Amphetamines are legal when obtained by prescription, but they are potentially dangerous and subject to abuse when used recreationally
Amphetamines are usually available as a prescription drug. A particularly strong drug known as methamphetamine (or “ice”) is an illegal drug. Since methamphetamine is not available by prescription, the law treats it differently from other amphetamines.
Legal use of amphetamines
Amphetamines are a stimulant. They are commonly prescribed to people who need to stay awake and alert. For example, someone with a sleep disorder might become drowsy during daylight hours. A doctor might prescribe amphetamines so that person does not fall asleep at work. Amphetamines are also prescribed to treat hyperactivity disorder.
Militaries have commonly issued amphetamines to soldiers, pilots, and other service members who need to remain awake and alert for long period of time. Given the risk of amphetamine addiction, the practice of giving the drug to military members is less common than it was in the past.
Recreational use of amphetamines
Less legitimate uses of amphetamines include taking the drug to stay awake all night while cramming for a test, or to stay awake while driving through the night. Some people take amphetamines to promote weight loss.
Some recreational users enjoy the effects of amphetamines, which might include:
- Increased energy.
- A sense of confidence or power.
- Stimulation of the desire for sex.
Adverse effects of amphetamines, particularly when the user is not following a doctor’s advice, can include:
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Increased body temperature.
- Dry mouth.
Over time, extended use of amphetamines can cause users to scratch their skin compulsively, to grind their teeth, and to flex their fingers and toes. Long-term use can also cause psychological problems.
Safety of amphetamine use
Amphetamines are generally regarded as safe when used under a doctor’s supervision. They may pose a health risk if the patient takes amphetamines more often, or takes a higher dose, than the physician prescribed.
The recreational use of amphetamines is generally regarded as dangerous. People with heart conditions or other health problems might be placing their lives at risk by taking amphetamines without a doctor’s supervision.
It is possible to take a lethal overdose of amphetamines. A fatal dose will vary from person to person. Factors include height and weight, tolerance based on the history of using the drug, and the person’s overall health.
Some users chew and swallow some amphetamines, which may cause the drug to take effect more quickly than if it is swallowed in a tablet form. If the drug is a “time release” formula, chewing the tablet may cause the full dose to be absorbed at once. That produces a stronger “high” but it also increases the risk of an overdose.
Amphetamines are considered an addictive drug. People who become dependent on amphetamines may need professional help to overcome their addiction.
Every state and territory in Australia makeing it illegal to use or possess amphetamines without a prescription. It is also illegal to sell, administer, or transport amphetamines without a licence.
Penalties are tied to the quantity of the drug involved in the offence. Anyone accused of an amphetamine offence should get advice from a lawyer.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.