Amphetamines are drugs that make people feel awake and alert and can create euphoria. They are often prescribed to people with ADHD. Just as with many other drugs, they can be misused and an addiction can form. Learning about these drugs can aid people in finding help.

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines can usually look like small, dark- or light-blue tablets. Some people may cut them in half or in quarters. A 5 mg pill — which is light blue — says “M A5” to denote the formula. These drugs are used for symptoms of ADHD because they increase a person’s focus and attention. People with narcolepsy may also use these drugs. Since the drugs “wake up” the brain, they can sometimes help people counter narcolepsy issues.

The phrase “amphetamine salts” refers to the mixture that makes up generic Adderall. The combination used to create Adderall is chemically considered salt.

Due to their ability to boost levels of a few “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, amphetamines are often misused. Although college students may try to misuse Adderall to increase focus levels, people of all ages can abuse these drugs and develop an addiction to them.

Alternative Names for Amphetamines

Like many drugs, amphetamines have more than one name. People who sell or misuse drugs may use these names to deter attention. If you hear a person use drug slang, they may be misusing them. Some of the most common slang for amphetamines are:

  • Speed
  • Bennies
  • Uppers
  • Wake Ups
  • Dexies
  • Pep pills
  • Chalk
  • Zip
  • Crank

Types of Amphetamines

There are several different types of amphetamines. All prescription amphetamines in the United States are taken orally. Most of them drugs have generic versions. Some newer drugs, like Vyvanse, are only available under their brand-name formulas. Only about 6% of people who use them with a prescription use the brand-name medications. Some of the popular brands are:

  • Adderall – an oral tablet
  • Adderall XR – an oral extended-release capsule
  • Desoxyn – an oral tablet
  • Dexedrine – an oral tablet
  • Dexedrine Spansule – an oral extended-release capsule
  • DextroStat – an oral tablet
  • Ritalin – an oral capsule or chewable tablet
  • ProCentra – an oral solution
  • Vyvanse – an oral capsule
  • Zenzedi – an oral tablet

Related Topics: Learn more about commonly abused stimulants.

Adderall | Amphetamines | Cocaine | Crack | Ecstasy (MDMA) | Meth

Are Amphetamines Addictive?

Amphetamine addiction can happen. These drugs are among the most addictive in the world. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies them as Schedule II controlled substances. This means that they have limited medical use and a high risk of addiction. Due to the potential for addiction, the DEA mandates that these drugs cannot be refilled. A new prescription is needed to get more.

Despite these barriers to illegal drug use, people still manage to get them. It is easy to become dependent and develop an addiction. Studies show that people with ADHD are just as likely as those without it to develop an addiction. Regular use puts people at a greater risk for addiction. These drugs can warp the brain. Over time, such changes in the brain can cause lasting effects.

Mixing Amphetamines with Other Drugs

Mixing amphetamines with other drugs can be deadly. This is especially true if a person is already addicted. Some drugs react poorly with amphetamines and produce a toxic effect on the nerves. Speak with a doctor before using two or more drugs at the same time. 

Mixing amphetamines and alcohol is unsafe, as is mixing Xanax and Adderall. Both alcohol and Xanax are depressants, which means that they slow down the central nervous system. Mixing them can increase the chance of an overdose.

Even mixing drugs from different groups can have dangerous results. The risk of overdose is one of the major issues with mixing different drug types. The risk is due to the “upper” (stimulant) hiding the fact that a person has taken too much of the “downer” (e.g., alcohol or Xanax). By the time a person realizes they are overdosing, it may be too late to get help. In many tragic cases, a person dies before they know that they were in danger.

Signs, Symptoms and Effects of Amphetamine Addiction

When someone gets addicted to amphetamines, there may be changes in their behavior and attitude. For example, they can experience:

  • Personality changes
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Bouts of euphoria followed by a “crash”
  • Always talking about drugs
  • Looking unusually older
  • Insomnia

People who misuse these drugs may also experience serious effects when the drug is used long term. Vertigo, ulcers, poor diet, kidney problems, lung issues and a risk of heart symptoms may all be experienced.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

The best way to treat an addiction is to seek the aid of a professional treatment facility. When working with therapists, people have a safer detox. 

Doctors and therapists can help people figure out the best way to detox and give medicine to help with any side effects of the process. At rehab, the person can learn the skills needed to continue living without drugs after rehab. Some rehab programs include:

Amphetamine Addiction Statistics

Remember these statistics to know how many people are affected by amphetamines:

  • Amphetamines are the second most commonly used drugs in the world, after cannabis
  • About 13 million Americans abuse these drugs
  • People who abuse Adderall are likely to abuse other drugs too
  • One study found that almost 90% of college students who abuse Adderall also regularly binge drink
  • About 15% of high schoolers in grades 10 through 12 have abused an amphetamine at least once
  • Amphetamines can stay in a person’s body for one to three days after the last use

Contact The Recovery Village to learn how professional treatment can help. Call now, you deserve a healthier future.

  • Visit the following websites to learn about The Recovery Village’s network of rehabilitation facilities. Call today for admissions. Each center is ready to help people learn how to cope with their Ambien addiction and uncover the root causes for their substance use disorder.
  • Orlando Recovery Center: A premier rehabilitation facility in Orlando, Florida that helps individuals recover from addiction and substance use disorders. The center also offers the opportunity to treat co-occurring disorders.
  • The Recovery Village Columbus: Located in Ohio, this facility provides inpatient, outpatient and aftercare treatment for people looking to begin detox. The center provides individualized plans to help patients through recovery while addressing their unique co-occurring disorders or any setbacks that may happen during recovery.
  • The Recovery Village Palmer Lake: In Colorado, this facility offers inpatient, outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment for individuals looking to kick-start their journey to recovery.
  • The Recovery Village Ridgefield: Located right in southern Washington, this facility provides patients with outpatient and aftercare programs. Just 20 minutes outside of Portland, this facility assists individuals who are ready to begin treatment.
  • The Recovery Village: In Umatilla, Florida, this is a rehabilitation facility that provides resources for individuals seeking drug and alcohol treatment. There are inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization treatment programs available for those suffering from Ambien addiction.
  • IAFF Center of Excellence: Specializes in assisting firefighters who struggle with behavioral health problems and addiction. Members can enter the recovery process sooner so they can return back to work as quickly as possible. Inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs are all available at this facility, where patients can address their Ambien addiction in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Denver Mental Health & Counseling: Denver Mental Health and Counseling by The Recovery Village is a physician-led outpatient center specializing in evidence-based addiction and mental health treatments, offering services such as TMS, IOP, and personalized care for both ongoing and new patients, dedicated to fostering long-term recovery and overall well-being.
  • The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health: The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health is a premier physician-led treatment center in South Florida, offering a comprehensive spectrum of services from medical detox to outpatient programs for alcohol, drug, and co-occurring mental health conditions, with a commitment to rejuvenating lives, families, and communities, and facilitating same-day admissions.
  • The Recovery Village Atlanta: Located in Roswell just outside downtown Atlanta, is a 62-bed physician-led treatment facility offering a comprehensive range of services, from medical detox to outpatient care, specializing in alcohol, drug, and co-occurring mental health conditions, dedicated to transforming lives, families, and communities throughout Georgia.
  • The Recovery Village Kansas City: The Recovery Village Kansas City, an 80-bed facility in Raytown just 10 miles from downtown, offers a comprehensive range of evidence-based treatments for addiction and mental health conditions, overseen by physician leaders, and is dedicated to revitalizing lives, families, and communities throughout the Midwest.
  • The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper Health: The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper, situated just 20 minutes from Philadelphia, is a leading rehab facility in South Jersey providing comprehensive, evidence-based addiction and mental health treatments, ranging from medical detox to teletherapy, with a dedicated team committed to guiding adults on their path to lifelong recovery.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.