Journalist Graydon Carter once said, “Let’s face it, who among us wouldn’t take a pill or potion that would make us better at our job? Goodness knows, we abuse substances for just about everything in our personal lives; why not in our professional lives as well?”
Unfortunately, many individuals in our society today also hold this same idea regarding prescription drugs. With the demands of high stake careers, as well as a demand to be attentive and alert at all times, people have often sought out ways to stay awake and alert to meet these excessive demands. While many individuals may pursue exercise, regimented sleep schedules or changes in diet, others often employ the use of mind-altering substances, particularly in the form of amphetamines.
For most of recent history, amphetamines (commonly referred to as “Speed”) have been used as a medication to treat disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as well as sleep disorders like narcolepsy. Given that they act as central nervous system stimulants, amphetamines have the effect of increasing hyperactivity, alertness and restlessness. While it would seem to be a sensible medication for sleep disorders, people may wonder as its use for users with ADHD. Given the manner in which stimulants are metabolized in the system of an individual with ADHD, amphetamine actually induce a calming effect, rather than increase levels of hyperactivity.
Prescription Amphetamine Abuse
While amphetamines have been evidently demonstrated to be effective in a medical capacity, there are other purposes for CNS stimulant usage that are more hazardous than we would like to admit. History has shown that people have abused speed and similar substances for the purpose of performing in their work positions at a greater capacity. For example, many of the Nazi’s during World War II took a substance known as Pervitin or “Pico,” a methamphetamine variant that increased the levels of concentration and alertness in its users.
Even with our increased understanding of the dangers of mind-altering substances, our society today isn’t so different regarding amphetamine use. Today, new amphetamines (such as Vyvanse, which is originally intended to be a medication for ADHD), are now being utilized by some individuals in an attempt to be more productive in their careers. What was once used to assist children with special needs in school is now being used by fully grown adults outside of its original purpose.
Dangers and Risks of Amphetamine Use
While some individuals may view the benefits of amphetamine abuse as being worth the negative effects and risks, this viewpoint is not correct. While amphetamine use may provide a short span of increased functioning, several other factors come into play. Once people start regularly using amphetamines, they will eventually need more and more of the substance to induce the same effect. In addition, users will also have to experience substantial crashes after the drug wears off. Both of these occurrences (known as tolerance and withdrawal) are hallmarks of the signs and symptoms of addiction, trapping its users into a cycle of repeated use. In addition to its addictive properties, amphetamines also possess the danger of inducing deep-rooted depressive and anxiety disorders, which severely inhibit the functioning and quality of life for the individuals involved in use. In addition, these medication may act as “gateways” for other mind-altering substances, as someone who experiences anxiety may seek other drugs to counteract its effects, drugs that may be even more dangerous than amphetamines.
Learn more about amphetamine dangers and treatment for amphetamine addiction call (866) 578-7471.