• For 24/7 Treatment Help Call

    (800) 526-5053

  • List Of Amphetamines | Prescriptions, Illegal Drugs, & Abuse Potential

    List Of Amphetamines | Prescriptions, Illegal Drugs, & Abuse Potential

    Amphetamines are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. They speed up the communication between your brain and body, which boosts your alertness, attention, and energy. 

    Some amphetamines are prescribed by doctors to treat various health conditions. Other amphetamines are sold illegally on the street. Both types pose a high risk of abuse and addiction

    Prescription Amphetamines

    Prescription amphetamines are prescription drugs used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness), and obesity.

    The most popular prescription amphetamines include:

    Other popular prescription stimulants include methylphenidate (which is sold under the brand names Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate, Methylin, and Ritalin) and dexmethylphenidate (which is sold under the brand name Focalin). 

    Although these drugs aren’t technically amphetamines, they have similar effects. 

    Effects Of Prescription Amphetamines

    Common side effects of amphetamines approved for medical use may include:

    • increased body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate
    • increased confidence
    • euphoria (intense joy)
    • loss of appetite
    • trouble sleeping
    • anxiety 

    Illegal Amphetamines

    Illegal amphetamines are amphetamines that are illegal to make, sell, or use. The most popular illegal amphetamines are methamphetamine and MDMA.


    As mentioned above, methamphetamine (or “meth”) is sometimes prescribed legally under the brand name Desoxyn. However, some people make and sell illegal meth. 

    Illegal meth usually resembles a white powder. It can be snorted, injected, or eaten. It can also be cooked into a shiny rock called “crystal meth,” which is smoked in a glass pipe.  

    Because meth causes a rush of euphoria, it’s highly addictive. It can also lead to other serious health problems, including:

    • psychosis (a loss of connection with reality characterized by hallucinations and delusions)
    • severe dental problems (also called “meth mouth”)
    • severe scratching that causes sores and scabs
    • liver, kidney, and lung damage
    • permanent damage to the brain or heart


    Like methamphetamine, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a derivative of amphetamine. Often called “ecstasy” or “molly,” it acts not only as a stimulant drug but also as a hallucinogen. That means it causes hallucinations (distortions in your perception of reality). 

    Many people use MDMA at all-night dance parties (also called “raves”). The drug is available as a tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid. Like other stimulants, it increases your body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. It can also cause extreme dehydration. 

    Some drug dealers mix MDMA with other substances and don’t tell the buyer. That means that if you purchase MDMA off the street, you may unknowingly ingest a dangerous substance such as methamphetamine, cocaine, or the deadly opioid fentanyl. 

    Amphetamine Abuse Potential

    Illegal amphetamines, like MDMA and crystal meth, are classified as Schedule I controlled substances. That means these drugs have no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse.

    Prescription amphetamines, like Adderall, Desoxyn, and Dexedrine, are classified as Schedule II controlled substances. That means these prescription drugs have approved medical use but still have a high potential for abuse.

    What Is Amphetamine Abuse? 

    Amphetamine abuse occurs when you use an illegal amphetamine in any way. It also occurs when you use a prescription amphetamine in a manner not prescribed by a doctor. For example, you can abuse a prescription amphetamine by:

    • taking it without a prescription
    • taking it more frequently than prescribed
    • taking higher doses than prescribed
    • mixing it with other drugs, including cannabis or alcohol

    In addition, you can abuse prescription amphetamines by crushing the tablets into a powder, dissolving the powder in water, and injecting the liquid into a vein. You can also smoke or snort the powder. 

    Amphetamine Street Names

    People who abuse prescription amphetamines likely buy them from the illegal drug market. There, the drugs are sold under street names such as “speed,” “black beauties,” and “bennies.” 

    Risks Of Amphetamine Abuse

    Whether you abuse a prescription amphetamine or an illegal amphetamine, amphetamine abuse poses serious short-term and long-term health risks, including:

    • hyperthermia (dangerously high body temperature)
    • seizures
    • high blood pressure
    • irregular heartbeat
    • heart attack
    • Stroke

    People who abuse amphetamines also face a high risk of overdose and addiction. 


    When left untreated, an amphetamine overdose can be fatal. That’s why you should seek medical help right away if you or someone you know experiences symptoms of overdose, which include:

    • confusion
    • restlessness
    • shakiness
    • nausea and vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • muscle weakness
    • stomach cramps

    Substance Use Disorder

    Like other types of drug abuse, amphetamine abuse often leads to amphetamine addiction. This disease makes you feel unable to control your use of amphetamines. 

    The most common signs of amphetamine addiction are tolerance and physical dependence. 

    Tolerance means you need increasingly larger or more frequent amounts of amphetamines to feel the desired effects. Physical dependence means your body requires amphetamines to function normally. If you stop taking them, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

    • fatigue
    • depression
    • confusion
    • irritability
    • nightmares

    Other signs of amphetamine addiction include:

    • mood swings
    • loss of motivation 
    • loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
    • avoidance of friends and family
    • visiting multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions of amphetamines (also called “doctor shopping”)

    If you or someone you love struggles with amphetamine use or another type of drug use, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. We offer medical detox, mental health counseling, and a variety of other substance abuse treatment options.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Drug Enforcement Administration - Amphetamines
    Drug Enforcement Administration - Controlled Substance Schedules
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - What is MDMA?
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Substance use - amphetamines

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on January 17, 2023
    Questions About Treatment?

    Ark Behavioral Health offers 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. Achieve long-term recovery.

    100% confidential. We respect your privacy.
    Prefer Texting?

    Our friendly support team is here to chat 24/7. Opt out any time.


    Our Facilities

    Premier Drug Rehab & Mental Health Care Facilities In Massachusetts & Ohio

    Bedrock Recovery

    Canton, MA

    • Medical detox
    • Inpatient & Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • Movie Theater & Fitness Center

    Learn More

    Northeast Addictions

    Quincy, MA

    • Day treatment program
    • Intensive Outpatient Program
    • Full-Day Group Therapy
    • Easy Access to Public Transit

    Learn More

    Spring Hill Recovery Center

    Ashby, MA

    • Residential Treatment
    • Gender-Specific Residencies
    • Outdoor Recreation
    • Expansive 70-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    Ohio Recovery Center

    Van Wert, OH

    • Medical Detox
    • Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • 55-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    For Immediate Treatment Help Call 800-526-5053