AMPHETAMINE USE AND ITS EFFECTS
AMPHETAMINE USE AND ITS EFFECTS
Stimulant use by humans has a very long history. The Ma-huang drug has been used by the Chinese natives for more than 5000 years (Ebadi, 2002). The active agent of Mu-huang was found to be ephedrine in 1887. First synthesis of Amphetamine proper was in 1887 as part of a program for manufacturing aliphatic amines. At first, investigations on amphetamine properties concentrated on peripheral effects and it was found that it was a sympathomimetic agent having bronchodilator properties. However, the effect on the central nervous system was not reported until 1933 which was followed closely by the ...view middle of the document...
The first epidemic of amphetamines in Japan emerged after the World War II when there was free availability of methamphetamine supplies that were left over after the war. The methamphetamines were originally intended to combat fatigue during the war. The supplies became available to the general public for free. However, the epidemic was quickly stopped through legal and social sanctions. A second epidemic which is currently ongoing in japan began due to use of illegally produced methamphetamine (Ledgard, 2007). From then, several moderate and minor epidemics have occurred in several other countries including the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United stated (mostly on the south coast in Hawaii).
The epidemic started in the 1960s in the United States and absolute control on amphetamine production abruptly truncated this original epidemic. The control by FDA involved increasing the public knowledge on the side effects of amphetamine and scheduling of the drug. The epidemic then re-emerged in the 1980s and has now taken a new form of “crank”, “ice”, and “crystal meth” and this can be smoked just like cocaine. Deaths related to the use of methamphetamine have increased three fold but this increases have been experienced in locations having clandestine laboratories that manufacture the drug. These areas include Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego. Along the west coast and San Francisco in Particular, the use of methamphetamine is intended to enhance sexual activity which comes in the form of bizarre, indiscriminate and excessive sexual activity among the homosexuals and this has raised concerns on contribution of the drug in spreading of HIV. There is also a raised concern on the rising numbers of truck drivers being found with methamphetamine in their blood samples and this is dangerous because the fatalities and traffic accidents may be attributed to the extended use of amphetamines that leads to loss of mental flexibility of exhaustion but specific number of such incidences is currently not known (Singer, 2008).
According to the controlled substance Act which was enforced in 1970, amphetamines are placed under schedule II controlled substances. There are five classifications of controlled substances with schedule I being the most controlled and schedule V being the least controlled. Due to the way in which amphetamines work, they have been placed in schedule II by the federal government. The criterion for this placement is because amphetamines have a high potential for abuse by people. Amphetamines are also currently being permitted for medical use in the United States although under severe restrictions. In addition, they use of amphetamines may result in severe physical or psychological dependence (Fda.gov, 2015).
The central nervous system responds to threats or stress by creating certain physiological changes. Amphetamines ‘catalyse’ the central nervous system to initiate such a response. Such changes may include...