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Claudia started to fall asleep at her desk some time during fourth period. She had been up all night finishing her English lit paper. It was her junior year, and she had to maintain her 3.8 grade point average if she wanted to get into the best colleges.

All she could think of was sleep, but she wouldn't get to go home for another five hours. There was soccer practice after school, a student council meeting, and then a session with her SAT tutor. She'd just have time for dinner before studying all night for her calculus exam.

In the locker room after school, her teammate Annie laughed at how slowly Claudia got dressed.

“You're not going to do us any good on the field today,” Annie said.

“I'm just a little tired,” Claudia said. She could barely tie her shoes.

Annie reached into her gym bag and handed Claudia a little white pill. Without asking, Claudia swallowed it. She didn't care what it was; she just didn't want the coach to hassle her for being slow. Almost immediately, Claudia felt happier and more energetic. She ran out to the field with Annie and started in on her laps.

Soon, Claudia was feeling strange. Her heart was beating too fast and the shouts of her teammates seemed too loud. The grass of the soccer field became blurry. She began to panic.

The little white pill Claudia took is a kind of drug called an amphetamine. Amphetamines are stimulants, which means that they increase activity in the nervous system and cause a number of physical and psychological changes.

Although amphetamines are often prescribed by doctors to treat a wide range of conditions, including obesity, depression, and sleeping disorders, they are often abused because of the “rush” they bring on. When amphetamines are abused, they can be extremely dangerous. They can cause hallucinations, headaches, and blurred vision, among other things. When these drugs wear off, users can feel exhausted, depressed, and anxious. Sometimes amphetamines can even cause death.

According to a recent study, 10.7 percent of eighth graders have used amphetamines. As a teenager, you may have been offered amphetamines. You may have used them. Or maybe you're just curious about them. This book offers information about amphetamines and other stimulants so that you can learn more about them and their effects.

This book will also help you learn how to say no to drugs. If you are already hooked, you can take the first steps toward becoming drug-free. It's never too late to break an addiction and turn your life around.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaCommon Street Drugs