Amphetamines are synthetic drugs that consist of chemical molecules produced in clandestine labs.

Whatever the shape, colour or origin of amphetamines sold on the street, it is impossible to know their exact composition. A dose of amphetamines may contain:

  • The pure substance
  • The substance mixed with other products
  • Everything else but amphetamines
Appellations courantesApparence Particularités
  • Peanut
  • Pep
  • Pill
  • Amped
  • Bennie or Bennies
  • Amped
  • Benz or Benzies
  • Cartwheels
  • Blue Mollies or Black Mollies
  • Speed
  • Jelly Beans or Super Jellies
  • Hearts
  • Uppers
  • Pick-me-ups or Wake-me-ups
  • Wake-ups
  • Get-ups
  • Boot-ups
  • Sparkles
  • Dexies or Dexy
  • Footballs
  • Eye Poppers or Eye Openers
  • Lid Poppers or Lid Openers
  • Oranges
  • Fast Lightning or Lightning

The name often varies with the appearance of the drug.

Names often vary according to what the pill looks like and what is engraved on it. 

  • Powder
  • Pills come in different colours and shapes, often with varied patterns engraved in them
Amphetamines are often cut with other products or drugs, which can make them more dangerous. 

Effects of amphetamines

Amphetamines may cause the following:

  • Energetic feeling, restlessness
  • Nervous tics
  • Uncontrollable talkativeness
  • A feeling of physical and mental prowess
  • Decrease in appetite and ability to feel fatigue
  • Increased vigilance (ability to concentrate and pay attention)
  • Euphoria

Once the effects wear off, the person may:

  • Be exhausted  
  • Feel irritable and anxious
  • Experience mood changes, become sad or depressed
  • Have restless and less restorative sleep 

Risks associated with amphetamines and possible consequences

In the short term

Amphetamines may have the following consequences on a person’s health:

  • Insomnia
  • Contraction of jaw muscles, which can cause damage to teeth
  • Physical health problems, such as fever, rash and heart problems
  • Psychological problems, such as paranoia (the impression of being persecuted, for example), or psychotic symptoms, such as:
    • Confusion (difficulty organizing thoughts)
    • Disorientation (distorted sense of space and time)
    • Delirium
    • Hallucinations

In the long term

Long-term use of amphetamines may lead to a psychological dependency, which means that the person needs to take the drug more often in order to feel better about himself or herself, relax, calm down, feel stimulated or have the courage to face problems. Repeated consumption or higher doses of amphetamines can also lead to seizures (stiff body with jerky and involuntary muscle spasms) and even death.

To learn more, read the Addiction section of Problems Associated with Alcohol Consumption and Drug Use.

Help and resources

Last update: September 13, 2017


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