Amphetamines: What are they?

We’ve heard the term amphetamine but what exactly does it mean? The answer is amphetamines are stimulants that speed up the messages traveling between the brain and the body. There are legally prescribed amphetamines for things such as ADD and ADHD as well as for narcolepsy. There are also illegal amphetamines which were one of the top 10 most abused illegal drugs in the United States in 2017. These are produced and sold illegally.

Prescription amphetamines are most often in tablet or capsule form. However, the drug can also come in the form of a powder and crystals. When amphetamines are sold illegally, they might be packaged in foil, plastic bags, or even in small balloons. Powder forms of amphetamine may be white or can even be brown in color. The powder has a strong smell and taste. They may contain traces of grey or pink as well.

Street names for amphetamines include: speed, whiz, fast, up, louee, uppers, and goey. Amphetamines are generally swallowed, injected snorted, or smoked.

Effects of amphetamines include: extra happiness and confidence, being more talkative and having more energy, feeling itchy and scratchy, enlarged pupils, dry mouth, increased heart rate, reduced appetite, excessive sweating, teeth grinding, and increased sex drive among others.

Long term effects of abusing amphetamines include: breathing trouble, dizziness, convulsions, extreme fatigue, mode changes, psychosis, mental disorders, behavior disorders, skin disorders, tics, ulcers


Heroin (like opium and morphine) is made from the resin of poppy plants that predominantly grow in South America and, to a lesser extent, Southeast Asia. Milky, sap-like opium is first removed from the pod of the poppy flower and then refined to make morphine. The morphine is refined further into different forms of heroin.

Heroin is most often sold as a white, pink, or brownish powder that has been “cut.” “Cut” means something was used to dilute the heroin, namely sugar, powdered milk, quinine caffeine or other substances. Street heroin is dangerously sometimes “cut” with strychnine or other poisons. The various additives that have been “cut” into the heroin often do not fully dissolve, and when the are injected into the body, can clog the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, kidneys or brain leading to infection or destruction of vital organs.

Heroin bought on the street carries an additional risk: the user never knows the actual strength of the heroin they are buying. Because of this, users are constantly at risk of an overdose.

Street names for heroin include:

Big H

Brown Sugar


Hell Dust



Nose Drops





This video helps show how important human connection and how that relates to addiction. We highly recommend watching this.

illegaldrugsintheworkplaceIllegal drugs in the workplace on the rise

A recent report in regards to the rise in drug use in the workplace shows a definite increase among workers. In fact, according to Medical News Today, the proportion of workers testing positive for illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, is fast approaching about 5%. The results came from a huge data-base that tested drugs in the workplace using urine analysis and other means (hair drug testing and oral fluid drug testing).

It was reported by the director of Quest Diagnostics, Barry Sample, that, “American workers are increasingly testing positive for workforce drug use across almost all workforce categories and drug test specimen types.” Quest Diagnostics is a drug testing company.

Further, Markus MacGill of Medical News Today reports that, “Data released by (Quest Diagnostics) shows that among about 6.6 million urine drug tests performed in the general US workforce, 4.7% showed positive in 2014 – up on the 4.3% proportion measured in 2013, which itself had seen the first annual rise in figures since 2003.”

The Quest director noted that they have seen prescription drug use on the rise in the past, but find it interesting that illegal drug use is also increasing now. Also interesting is that marijuana is the most commonly detected drug which is noteworthy if it means that workers are becoming more accepting of the drug since it’s legality has been passed by some states. Further, cocaine use has risen and amphetamine use has risen so high when illegal drugs were tested in the workplace that its now at its highest level on record.

These findings have many implications for the workplace. Workers may be less attentive, more impaired, and less capable of making clear decisions or acting under pressure among other things if drug use in the workplace continues to rise.


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