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History, Ice, Action, Physical And Psychological Effects, Treatment

Amphetamines are a group of nervous system stimulants that includes amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine. They are used to induce a state of alert wakefulness and euphoria, and since they inhibit appetite, they also serve as diet pills. After World War II, they were widely prescribed by physicians as diet pills, but they are generally no longer recommended for weight loss programs since there are too many hazards in the prolonged use of amphetamines. Prolonged exposure may result in organ impairment, affecting particularly the kidneys. Amphetamines are addictive and may lead to compulsive behavior, hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal actions. Their medical use has currently been narrowed to treating only two disorders. One is a condition known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. When used to treat overactive children, amphetamines are carefully administered under controlled situations as part of a larger program. The other condition for which amphetamines are prescribed is a sleep disorder known as narcolepsy, the sudden uncontrollable urge to sleep during the hours of wakefulness.

In street language, amphetamines are known as pep pills, as speed (when injected), and as ice (when smoked in a crystalline form). The popularity of amphetamines as a street drug appears to have been facilitated originally by pilfering from the drug companies manufacturing the pills. They are now also illegally manufactured in secret laboratories.

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