The Rush of Amphetamine Use: The Need for Speed Over the last century, Adderall and Ritalin have transitioned from respectable medications into designer drugs. Chemist L. Edeleano developed amphetamines in the late 1800’s primarily for respiratory ailments, but in time physicians noticed additional behavioral effects. Now, people that are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD, ADD) and narcolepsy use amphetamines to alert and focused (CESAR).
According to the Princeton University online dictionary, amphetamines are “a central nervous system stimulant that increases energy and decreases appetite; used to treat narcolepsy and some forms of depression. ” These prescription medications are some of the most popular and widely abused drugs among teens today, and are depended on for better performance in school, on sports field and are even used to aid weight loss. Because amphetamines and similar drugs reduce hunger, increase concentration, raise self esteem, and boost performance they appeal to insecure young people.
These miracle drugs are most often abused by college and high school students because the medicine provides a sense of security that most users long for. Girls in particular use amphetamines such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Vyvanse for weight loss purposes. If a person takes too many lisdexamfetamines (a chemical like amphetamines in Ritalin or Vyvanse) or amphetamines, his body can build a tolerance which can cause increased dependency. The dangerous use of these drugs without the supervision of a medical doctor can be fatal.
Like any other drug, amphetamines can become an addiction that can only be overcome with the assistance of a trained physician. Scientists designed amphetamines to be helpful for those with learning disabilities or mental disorders; however, the abuse of these chemicals causes psychological dependence, physical deterioration, and spiritual destruction. According to expert medical journal writer Ellen Bailey, when Dr. Heinrich Hoffman discovered learning disabilities like ADD and ADHD, parents were overjoyed and relieved that there was something they could actually do to help their children.
Sir George F. explained to parents through his written lectures that it was not their fault that their children had attained uncontrollable behavior (2). Medical intervention could help, but the temptation to abuse the drugs followed the cure. Finding these drugs can be as easy as finding rock candy in a candy store. Desperate people who want amphetamines find “hole in the wall” doctors that will give them the prescriptions they need. Doctors who use these methods of treatment, for the most part, have their own practice firms and give the people what they want – not need.
Because people love the doctors, they have high satisfactory ratings. Technically they are doing their job, and therefore are not reported for writing fraudulent prescriptions. There are several ways to take amphetamines; a few ways are: “ingested orally, crushed and snorted, dissolved in water and injected, or smoked (inhalation of the vaporized drug)” (CESAR). Some students use amphetamines as a shortcut to an “A” on a test or an easy way out of studying. What is so special about these drugs? What makes them appealing to students and adults without learning disabilities?
Achievement through drug abuse is common; athletes use steroids to enhance their performance, and people who suffer from depression have “happy-pills” to help them be more at ease with themselves. Those who are compelled to over-achieve often use amphetamines. Because of intense peer pressure and a compulsion to achieve, students then fall into the trap of amphetamine abuse in an attempt to cheat the system. Amphetamines do help students and people with learning disabilities by allowing them to focus better and work more effectively.
People with ADD and ADHD are missing certain chemicals in their brains that drugs like Vyvanse and Adderall can help. Margaret Lahey and Shari Rosen from the Bamford-Lahey Children’s Foundation explain that the part of the brain that controls concentration uses a chemical called dopamine. It is an important neurotransmitter that does not work properly for people with learning disorders (Par 9). Adderall and other amphetamines supply this chemical for those people so that they are able to function as normally as possible.
The outcome is the ability to function without restriction. Some suffering from anorexia nervosa have discovered another abuse of amphetamines in the form of dieting pills. Leading scientific experts Dr. John E. Blundell and Micah B. Leshem agree that hunger is severely suppressed while using amphetamines. In a recent study, the two scientists determined the following: The effects upon food intake of three dose levels of fenfluramine and amphetamine were compared in rats with bilateral or unilateral lesions of the lateral hypothalamus. ….
At 8 weeks after operation amphetamine anorexia was significantly diminished in bilaterally lesioned animals whereas fenfluramine anorexia was significantly enhanced. Further tests carried out at 14 and 20 weeks after operation showed that amphetamine regained its anorexic potency in lesioned animals, while the enhanced potency of fenfluramine remained. The results are consistent with the belief that these two anorexic agents operate through quite separate sites and mechanisms of action. (Par 1) Because of the severity of the weight loss, it is extremely easy to fall into a deep psychological obsession and addiction.
According to student John Monroe, diagnosed last year with ADD, within the first two weeks of taking Adderall, he lost a shocking ten pounds. He realized quickly how dangerous his weight loss would be if he continued taking the medications. Even though weight loss is not a motive for some taking the medications, the side effect still occurs. However, abusers sometimes take too much too often without even knowing it. Overdose can lead to hair loss, loss of menstruation in women, anemia, euphoria, body twitches, and even heart failure.
Amphetamine abuse hurts you in more than the physical level; but also at the spiritual level. When sin entered the heart of man, so did the desire for self-acceptance. With today’s standards, some of the hardest trials a person can go through are perfectionist tendencies, fitting in with the word, and acceptance of self. If abusers have feelings of dislike towards themselves, their minds, or their bodies and do not feel perfect the way they are, they are telling God that He made a mistake in making them.
God made each and every person in his image (New International Version Bible, Gen 1. 27); some people have difficulties learning while others do not. The rise of amphetamine usage in 12th graders is especially shocking. According to a recent study from the University of Maryland, 15% of 12th graders were using prescription amphetamines for nonmedical reasons (Cesar FAX). The graph below reveals the percentages of 12th graders using amphetamines to the usage of narcotics and where the students attained them. (Cesar FAX)
An assumed argument against whether amphetamines should be legalized is that the medicine is not harmful to anyone if used in moderation and under a doctor’s supervision. If test results from a person without a learning disability reveal normal blood and behavior levels, that should be enough to make doctors realize that, if used under supervision and in moderation, the drug is safe. The medicine is more effective and safer for keeping a person focused and on target than smoking, and it gives the same buzz alcohol can give but without the risk of getting drunk.
The danger is still deeper than mood swings or behavior problems. As stated before, Lahey explains that people who have learning disabilities have a dysfunctional neurotransmitter call dopamine (Par 9). In simpler terms, it means that the stimulation part of the brain is missing, and as a result, the brain automatically tries to find outside methods to release the chemicals it is lacking. People with ADD have to fuel up their brains with things like physical activities, movement, and always doing something that stimulates their brains.
Such impulsive behavior is not a conscious decision that people with ADD/HD make; they really cannot help themselves. The behavior becomes a reflex action and they act in a hyperactive manner. The amphetamines help people with learning disorders like ADD and ADHD by supplying the dopamine that their brains are missing. If a person without such learning disabilities has too much dopamine, his or her body can go into overdrive and can create a resistance, causing the brain to need more; it becomes an addiction.
One addiction can lead to a door of temptation that swings wide open for other drugs. Once one drug is dismissed by saying, “Oh, it is just a onetime thing”, the drug habit becomes a “onetime thing. ” God provided doctors who can help a person with learning disabilities attain a sense of normalness and those without, He gave teachers, parents, and other people who can support them though any trial that may come God will provide for a person’s needs without using the easy way out and using counterfeit concentration or dieting habits. What many people fail to think about before taking amphetamines without prescription are the consequences. It is not worth losing family, friends, a job, or school and is certainly not worth the consequences of being charged with illegal drug use. Illegal amphetamine use may seem small and insignificant, but once one is addicted, it is nearly impossible to get rid of the ghosts of one’s past. The problem is not the medication, but how mankind uses or abuses the medication. Works Cited Blundell, John E. , Micah B. Leshem. Central Action of Anorexic Agents: Effects of Amphetamine and Fenfluramine in Rats with Lateral Hypothalamic Lesions. ” ScienceDirect – Home. Elsevier B. V. , Sept. 1974. Web. 04 Nov. 2010. Cesar FAX. “Friends and Family Are Most Common Source of Prescription Amphetamines and Narcotics Used Nonmedically by 12th Graders. ” CESAR (Center for Substance Abuse Research). University of Maryland, 2 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. Ellen, Bailey, and Carson-Dewitt Rosalyn. “Behavior Drugs & Children: An Overview. ” Point of View Reference Center. EBSCO, 2009.
Web. Oct. -Nov. 2010. Lahey, Margaret, and Shari Rosen. “Neurotransmitters and Learning, Memory and Developmental Disorders. ” Children’s Disability Information. Children’s Disabilities &Special Needs Information. Web. Oct. -Nov. 2010. Monroe, John S. “Having ADD. ” Telephone interview. 9 Oct. 2010. Princeton University. “Amphetamine Definition. ” WordnetWeb. Princeton University. Web. 27 Nov. 2010. University of Maryland. “Amphetamines. ” CESAR (Center for Substance Abuse Research). University of Maryland, 2 May 2005. Web. 27 Nov. 2010.
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