Amphetamine Abuse

Sidney Cohen, MD
JAMA. 1975;231(4):414-415. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240160076039.
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AMPHETAMINE is phenylisopropylamine. The racemic mixture is marketed as Benzedrine, and the D-isomer, dextroamphetamine sulfate, as Dexedrine. Methamphetamine hydrochloride (Desoxyn) and phenmetrazine hydrochloride (Preludin) are two variants of the amphetamine structure.

Pep pills or "uppers" are also known as "bennies," "dexies," or "bombitas." Methedrine is called "meth," "speed," "crank," "splash," or "crystal." There is a tendency to call all amphetamines "speed" at present.

Types of Abuse  Amphetamines are misused and abused in many ways.

Sporadic Use of Average Amounts.—  The occasional use of amphetamines to remain alert or enhance one's performance is widespread. Students cramming for exams, drivers on extended nonstop trips, athletes attempting to excel, and military personnel on prolonged operations are some of the groups involved. Amphetamines do seem to improve the performance of tired individuals who are involved in prolonged tasks, if the drug does not make them jittery. Skilled judgments may be adversely affected. On rare


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