets out of control. Likely consequences of long-term amphetamine abuse include the following:
- Physical and psychological dependence: where both the body and mind crave the drug to function normally.
- Withdrawal: when not taking the drug users will experience withdrawal symptoms that can include panic attacks, irritability, fatigue, depression, extreme hunger, nightmares and insomnia.
- Mood impairment: mood swings that can include aggressive and violent behavior as well as depression and panic attacks.
- Malnutrition: suppressed appetite, reduced immunity, increased sickness and health problems and lack of sleep.
Amphetamine Addiction Help
If you no longer feel like you have the power to stop using amphetamines, it is time to get help. Please call our toll-free helpline today to speak to someone about drug treatment options that could prevent the dangers of amphetamine abuse from happening to you. We are here 24 hours a day to help you through this difficult time. Please call us now.