Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine Sulphate - more popularly known by the 'street names' of Speed, Whiz, Billy, Sulphate, Dexies (Dexedrine) or Phet - is a class B drug (or a class A drug if injected), which is recognisable as a white, grey, yellow or pink powder, but sometimes in tablet form too.

Amphetamines as a powder - mostly with a purity of less than 15 per cent and often 'cut' (mixed) with vitamin C, laxative, dried baby milk, paracetamol or aspirin can be inhaled, swallowed, added to drinks or injected. Base amphetamine with a higher purity of around 50 per cent is usually swallowed in wraps called 'bombs', while crystals are normally smoked.

Amphetamines are stimulants taken by users to keep awake and alert for extended periods. Also as an aid to increasing confidence, excitement and elation (getting a 'buzz'). Effects of being 'high' can last for up to six hours usually followed by a long, slow 'come-down.'

Amphetamine addiction can quickly and easily develop develop as use becomes more frequent and user tolerance to the effects increase, which requires ever larger amounts to get the same buzz.

Symptoms and Warning Signs

Body temperature, heart and breathing rate rise accompanied by an increase in stamina, a suppressed appetite and diluted pupils. During the 'come-down', there can be mood swings, tiredness and depression.

Frequent use often leads to feeling anxious, restless, irritable, paranoid and aggressive.

Excessive use can cause loss of weight, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, poor co-ordination and irregular breathing and heartbeat. Stress can be placed on the body's immune system and development of psychological illnesses, such as paranoia and psychosis.

Fatal use can occur for those users with high blood pressure or heart conditions, overdosing, or mixing alcohol or anti-depressants.

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