Important: The use of amphetamines and methamphetamines is very dangerous for people with cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and epilepsy.
• When a person stops using and the effects wear off physical symptoms and extreme fatigue appear.
• The use of amphetamines and methamphetamines cause a quick development of tolerance (necessity of increasing the quantity to obtain the same effect). Use can lead to dependence as the physical is less pronounced than the psychological, and the latter can develop quickly and severely.
• The amphetamines and methamphetamines increase the body’s temperature; constrict blood vessels; increase heart rate and blood pressure. There is a risk of cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke, which may lead to sudden death.
• Overheating. It is very dangerous when a person is at a night club or discotheque: he or she does not feel the fatigue and can dance for hours without stopping. If the surrounding environment is warm and humid, the body will not be able to regulate its temperature. When the amount of consumed non-alcoholic liquids is not enough, the risk of dehydration and overheating rises. Some muscles, the liver and kidneys may stop working. Overheating is life-threatening and hard for treatment. The risk is smaller if there is appropriate ventilation and cooling at the place.
• Long-term use can cause total exhaustion.
• The loss of appetite can cause loss of weight. The result is malnutrition and decreased resistance to disease, breakable nails, severe dental problems. Some users can develop eating disorders such as anorexia. It is most common for women.
• People who have been using amphetamines and methamphetamines frequently over a long period of time may have involuntary, repetitive movements like chewing movements or teeth grinding. These involuntary movements may continue even after stopping the use.
• Tactile sensations such as insects crawling over or under the skin are also possible and in one’s effort to relieve the itch a person may damage their skin causing bleeding.
• One of the effects of amphetamines and methamphetamines is that they constrict blood vessels and cause dry mouth. This is the reason why chronic users suffer from severe gingivitis and tooth decay.
• Amphetamines and methamphetamines may cause gastrointestinal disorders such as colitis, diarrhea or constipation.
• People who use high doses of amphetamines and methamphetamines for a long period may develop amphetamine psychosis – a mental disorder that resembles paranoid schizophrenia.
• Some users may develop depression after stopping of use.
• Amphetamines and methamphetamines influence behavior – they can cause agitation, depression or aggression, chaotic thinking, suspicions and paranoia. Driving under the influence of these drugs is strongly inadvisable and illegal.
• The combination of amphetamines and methamphetamines with other drugs is very risky. When they are mixed with alcohol, the effects of alcohol are not felt. The person may consume too much alcohol and become aggressive. Use of amphetamines or methamphetamines in combination with cocaine or ecstasy is also very dangerous. The effects of the substances reinforce each other, which increases overheating, exhaustion and strain on the heart.
You can read more about the risk of combination of amphetamines with other substances here.
• The nasal mucosa can be damaged when the substances are snorted.
• Regular use may cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys leading to kidney failure. Smoking of the substance may lead to lung diseases.
• Psychological problems that remain even after the cessation of use may appear.
• The use of unsterile needles and syringes for injecting amphetamines and methamphetamines can cause skin abscess and infection with blood-transmitted diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
• Mothers who have been using amphetamines and methamphetamines during the time of pregnancy may give birth to babies with low weight, heart defects, various birth defects, cleft palate, dependence or withdrawal symptoms.
• The amphetamines and methamphetamines pass into the mother’s milk, and therefore it is important to avoid their use during breast-feeding.
• Intensive and long-term use of amphetamines and methamphetamines may lead to irreversible brain damage but additional research to demonstrate this connection is needed.