Amphetamine – the downsides

Downsides – the not-so-good effects that can happen when you use the drug, that you hope won’t happen

  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Heart palpitations (the heart beats faster and slower, by turns; its beat is irregular)
  • Overdose. This is when the heart beats so fast that you have a heart attack, or the body feels so poisoned by the drug that it kills you. The more pure the drug is (the more actual amphetamine there is in the white powder mix you’ve bought), the higher the risk of overdose
  • Dehydration. Stimulant drugs like amphetamine make the body warmer, which leads to more sweating, which can lead to dehydration. The risk increases if you’re very active, which you are likely to be if you’ve taken a stimulant drug. Dehydration is very dangerous, and can be fatal.
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Aggressiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting
  • Sleeplessness
  • Fits (the stimulation of the central nervous system overwhelms it)
  • Damage to the membranes in the nose (leading to scabs, bleeding, soreness)
  • Corrosion of the cartilage in the nose (the cartilage is the flexible hard substance that gives the nose its shape.
  • Corrosion of the cartilage and septum in your nose (Cartilage is the flexible hard substance that gives shape to parts of your body like your nose and your ears.  Inside your nose, cartilage forms a wall between the nostrils, called a septum. White powder residue scrapes this away, little by little. Some long term users have lost all of this cartilage)
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Heart damage
  • Addiction
  • Infection by blood-borne viruses like HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. ‘Blood-borne’ means ‘carried in the blood’. A blood-borne virus is a virus that lives in and is carried in the blood stream. If you have a blood-borne virus and you share a straw to sniff a white powder drug like amphetamine with a friend, blood from the inside of your nose can be transferred on the straw to the inside of your friend’s nose; and if your friend has a cut in their nose or throat, the blood from your body can enter their blood stream, and infect them. It doesn’t have to be a big drop; viruses are infectious in microscopic drops of blood (so tiny that the human eye can’t see them; smaller than the sharp end of a pin)
  • Loss of appetite. This may not seem like a negative effect but if you use amphetamine for two or three days in a row, and don’t eat properly during that time, the body is being deprived of essential nutrients. Because amphetamine is a stimulant drug, the body is more active than usual while amphetamine is in its system, and is probably getting less sleep, too – so it needs those nutrients even more than it usually does.