Drug and Alcohol

What Are Black Beauty Pills?

What is the Black Beauty Pill?

What is the black beauty pill? Made famous on Netflix's Russian Doll show, black beauties are amphetamine capsules. Learn more in our blog.

The black beauty pill has always gotten people a little curious. Without a specific brand or much information on what it is, black beauties are rumored to be exceptionally powerful in their side effects and addictive properties. The drug gained popularity during the 60s and 70s but has become more actively researched after its reappearance on the air in the Netflix show, Russian Doll.

Many prescription drugs are being abused day in and day out, adding to the global pandemic. Surveys show that drug-related deaths are searing in number, making it vital for authorities to address this issue. One such drug that is gaining some attention is the black beauty drug. Although little isn't much known about the pill, it can cause serious health complications. 

By the Numbers

According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 1.9 million people aged 12 or older in the United States misused amphetamine-type stimulants in the past year. This includes prescription stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin, and illicit stimulants, such as methamphetamine.

What Is a Black Beauty?

Black beauty is in fact the street name for a combination amphetamine drug. This pill or capsule contains 10mg of amphetamine and 10mg of dextroamphetamine and is prescribed under the trade name Biphetamine 20. 

Stimulants like amphetamines were used to combat fatigue and help soldiers stay alert during active combat, and it was often reported that Biphetamine 20 was administered for this purpose. Subsequently, Black Beauties gained popularity as diet pills. Although this did seem practical to some extent, the use of the drug gradually shifted.

Misuse of amphetamines can have serious health consequences, including addiction, cardiovascular problems, and mental health issues. Therefore, it is essential to only use amphetamine drugs under a healthcare professional's guidance and follow the prescribed dosage. The combination of amphetamines and dextroamphetamine is worse as both are classified as stimulants and can be responsible for elevating the heart rate, blood pressure, and alertness.

Despite this knowledge, the recreational use of Biphetamine 20, commonly known as Black Beauties, surged to a whole new level during the 1960s and 70s. The pill became popular among those looking to experience a sense of euphoria or increase their alertness as it was observed to offer these effects. People started resorting to black beauties as they sought a low-cost and legal substitute for cocaine.

However, in 1965, it became illegal except when prescribed, and with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, its usage started to decline. Eventually, Biphetamine 20 was removed from the market in 1998.

What Is Amphetamine?

Amphetamines are known as stimulant drugs and, as the name suggests, are responsible for stimulating and hastening the transmission of signals between the brain and body. This faster movement of signals results in increased alertness and physical activity. Individuals may use amphetamines for various reasons, such as to stay awake during work, study for exams, or enhance their performance in sports.

The drug prompts the brain to release dopamine, which regulates mood, cognition, and movement, also known as the "feel-good" brain chemical. The use of amphetamines can produce pleasurable effects, including:

  • Euphoria or a rush of high – similar to the feeling of being drunk

  • The illusion that you are thinking completely clearly 

  • The feeling of better control and self-confidence 

  • Experiencing an unusual desire to socialize and communicate with others

  • Surges of energy 

Along with these, abusing amphetamines can adversely affect the mind and body. With long-term use, the drug can be harmful in the following ways:

  • Poor appetite and weight loss

  • Heart complications include rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia, heightened blood pressure, and even heart attack

  • Elevated body temperature and flushing of the skin

  • Impaired memory, difficulties with clear thinking, and sometimes even strokes

  • Mood and emotional disturbances such as depression, aggressive or violent behavior, and suicidal ideation

  • Persistent hallucinations and difficulty distinguishing reality from fiction

  • Agitation and trembling

  • Formation of skin ulcers

  • Sleeping difficulties

  • Dental deterioration (meth mouth)

Addiction to amphetamine can even be a cause of death

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What Is Dextroamphetamine?

Dextroamphetamine is commonly prescribed for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Its mechanism involves altering the levels of particular natural chemicals in the brain. Similar to amphetamines, dextroamphetamine fall under the medical category of a stimulant. This means it can enhance your capacity to concentrate, remain attentive to a task, and manage issues related to behavior. 

The drug can also help in task organization and improve your listening abilities. Apart from ADHD, this medication can also be used to cure a particular sleep disorder known as narcolepsy by helping you stay awake throughout the day. However, like any other stimulant, dextroamphetamine should not be used to alleviate tiredness or prevent sleep in individuals who do not suffer from a sleep disorder.

Being a stimulant, dextroamphetamine has a high potential for abuse and dependence and can be addictive. Prolonged use or misuse of the drug can lead to physical and psychological addiction, making it difficult to stop using the medication. Therefore, it is essential to use this medication only as a doctor prescribes and follow their instructions closely. In addition, abusing dextroamphetamine can cause several harmful effects, including:

  • Cardiovascular problems - high bp, rapid heartbeat, heart attack

  • Agitation, anxiety, & paranoia

  • Insomnia & sleep disturbances

  • Malnutrition & weight loss due to reduced appetite

  • Psychotic symptoms - hallucinations & delusions

  • Behavioral changes - aggression & hostility

  • Dental problems & decay - also known as "meth mouth."

  • Mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts

  • Seizures, muscle twitching, tremors

  • Sexual dysfunction

Amphetamine & Dextroamphetamine

The effects of both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine alone can be a serious health risk. However, combining them with the black beauty pill makes taking it even more dangerous without professional supervision and medical guidance. 

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How Does the Black Beauty Pill Work?

The black beauty pill, a term used to describe a form of the combination drug amphetamines and dextroamphetamine, is often used recreationally or non-medically to achieve a euphoric high, improve performance, or stay awake for more extended periods. The drug stimulates the release of dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and reward, and other neurotransmitters in the brain.

When taken as directed, the drug can increase alertness, and concentration, and reduce fatigue. However, abusing it can have devastating consequences.

Can the Black Beauty Pill Be Addictive?

Black beauties are composed of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Both of these are Schedule II controlled substances, meaning that the black beauty pill has the potential to be addictive due to its composition. If amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are not taken as directed by a doctor or professional, these substances can be hazardous and have a high risk of becoming addictive. In addition, dependence and addiction to these habit-forming substances can result from prolonged use.

Therefore, it is crucial to strictly follow your doctor's prescription if you take any medication containing amphetamines and dextroamphetamine.  

If someone you know is illicitly purchasing the black beauty pill, it is only a wise option to warn them about the adverse effects of the pill. This is because the pill is no longer available for purchase. However, if someone can still get their hands on it, there are chances that it was purchased online by illicit sites, meaning the drug can be tampered with and is not authentic, making it an even bigger risk for you to consume. 

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Side Effects of Black Beauty Pill Addiction 

Misusing drugs that contain amphetamines, such as the black beauty pill, can result in harmful side effects. Although it may temporarily relieve tiredness or drowsiness, prolonged use can be detrimental.


One of the most significant risks of black beauty pill abuse is physical dependence and drug addiction. Repeated drug use alters the brain's reward system and can lead to compulsive drug-seeking behavior, despite awareness of its harmful consequences.

In addition, long-term use can push the user's tolerance, which means that the individual needs higher doses of the drug to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to overdose, which can be fatal.

Physical Impacts

Black beauty addiction can also have several physical effects on the body. Amphetamines and dextroamphetamine can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, leading to other severe conditions. These include the dangers of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.

The drug can also reduce appetite, leading to malnutrition and weight loss. Other short-term and more manageable physical effects include dilated pupils, dry mouth, and skin rash.

Mood & Behavioral Changes

Black beauty can also affect the user's mood and behavior. Some people who abuse black beauty pills may experience agitation, anxiety, or paranoia, while others may become more aggressive or violent. Users may also have unrealistic perceptions of power, confidence, and strength, leading them to engage in risky behavior or actions they would not typically do. Black beauty pill abuse can also lead to mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Psychological Side Effects

Long-term abuse of black beauty pills can also lead to psychological symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and psychosis. These symptoms can make it difficult for individuals to differentiate reality from fantasy and can lead to irrational or dangerous behavior. They may also experience memory loss, problems thinking clearly, or difficulty concentrating. 

Socio-Economic Effects

Addiction to the black beauty pill can also lead to severe social and economic consequences. Individuals abusing the drug may have difficulty maintaining relationships, holding jobs, or achieving their goals. They may also engage in criminal activity or lose their home due to actions they have taken under the influence of the drug.

All in all, black beauty pill abuse can devastate an individual's health, well-being, and social life. In addition, the drug can lead to physical dependence and addiction, leading to unwanted and highly harmful effects. If someone you know is struggling with black beauty pill abuse, try to talk to them, and if you are unsuccessful, seek professional help immediately.

Black Beauty Addiction Treatment 

Black beauty, which contains amphetamines, can be highly addictive, and quitting the drug can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, addiction treatment is essential to help individuals overcome their addiction and achieve long-term recovery.

Treatment options for black beauty addiction can be a mix of medical and behavioral interventions and other programs that can help the addict remain on track. These can be outlined as follows:

  • Medical treatments may involve using medications to manage withdrawal symptoms, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines. 

  • Behavioral therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and contingency management, can also help treat addiction to black beauty.

  • Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous can provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and receive emotional support from others who have gone through similar struggles.

It is important to note that addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Individuals may require different treatment modalities depending on their unique needs and circumstances. Therefore, seeking advice from qualified healthcare professionals who can assess your situation is a good idea. They can recommend an appropriate treatment plan and suggest the right treatment or rehabilitation center for you or your loved ones. 

After speaking with an addiction counselor, you will be able to determine the type of treatment you require for quick recovery. Learn about the treatment plan you need and remain determined, regardless of whether it is inpatient or outpatient. Remember, consistency and efforts are key to a speedy recovery. 

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Black Beauty Pills Are Addictive. The Edge Treatment Center Will Help

Amphetamines like black beauties can be extremely addictive...even fatal. At The Edge Treatment Center, you or a loved one can receive evidence-based care for amphetamine abuse. With us, you'll develop the coping mechanisms you need to leave black beauty abuse behind forever.

Want to learn more about amphetamine abuse and the ways it's treatable? Contact The Edge Treatment Center today.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

March 29, 2023