Physical And Psychological Effects
Amphetamines inhibit appetite and stimulate respiration as a result. On an oral dose of 10-15 mg daily an individual feels more alert and more confident in performing both physical and mental work and is able to show an increase in levels of activity. It has not been determined how the drug affects the quality of work done under its influence. The drug also results in a rise in blood pressure and an increased, though sometimes irregular, heart rate.
Psychological dependency arises from the desire to continue and heighten the euphoric effects of the drug. During an amphetamine euphoria, the individual feels an enlargement of physical, mental, and sexual powers along with the absence of the urge to eat or sleep. Those who inject the drug feel a "rush" of the euphoric effect moments after the injection. They will feel energized and focused in an unusual way.
Depending on the user's medical history, the dosage, and the manner in which the drug was delivered to the body, a number of toxic effects can accompany amphetamine abuse. Large intravenous dosages can lead to delirium, seizures, restlessness, the acting out of paranoic fantasies, and hallucinations. In hot weather there is a danger of heat stroke, since amphetamines raise the body temperature. The increased blood pressure can lead to stroke. Heart conditions such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) can develop and become fatal, especially for those with heart disease. Since the dosage levels of street drugs are not reliable, it is possible to overdose unknowingly when using the drug intravenously. The results can be coma and death. Chronic users will show much weight loss and chronic skin lesions. Those who are "shooting up" (injecting) street versions of amphetamine face the further dangers from contaminated substances, adulterations in the chemicals used, and a lack of sterilized needles. These conditions carry the same risks associated with heroin use, such as hepatitis and infections to vital organs, along with irreversible damage to blood vessels. Contaminated needles may also transmit the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
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