Citation: Xazathothx. "Long Term Health Risks: An Experience with Amphetamines (exp61279)". Erowid.org. Oct 25, 2007. erowid.org/exp/61279
Since I was very young, perhaps 7 or 8(22 now), I have been prescribed amphetamine salts in numerous forms for the treatment of ADHD. I remember clearly receiving my first 5mg dexedrine tablets after numerous behavioral problems noted by my early childhood teachers. At first I was thrown off, the pills made me feel strange and out of touch with my emotions. I communicated this to my parents, a psychiatrist, also taking amphetamine sulphate and an licensed counselor, who informed me that the side effects should wear off soon. They didn't, and for several years I regularly cheeked the pills and would dispose of them somewhere after leaving the house for school in the morning.
Then something changed. At around 11 or 12 I became very interested in altering my consciousness by any method possible, at which point I realized I was sitting on a huge prescription to speed, and had been throwing it out for years. This began a stimulant binge that lasted basically until I was 20.
At first, the amphetamines did exactly what they were supposed to. I've always been extremely impulsive and had trouble concentrating on bullshit, not a good mix for someone trying to attend school. Although it didn't really help my grades, my ability to pay attention was drastically increased, and my outgoing impulsiveness at least changed to inward obsession, which I think was easier for my parents to deal with. I started at 30mg a day orally, and gradually got my dose increased to 50mg a day. I would regularly steal and snort the pills, going on 4 - 6 day binges where I would neither eat nor sleep. In fact, the first two years of abuse I probably slept only 200 nights out of the year.
When I would run out, I would pilfer my father and sister's prescriptions, or hit up other kids at school. I kept all of this use secret from my parents, outside of demanding some sort of downer for 'not being able to sleep'. They ended up giving me trazadone, which I found incredibly addicting, another interesting post. I took it every night for 3 or 4 years. After the first two years the effects began to creep in slowly. Incredible stomach cramps, and I believe significant damage to the lining of my stomach has been done resulting in daily nausea that requires marijuana just to eat. A general feeling of 'scatteredness' at about age 17 also took over the razor edge I used to get from the speed, resulting in a flood of thoughts with no real relevance which I felt unable to sort through. I also became heavily habituated to marijuana and tobacco during this period, mainly to offset or accentuate the amphetamines.
All of this has led me to now. Two years off the amps and I can honestly say thank god and I think they almost killed me. Outside of the stomach and scattered thinking problems I also now basically have hardwired circuitry in my brain that commands me to take a stimulant in order to get anything and I do mean anything done. I feel like serious long term damage has been done to my dopaminergic systems which results in the long term 'fuzzy' feeling I've experienced even years after quitting and extensive supplementation with amino acids etc.
I've also experienced many strange hypertensive crises, and strange arrhythmias which doctors always assure me are 'not anything serious' and that 'no one your age has heart problems'. Well, it feels pretty serious to me, and I'm totally unconvinced that a daily regime of amphetamines carries no risk for long term cardiotoxicity. The last two years of my life have been me undoing the long term changes caused in my body by these chemicals. Through yoga, exercise, meditation, limiting my stimulant intake almost entirely, getting regular nights sleep and vitamins I seem almost back to normal, but I wonder how many years have been taken off my life, how much better adjusted my thinking would be and if I wouldn't feel compelled to so much drug use. If I just hadn't been pumped full of speed.
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