Amphetamines are sustances obtained by the chemical sythesis of phenylethylamine. In other terms they are “designer drugs”. The normal forms of this drug found on the black market are tablets, coated tablets, injectable solutions or crystaline powders and are usually sold in aluminum foil or small plastic bags.
This class of substance includes includes amphetamines, the parent compound, methamphetamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine and many, many more. This group also includes drugs generally used as psychostimulants and/or weight loss pills.
The compound was first synthesized in 1887 and was used for the treatment of colds via inhalation. The stimulating effects were not discovered until 1922.
There are a lot , here are some: for amphetamine “speed”, “crystal”, “bennie” and when combined with heroin “frisco speed”, for methamphetamine “speed”, “meth”, “crank”, for d-methamphetamine “ice”, “rock”, “shabu”.
Generally oral, but also consumed intravenously or by inhalation.
The effects of amphetamines are attributed to changes in the function of the seratonergic system. Fundamentally it increases the production of seratonin (5-HT), a neurotransmitter dedicated to the control of sleep, mood, sexual behaviour, hunger.
After the initial massive release of seratonin amphetamines cause the opposite effect, blocking the creation of seratonin. In fact it inhibits the enzyme tryptophan-hydroxylase needed for the sythesis of the neurotransmitter.
Additionally, we know that by using pharmacological stimulants it has a sympathomimetic effect, euphoria develops between 15-60 mins of taking it, the consumer of these drugs feels an emotional release, an increased of self-esteem and a breakdown of the communicational barrier.
Some of these substances cause a temporary increase in perfomance (sport doping), a loss of apetite ( apetite surpressant) and eliminates the need for sleep.
Generally these consist of aural and visual halucinations, anxiety, irritation, disorietation, high blood pressure, elevated heart beat and an increase in body temperature.
One of the greatest dangers, that distinguish this particular class of substance from the others, is elevated neurotoxicity. Animal studies, and subsequetly, human volunteers, have demonstrated the irreversable degeneration of neurons that, in reality, “burn out”. In the cases where we see the neurons regenerate, it is noted that they are “mutated ” and inactive. These conditions are very similar to underlying epilepsy and parkinsons.
There have been repeated reports, often fatal, of episodes related to paranoide psychosis, cardiovascular collapse, cerebral hemorage and heart attack.
The dependence of these drugs is primarily psycholgical (despite the occasional occurances of migraines and depression in the of). Amphetamines also builds a tolerance, which means having to always increase the dose to achieve the desired effect.