Amphetamines include both the specific chemical "amphetamine" and the general class of chemicals which share structural similaries. Amphetamines generally cause strong physical and mental stimulation, keeping users awake and alert for many hours, and some amphetamines cause mood lift/euphoria. Because they increase wakefulness, various amphetamines have been used by the military, by pilots, truck drivers, and other workers to keep functioning past their normal limits.
Amphetamines are also used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and can have the seemingly paradoxical effect of quieting and calming users. Common amphetamines include Dexedrine (d-amphetamine), methamphetamine, Ritalin, and adderall (dl-amphetamine). Substantial amounts of pharmaceutical amphetamines are diverted from medical use to recreational and work-related uses and methamphetamine is produced in huge quantities in underground labs around the world.
Amphetamine was first synthesised by German chemist L. Edeleano in 1887 (originally named phenylisopropylamine). In the 1930's amphetamines were first marketed as "benzedrine" in an over-the-counter inhaler to treat congestion and in the late 30's, amphetamine was prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Amphetamine use grew rapidly when amphetamines were distributed to soldiers during World War II. In 1971, amphetamines were scheduled in the United States and prescriptions became required for possession.
Terminology / slang
The substance: Amphetamine; Speed; Dex; Adderall; Dexamphetamine; Bennies; Dexies; Black Beauty; Jollies.
The experience: Speeding; Tweaking; Spinning; Up.
- Article used with the permission of Erowid.org. Last modified April 2009.
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