Amphetamines are synthetic stimulants. Stimulants are drugs that speed up the body’s processes including heart and breathing rate.
Amphetamines increase energy levels and alertness. Users may feel more confident, happy and powerful or creative.
Amphetamines are currently employed in treating a small number of disorders.
Dexedrine (dexamphetamine sulphate) is used in the treatment of narcolepsy – where the patient cannot help suddenly falling asleep. However, its use is increasingly being replaced by Modafinil.
Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Very rarely, amphetamines may also be used to treat obesity and certain types of depression that do not respond to other treatments.
As a street drug, amphetamine usually comes as a white, pink, grey or yellowish powder. It may also come as pills or a grey putty-like substance known as paste. It is usually sold wrapped in small pieces of paper (wraps).
The purity of street powders is usually less than 15%, with most deals having only 10% amphetamine. The rest of the product is comprised of other powders like glucose, vitamin C, laxative, dried baby milk baby, caffeine, or other drugs such as paracetamol or aspirin.
Powders are snorted up the nose, mixed in a drink or, by some heavy users, prepared for injection.
‘Base’ is a stronger form of amphetamine but its use has been declining for some time. Base is usually swallowed (often wrapped in cigarette paper first due to its bad taste). It can be snorted if dried out properly