¶ … Consequence and Benefits to Society of the Use, Abuse, Misuse, and Overuse of Amphetamines
Used by the armed forces during World War II and U.S. Air Force pilots today to help them remain alert on long missions as well as in various legitimate medical applications such as treating attention deficit disorder in children, amphetamines have been shown to be a definite benefit to modern society. Conversely, when this drug is abused, misused or overused, the health consequences can be severe, including death. To determine the facts, this paper reviews the relevant literature a brief history of amphetamines, their licit and illicit pathways, and the impact of their use, abuse, misuse and overuse on individuals, families, and society. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings concerning amphetamines and modern society are provided in the conclusion.
Brief History of Amphetamines
According to Newton (2010), though, "Edeleanu's discovery was largely ignored for four decades before Gordon Alles, working at the time at the University of California at Los Angeles, repeated Edeleanu's work to explore the effects of amphetamine on humans (using himself as a subject)" (pp. 28-29). Based on Alles' work, it was determined that amphetamine was even more effective than ephedrine as a stimulant and the drug has been incorporated into a wide range of medicines ever since (Newton, 2010). Widespread use of amphetamines by the armed forces in World War II combined with ease of access have resulted in amphetamine abuse being a national health care problem since the mid-20th century and many states report that its abuse remains their leading drug problem today (Newton, 2010).
Licit and Illicit Pathways
Amphetamine is a versatile drug that can be administered through a number of different pathways. The drug can be administered in pill form, injected, or inhaled in various ways such as snorting or smoking (Newton, 2010). The immediate effects of ingesting amphetamine in any form include elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate and respiration, euphoria, diminished appetite, enhanced attentiveness and desire for physical activity (Newton, 2010). Overdoses of amphetamines can have severe consequences, including arrhythmia, respiratory and cardiovascular complications and even death (Newton, 2010). The long-term effects of amphetamine abuse, misuse and overuse are likewise severe, and besides death, include…
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