Commonly Misused Amphetamines

Amphetamines, drugs that promote attention and alertness, are frequently misused. Amphetamines are typically prescribed to treat diseases such as narcolepsy or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When used correctly, they can increase energy and sharpen focus. When misused, these drugs can cause a host of side effects, including amphetamine addiction.

Effects of Amphetamines

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, amphetamines are prescribed to increase dopamine or norepinephrine, two important chemicals in the brain tied to sharpened attention and euphoria. In high doses, amphetamines can pose danger to the heart, causing an irregular heartbeat, seizures and very high body temperatures. Other Amphetamine side effects can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic
  • Rapid breathing
  • Tremors
  • Muscle weakness and pain

Amphetamines can be swallowed, smoked or injected. Amphetamine addiction can result from frequent use of these drugs, and overdose can occur with these stimulants. Overdose can cause a seizure or heart failure.

Commonly Misused Prescription Amphetamines

Two of the most commonly misused prescription amphetamines are:

  • Methylphenidate, or Ritalin Ritalin is a Schedule II narcotic, which is the same class as morphine and cocaine. Ritalin is a prescription drug used to treat ADHD, but it can have severe side effects, including insomnia, anorexia, heart problems and weight loss. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings that Ritalin or other similar drugs can lead to hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, aggression or psychotic behaviors. Amphetamine addiction can result from the long-term use of this drug.
  • Adderall Like Ritalin, Adderall is a Schedule II narcotic that can lead to addiction, but also is an effective way to treat ADHD. Additionally, Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy. Adderall has been on the market since the 1960s and there is increasing evidence that amphetamine addiction occurs from using the drug. Yet, Everyday Health says the use and misuse of Adderall are on the rise. Adderall has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications for children in the United States.

High school and college students may misuse Adderall and Ritalin because they believe these drugs help to increase their ability to study. In fact, these drugs do not enhance your ability to learn if you do not have ADHD. Adderall can help suppress appetite, so the drug is misused for weight loss sometimes as well.

Anyone who takes these medications is at risk of amphetamine addiction, overdose or other serious health effects when these drugs are misused. High blood pressure, heart problems or stroke can occur.

Ritalin and Adderall use are increasing in part because these medications may provide a euphoric rush for some people. This euphoria is felt throughout the class of stimulants, from illegal drugs like meth to prescribed drugs like Ritalin. Amphetamine addiction is a common effect of the use of these drugs.

Addiction treatment programs, including those offered at The Recovery Village Ridgefield, frequently treat people who are struggling with amphetamine addiction. If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with this issue, don’t wait to get treatment. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today and speak with a caring representative who can help.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.