Amphetamine Overdose

Amphetamine or speed is one of the most abused chemical substance in the world. Individuals who abuse this is at a great risk for an overdose especially if they are using amphetamine for a long period of time [1, 2].

What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a type of drug known as stimulants. It increases the amount of neurotransmitters released into the synapse. This results in hyperactivity and decreased fatigue.

This drug is medically used as a treatment for patients who are diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It may also be given to individuals who wants to lose some weight because of its ability to decrease the person’s appetite.

Unlike methamphetamine, the volatility of amphetamine is insufficient for it to be smoked but it can either be snorted, ingested or sometimes be injected. After using this, an individual may feel sociable, have increased confidence and become hyperactive [1, 2, 3, 4].

How much is Amphetamine Overdose?

The estimated lethal dose of amphetamine is at 200mg for individuals who are not addicted to this substance but it is also dependent on several factors. One of the major factors is the purity of the drug. Amphetamine is a synthetic compound that is manufactured by several laboratories.

It means that the drugs available have different purity. The purer the formulation of the drug is, the more expensive its price is. It also means that the purer the amphetamine that was taken is, the lesser amount is required to overdose an individual.

Another factor is the drug tolerance of the individual. Long-term users will have developed a tolerance for this substance. They are now able to stand a higher amount of amphetamine before they manifest symptoms of drug toxicity [2, 3, 4].

What are Amphetamine Overdose symptoms?

If an individual takes in a toxic dose of amphetamine, some of the symptoms that may be presented include: irregular heart rate, confusion, vomiting, seizures, shaking, weakness, aggression, paranoia and violence.

Chronic use of increased amount of amphetamine may lead to irreversible damage in neuroanatomical structure of the brain. Someone who is dependent on the use of amphetamine may show memory deficit and decreased ability to make decision [2, 3, 4].

What is Amphetamine Overdose management?

Before approaching an individual who has overdosed on amphetamine, the safety of the rescuer must be prioritized. They may have developed hallucinations and they can be a danger not only to others but to themselves as well. The help of the police must be enlisted if needed in order to keep the person calm. When they reach the hospital, the stability of the patient is the main priority.

Airway management or initiation of fluid resuscitation may be performed depending on the need of the patient. When the patient is medically stable, the physician may start to decrease the amphetamine in the body.

Ingested amphetamine may be reduced through the use of activated charcoal. Symptoms that have arose such as seizures will be managed through the use of benzodiazepines.

The dysrhythmia may require defibrillation, cardioversion or antidysrhythmic drugs. Neuroanatomical changes may require a referral to a neurosurgeon for management.

Once the symptoms have been managed, the patient may undergo a detoxification and rehabilitation program for amphetamine use. In order to prevent them from using amphetamine again [2, 3, 4].

How to prevent Amphetamine Overdose?

The main key in the prevention of an overdose in amphetamine is to prevent the using the substance. Drug education will be able to prevent people especially the youth to try the substance.

Those who are known to abuse amphetamine should be brought to the hospital to undergo a detoxification program. This must be combined with counseling and support from the family to ensure that they won’t be using amphetamine again [2, 3, 4].

The unregulated use of amphetamine can easily lead to an overdose. If you know more about this condition, you can share it to others by posting it in the comment section below.

References

  1. com. (2016, June 15). Amphetamine. Retrieved from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/amphetamine.html
  2. Project Know. (2016). Amphetamine Overdose and Treatment. Retrieved from Project Know: http://www.projectknow.com/research/amphetamine-overdose/
  3. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2015, January 8). Amphetamine drug profile. Retrieved from European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/drug-profiles/amphetamine
  4. Handly, Neal. (2016, May 26). Amphetamine Toxicity. Retrieved from Medscape: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/812518-overview#a5

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