Drug and Alcohol

List of Amphetamines

What are amphetamines? Here's a convenient list of these popular prescription stimulants often abused as "study drugs." Learn more in our blog.

List of Amphetamines

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

March 31, 2023

The Edge Treatment Center

In recent years, there has been an increase in addiction and abuse of amphetamines in the United States, including prescription pharmaceuticals like Adderall and hard drugs like methamphetamine. In addition, the production and distribution of illicit drugs such as methamphetamine have increased in recent years, leading to increased rates of addiction and overdose.

Treatment for amphetamine addiction typically involves a combination of behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatment.

By the Numbers:

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 0.5% of those aged 12 or older in 2021, or 1.5 million people (2021), were affected by prescription stimulant abuse.

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are a class of central nervous system (CNS) stimulants that act on the brain to increase levels of certain chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals regulate mood, attention, and alertness, and by increasing their levels, amphetamines can produce feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and improved cognitive function.

Amphetamines are primarily prescribed for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. They may also be used off-label to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, and Parkinson's disease.

However, amphetamines are also used illicitly as recreational drugs due to their stimulant effects. Street names for amphetamines include "speed," "uppers," and "dexies." Illicit use of amphetamines can result in addiction, as well as a variety of physical and psychological health problems.

Amphetamines come in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and powder. They are usually taken orally but can be snorted, injected, or smoked. The effects of amphetamines vary depending on the route of administration and the dosage.

Long-term use of amphetamines can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction. In addition, withdrawal symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, and anxiety, can occur when use is stopped abruptly. Chronic use of amphetamines can also lead to various physical health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, seizures, and kidney damage. Psychological problems, such as psychosis and paranoia, can also occur with chronic use.

While amphetamines can help treat certain medical conditions when used as prescribed, their illicit use can be dangerous and lead to a range of adverse health outcomes.

Prescription Amphetamines: What Are They?

Prescription amphetamines are a class of stimulants used to treat disorders including:

  • ADHD: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  • Narcolepsy: A sleep disorder where a person falls asleep during the day

  • Obesity

When used correctly, these drugs help people overcome health challenges. Common prescription amphetamines include:

  • Adderall/Adderall XR (A mix of the amphetamine salts amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)

  • Desoxyn (Methamphetamine, different from the meth usually found on the street)

  • Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine)

  • Dynavel (Amphetamine)

  • Evekeo (Amphetamine)

  • ProCentra (Dextroamphetamine)

  • Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)

  • Zenzedi (Dextroamphetamine)

What Are Illegal Amphetamines?

Illegal amphetamines are amphetamines that don't come from a pharmacy.

Methamphetamine

This extremely potent stimulant is prescribed for obesity under the brand name Desoxyn. However, illegal meth bought on the street is much more potent and made of extremely toxic chemicals. Meth can be smoked, eaten, or injected. Crystal meth is a form of meth smoked in a glass pipe.

Meth has multiple harmful effects, including severe dental issues, skin injuries from scratching, psychosis, and permanent damage to the brain and other organs.

Mdma/Ecstasy

A popular derivative of amphetamine, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is known as "ecstasy" or "molly." A fixture in the drug and rave scene for decades, this is a combination stimulant and hallucinogen.

Used for its euphoric effects, MDMA can also dangerously raise a person's body temperature. In a hot dance club, this can cause heatstroke and dehydration. Also, like other street drugs, MDMA is often mixed with other drugs before it's sold.

Are there Street Names for Amphetamines?

Amphetamines go under many different street names, including:

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How Do Amphetamines Work?

Amphetamines increase certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in the brain. Specifically, amphetamines increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters involved in regulating mood, attention, and alertness.

Amphetamines enter the brain and cause the release of dopamine and norepinephrine from nerve cells, which increases their levels in the brain. Additionally, amphetamines block the reuptake of these neurotransmitters, which prevents them from being reabsorbed into the nerve cells, further increasing their levels in the brain.

The increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain lead to various effects on the body and mind. For example, increased dopamine levels can produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria. In contrast, the increased levels of norepinephrine can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, leading to increased alertness and energy.

In individuals with ADHD, amphetamines can improve attention, focus, and impulse control. In individuals with narcolepsy, amphetamines can help reduce daytime sleepiness and improve alertness. In individuals with obesity, amphetamines can help reduce appetite and promote weight loss.

However, the effects of amphetamines are not without risks. Overstimulation of the nervous system can lead to a variety of adverse side effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, and tremors.

What Are the Different Types of Amphetamines?

There are several different types of amphetamines, including:

Dextroamphetamine (Procentra, Dexedrine, Zenzedi)

Dextroamphetamine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant commonly prescribed for treating ADHD and narcolepsy. It is available in both short-acting and long-acting forms.

Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive CNS stimulant commonly abused as a recreational drug. It is sometimes used medically to treat ADHD and obesity, but its use is highly restricted due to its high potential for abuse. For the purposes of this blog, we're talking about lab-produced, prescription methamphetamine, not illicitly-produced meth.

Lisdexamfeatamine (Vyvanse)

Lisdexamfetamine is a prodrug of dextroamphetamine used to treat ADHD and binge eating disorders. It is designed to be less susceptible to abuse than other amphetamines because it must be metabolized in the body before it becomes active.

Amphetamine Sulfate (Adderall, Ozempic, Concerta, Ritalin, Vyvanse)

Amphetamine sulfate is a mixture of amphetamine salts used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is available in both immediate-release and extended-release formulations.

Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)

Although not strictly an amphetamine, dexmethylphenidate is a CNS stimulant chemically similar to dextroamphetamine. It is commonly prescribed for treating ADHD and is available in immediate and extended-release formulations.

What Is the Effect of Amphetamines on the Body?

Amphetamines can have a variety of effects on the body, depending on the dose, the route of administration, and the individual's health status. Some of the most common effects of amphetamines on the body include:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure: Amphetamines can cause the heart to beat faster and harder, leading to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

  • Reduced appetite: Amphetamines can decrease feelings of hunger and increase feelings of satiety, leading to weight loss. This effect is sometimes used medically to treat obesity.

  • Increased energy and alertness: Amphetamines can increase feelings of wakefulness and energy, improving productivity and performance. This effect is sometimes used medically to treat narcolepsy.

  • Constricted blood vessels: Amphetamines can cause blood vessels to narrow, which can lead to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to the tissues. This can cause various problems, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and even tissue damage or death.

  • Dilated pupils: Amphetamines can cause the pupils to dilate, leading to sensitivity to light and difficulty focusing on near objects.

  • Muscle twitching and tremors: Amphetamines can cause involuntary muscle movements, such as twitching and tremors. This effect is more common at higher doses or with chronic use.

  • Increased body temperature: Amphetamines can cause the body temperature to rise, which can lead to sweating, dehydration, and heat stroke.

Amphetamines can also have various psychological effects, such as euphoria, increased confidence, and decreased anxiety.

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How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in the System?

Amphetamines are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. They are also commonly abused for their stimulant effects. The duration that amphetamines stay in the system can vary depending on various factors.

There are several types of amphetamines, including dextroamphetamine, levoamphetamine, and methamphetamine. Each of these drugs has a slightly different half-life, which is the time it takes to metabolize and eliminate the drug from the body. Generally, the half-life of amphetamines is around 10-12 hours.

Factors that can affect how long amphetamines stay in the system include:

Dose

Higher doses of amphetamines can take longer to metabolize and eliminate from the body.

Frequency of Use

If someone uses amphetamines regularly, the drug can accumulate in their system and take longer to clear.

Route of Administration

Amphetamines can be taken orally, snorted, smoked, or injected. The route of administration can affect how quickly the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream and how long it stays in the system.

Individual Metabolism

Some people metabolize drugs more quickly or slowly than others, affecting how long amphetamines stay in their system.

In general, amphetamines can be detected in urine for up to 2-4 days after use, in blood for up to 24-48 hours after use, and in hair for up to 90 days after use. However, these time frames can vary depending on the individual and the above factors.

What Are the Symptoms of Addiction to Amphetamines?

Amphetamine addiction can have both short-term and long-term and can vary depending on the severity of the addiction and the individual's overall health. Here are some of the common symptoms of addiction to amphetamines:

Physical symptoms: Amphetamine use can cause a range of physical symptoms, including decreased appetite, weight loss, sleep disturbances, dry mouth, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, sweating, and tremors.

Psychological symptoms: Amphetamine use can also cause psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, agitation, irritability, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. It can also lead to a feeling of euphoria or "high."

Behavioral symptoms: People addicted to amphetamines may engage in risky or impulsive behavior, such as driving under the influence, engaging in unprotected sex, or stealing. They may also neglect their work, school, or home responsibilities and have difficulty maintaining relationships.

Withdrawal symptoms: When someone stops using amphetamines, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, including depression, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and intense cravings for the drug.

Tolerance: Over time, people who use amphetamines may develop a tolerance to the drug, which means they need to take larger doses to achieve the same effects.

Continued use despite negative consequences: Even when amphetamine use starts to have negative consequences on a person's life, such as health problems, legal trouble, or relationship issues, they may continue to use the drug.

What Are the Reasons for the Rise in Addiction to Amphetamines?

The rising addiction to amphetamines is a complex issue that involves multiple factors. However, here are some of the main reasons for the increasing addiction to amphetamines:

Prescription Misuse

One of the primary reasons for the rising addiction to amphetamines is prescription misuse. Amphetamines are commonly prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. However, some individuals may misuse or abuse their prescriptions by taking larger doses or more frequently than prescribed medication. This can lead to the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

Illicit Drug Use

Amphetamines are also available as illicit drugs, such as methamphetamine and ecstasy. These drugs can be highly addictive due to their powerful stimulant effects and are often used for recreational purposes. The availability of these drugs on the black market contributes to their rising addiction rates.

Cultural Factors

Cultural factors can also contribute to the rising addiction to amphetamines. In some cultures, there is a belief that using stimulant drugs can improve performance or productivity. Additionally, some individuals may feel pressure to use drugs to fit in with certain social groups or to cope with stress.

Mental Health Issues

Individuals who struggle with mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, may be at a higher risk of developing an addiction to amphetamines. These individuals may use the drugs to self-medicate and alleviate their symptoms, which can lead to dependence and addiction.

Lack of Education

The risks of amphetamines can also contribute to rising addiction rates. Some individuals may not be aware of the addictive properties of the drugs or the potential risks associated with their use.

Thus, the rising addiction to amphetamines is a complex issue that involves multiple factors, including prescription misuse, illicit drug use, cultural factors, mental health issues, and lack of education.

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Treatment of Addiction to Amphetamines

Treating addiction to amphetamines usually involves a combination of behavioral therapy, medication, and support groups. Here are some of the common approaches to treating amphetamine addiction:

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management, can help people with amphetamine addiction identify the triggers that lead to drug use and develop coping skills to avoid or manage those triggers. CBT can also help individuals learn to identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to addiction.

Medication

Medications may be used to help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings for amphetamines. These medications include bupropion, modafinil, and naltrexone. In addition, in some cases, medication-assisted therapy (MAT) may help individuals reduce or stop their use of amphetamines.

Support Groups

Support groups, such as 12-step programs, can provide a sense of community and support for people with amphetamine addiction. These groups offer a safe space for individuals to share their experiences and connect with others who are going through similar struggles.

Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient drug rehab and outpatient drug rehab treatment programs provide a structured environment for individuals to focus on their recovery and receive intensive therapy and support. Outpatient treatment programs offer more flexibility and allow individuals to receive treatment while living at home and attending school or work.

Holistic Approaches

Holistic approaches, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, and acupuncture, may also help individuals with amphetamine addiction manage stress and cravings.

Get Treated Today for Amphetamine Addiction at the Edge Treatment Center

The Edge Treatment Center specializes in offering all-encompassing amphetamine addiction treatment. Our drug rehab provides a secure and supportive setting where individuals can receive behavioral counseling, complete medical detoxification, and, if required, seek medication-assisted treatment.

We offer frequent counseling or therapy sessions and encourage support group involvement to develop a sense of community and accountability. Our medical staff is committed to helping patients overcome addiction and achieve long-lasting recovery.

Don't risk amphetamine overdose or worse: reach out today to The Edge Treatment Center to learn about our successful amphetamine addiction treatment programs and more!

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