Amphetamines are drugs that find use in both legal and illegal settings. Hence, it is important to know the differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines. This is critical to avoid putting yourself or others at harm’s risk or addiction. It is also essential so as not to fall short of the law.
If you are uncertain about the use of Amphetamines, then you need to read this article. It is educative and sheds more light on Amphetamine use.
In it, we will explain how legal Amphetamines are different from illegal ones. At the end of the article, you will be better informed about the drug’s use and know how best to use it.
What are Amphetamines?
According to the NCBI, Amphetamines are regarded as psychostimulant drugs. They act by speeding up messages between the human body and the brain. Doctors prescribe Amphetamines to patients for the treatment of certain conditions including:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Despite Amphetamines’ immense medical benefits, some types are produced and sold illegally. Some people take these drugs to enhance athletic performances and for recreational purposes. The drug’s continuous use can lead to addiction and a host of other negativities.
Usually, people who take Amphetamines in this manner do it without a doctor’s prescription. This is one of the top differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines. Over the next few paragraphs, you will come to understand better how this happens.
All You Need to Know about Using Amphetamines Legally
Although this drug class has a high potential of being abused, it’s impossible not to use it for legal and medicinal purposes.
Due to Amphetamines’ potential for being abused, you need to take dosage precautions when taking them legally. Amphetamines work by stimulating your body’s central nervous system. Furthermore, many of the Amphetamines in circulation are synthetically-made. Thus, several formulations of the drug exist.
These formulations produce varying effects on the body to treat different conditions. The following are examples of legal Amphetamines:
According to the DEA, Amphetamines belong to the Schedule II class of controlled substances. This classification results from these drugs’ potential for addiction and abuse. Hence, the classification limits Amphetamines’ use for medical uses.
Besides the classification limiting how people use Amphetamines legally, several over-the-counter-medications also imitate the drug’s effects. These imitative drugs don’t have Amphetamines’ ingredients but can imitate their effects.
- Herbal stimulants
- Appetite stimulants
Despite not having Amphetamine’s ingredients, these over-the-counter imitations continue to have the potential for addiction and abuse.
Effects of Amphetamines: Brain interactions
There are two main active ingredients present in Amphetamines. These are levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The more potent of these ingredients is dextroamphetamine. When either of these ingredients has its dosage levels adjusted, it leads to varying medical effects.
Amphetamines work by stimulating norepinephrine and serotonin production in the brain. Norepinephrine and Serotonin are the brain’s primary neurotransmitter chemicals. They help in regulating emotions, cognitive processes, and specific critical functions.
Narcolepsy and ADHD symptoms result from chemical imbalances in the brain. Hence, when patients use Amphetamines legally, it restores the brain’s regular chemical balance. When used for treating obesity, Amphetamines act by increasing the body’s metabolism and energy levels.
Dosage and Side Effects of Amphetamines
Governments have strict regulations when it comes to controlled substances. Being a controlled substance, Amphetamine prescription must follow certain guidelines. These guidelines dictate the drug’s dosage regardless of what condition it is being used for.
Using a prescribed Amphetamine dosage can lead to these short-term effects:
- A rise in energy levels
- Increased heart rate
- A rise in body temperature
- Enhanced concentration and focus
- A better sense of wellness or well-being.
If you go above the prescribed dosage for Amphetamines, you risk experiencing more severe symptoms. You may have an increased tolerance for the drug. This eventually leads to Amphetamine abuse and addiction.
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What You Should Know about Using Amphetamines Illegally
One of the key differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines is that the latter happens without the input of a medical professional. In this case, it is not used to treat a medical condition. Instead, Amphetamines are used for recreational purposes or to boost performance.
Another of the key differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines is how they are sold. While legal Amphetamines are sold in pharmacies as over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs are sold on the street by dealers. These illegal Amphetamines also have different street names by which people call them.
Illegal Amphetamines and their slang terms
The common types of hood or street amphetamines and their slang names include:
- Amphetamine, known streetwise as whiz, uppers, louee, goey, speed.
- Dextroamphetamine, known in the streets as dexies, kiddie-speed, uppers, pep pills, and black beauty (when you combine it with amphetamine).
- Methamphetamine, which is in solid crystal form. It is known as base, wax, pure, whiz, d-meth, crystal, ice, glass, speed, meth, fast.
- Methamphetamine, which is in liquid form. It is called leopard’s blood, red speed, oxblood, or liquid red.
These illegal forms of Amphetamine come in these forms:
- Capsules and Pills
- Paste and Powder
To take them, you either swallow or dab onto your gums. You can also inhale them through your nose or inject them. Some people prefer to smoke their Amphetamines.
What Effects Do Illegal Amphetamines Have On The Brain?
You can note the differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines from their effects on the body. Since you are here, you probably already know about the effect of legal Amphetamines on the body. However, when you begin to abuse these drugs, these effects will heighten.
Many people use Amphetamines illegally for different purposes. Some use them to stay active in a bid to study harder. For others, it serves as a means to perform better in sports. Regardless of the thought process behind it, continuous use of Amphetamines for these purposes leads to over-dependence on the drug.
This over-dependence results from Amphetamines’ effect on the brain — the release of dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s chemical that plays a role in thinking, movement, and mood.
Another name for dopamine is the “feel-good” brain chemical. Hence, when you take Amphetamines, you derive pleasurable effects like:
- A great euphoric feeling.
- Feeling confident in yourself and your abilities.
- You begin to think extremely clear.
- Increased levels of energy.
- You become socially active.
The speed at which you begin to feel these effects is one of the differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines. Legally, most Amphetamines come in pill form.
However, if you smoke or inject Amphetamines, you may feel the results immediately, and they last for some minutes before dissipating. If you inhale the drug through your nose, you may feel its effects within three to five minutes. The impact you feel from snorting can last for up to 15 to 30 minutes. However, it is not as intense as the effects of injecting or smoking it.
When you take Amphetamines via pill form, you may feel the effects within 15 to 20 minutes. The effects you feel from taking the drug through this method stay the longest.
Effects of the Illegal Side to Amphetamine Abuse
When you abuse Amphetamines, you risk harming yourself. Some of the harmful effects you may face from using the drug illegally include:
- Reduced appetite leading to weight loss
- Elevated body temperatures and skin flushing
- Inability to think clearly, problems with memory loss, and stroke
- You may develop heart problems. These heart problems include irregular heartbeat, fast heart rate, heart attack, and increased blood pressure
- Tooth decay
- Skin sores
Besides these effects, if you use illegal Amphetamines, especially methamphetamine, you increase your chances of incurring hepatitis B and C and HIV. This possibility comes as a result of sharing needles with an infected person. These drugs can also lead you to engage in risky behaviours. Therefore, you may end up having unprotected sex, putting yourself at risk.
It is unsafe for pregnant women to take Amphetamines as it can lead to birth defects. It is also hazardous to take these drugs while breastfeeding an infant.
Amphetamines’ Addictive Nature
Another one of the differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines is that you easily become addicted to the latter. When you take these drugs illegally, and without a prescription, you may become dependent on them. This dependency leads you to lose control of how you use it. You start to think you can’t do anything without it.
With addiction comes a tolerance for the drug. As your body’s tolerance level for Amphetamine increases, you find yourself taking higher doses of the medication. This is because you want to experience the same feeling the drug gives you. When you attempt to stop using the drug, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.
You will need to go for Amphetamine abuse treatment to treat these withdrawal symptoms. Some of these withdrawal symptoms include:
- A strong craving or desire for the drug
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor sleep
- Increased appetite
- Body aches and pains
What Happens During Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
The first step to Amphetamine addiction recovery is for you to recognize you have a problem. After realizing you have a problem and need help, you must seek the help and support you need. There are treatment options available for Amphetamine abuse patients. Most of these treatment options use behavioural therapy.
The aim of this therapy is for you to understand your actions and your reasons for using Amphetamines. This therapy may involve the presence of your friends and family during counselling sessions. They, in turn, will act as your support system and ensure you don’t relapse after treatment.
If you experience withdrawal symptoms, you may have to stay in an in-patient rehab facility. You will live within the walls of such facilities. While there, you will get all the care and attention you need — from the detox to the recovery stage.
For some addiction treatment programs, you may not necessarily have to live within the rehab facility. Instead, you can perform your daily activities while meeting with a therapist on appointed days to review your progress. These outpatient rehabs work best for persons with mild Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms.
Tips to Boost Amphetamine Recovery
Besides going for Amphetamine addiction treatment, you must take steps to prevent a relapse. These steps will help you to stay focused on your treatment and recovery. Some steps you can take to boost your recovery from addiction include:
- Don’t miss your treatment sessions.
- Discover new activities and focus your mind on things that prevent you from experiencing a relapse.
- Maintain a close relationship with your close friends and family members who have your best interests at heart.
- Avoid any interaction with people who can lead you to your old habits of taking drugs.
- Engage in regular exercise and eat healthily. Take good care of your body and give it time to heal from Amphetamines’ harmful effects.
- Stay away from things that can trigger a relapse. These include emotions, places, or people, that cause you to want to use drugs again or cause you to have cravings for drugs.
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Legal and Illegal Amphetamines are Not the Same
Having come to this portion of the article, you should be now fully aware of the differences between legal and illegal Amphetamines. Aside from knowing these differences, we have been able to explore the harmful effects that come when taking Amphetamines without a prescription.
Are you struggling with Amphetamine abuse and addiction? Have you been taking the drug without a doctor’s prescription? Addiction Rehab can provide the expert guidance you need to stop using Amphetamines safely.
You can trust our Amphetamine addiction services for addiction treatment and more. We go a long way to ensure our patients’ health and well-being. We also go the extra mile to help them avoid relapse after treatment. Contact us today to learn more!