History of Methamphetamine Early Methamphetamine Use First synthesized in Germany, amphetamine was for a long time, a drug in search of a disease. A probable direct reaction to the Depression and Prohibition, the drug was used and abused by non-asthmatics looking for a buzz. By amphetamine was available by prescription in tablet form.
Abstract Using historical research that draws on new primary sources, I review the causes and course of the first, mainly iatrogenic amphetamine epidemic in the United States from the s through the s.
The latest national surveys show that about 3 million Americans used amphetamine-type stimulants nonmedically in the past year, in the past week, and that to are addicted.
Searching for a decongestant and bronchodilator to substitute for ephedrine, inbiochemist Gordon Alles discovered the physiological activity of beta-phenyl-isopropylamine soon to be known as amphetamine.
SKF marketed it as the Benzedrine Inhaler, a capped tube containing mg of oily amphetamine base and little else. For congestion, one was meant to inhale amphetamine vapor every hour as needed. SKF-funded Harvard psychiatrist Abraham Myerson played a particularly influential role, theorizing that amphetamine adjusted hormonal balance in the central nervous system by creating or amplifying adrenergic stimulation so as to promote activity and extra-version.
Because Meyerson understood minor depression as anhedonia caused by suppression of natural drives to action, amphetamine represented an ideal depression therapy to him.
Off-brand pills manufactured by smaller companies dominated this market. Past-year use in would have almost certainly been higher, because many were only occasional users. Unsurprisingly, given such widespread availability of so inherently attractive a drug, significant abuse of amphetamine quickly developed.
One noteworthy publication hinted at its dimensions. Psychiatrists Russell Monroe and Hyman Drell, stationed at a military prison inencountered large numbers of agitated, hallucinating patients. A survey revealed that one quarter of the imprisoned personnel were eating the contents of Benzedrine Inhalers, which then contained mg of amphetamine base.
There is thus strong evidence that Benzedrine abuse, although an existing practice, was multiplied many times by military exposure, at least among vulnerable subpopulations.
And although these prisoners were not typical of military personnel, neither, in the judgment of the psychiatrists, were most of them particularly abnormal young men. California Western Medicine 62 April In the s, competition among pharmaceutical firms boosted amphetamine consumption dramatically, after expiration of the Alles and Smith, Kline and French patent in Journal of the American Medical Association To sum up, by the end of World War II inless than a decade after amphetamine tablets were introduced to medicine, over half a million civilians were using the drug psychiatrically or for weight loss, and the consumption rate in the United States was greater than 2 tablets per person per year on a total-population all ages basis.
Misuse and abuse, especially of the cheap nonprescription Benzedrine Inhaler but also of tablets, were not uncommon. However, as often occurs in the first flush of enthusiasm for new pharmaceuticals, abuse, adverse effects, and other drawbacks had not yet attracted much notice.
In a particularly innovative effort to expand medical usages for the drug, in lateSKF introduced a product called Dexamyl, a blend of dextroamphetamine and the barbiturate sedative amobarbital.The medical use of amphetamines was common in the /60's when they were used to help cure depression and to help the user lose weight.
An amphetamine is a drug that is . The use of prescription amphetamine for medical use declined in the s, but use rose in the mids as ADHD diagnoses rose. By , medical use of amphetamine in the U.S.
exceeded the previous peak of the s. Today, amphetamine remains classified in Schedule II. This chapter reviews the medical uses which gained the most acceptance, even though most of these are no longer current, such as amphetamine's use as decongestant, and treatment for narcolepsy, depression, and ADHD.
Amphetamines were in everyday medical use on prescription as a pick-me-up for tired housewives and the like, and there were a number of spectacular robberies from chemists’ shops and pharmaceutical warehouses to satisfy the ever-growing black market demand for amphetamines.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, Amphetamines would not be used in pharmaceutical drugs or for medical purposes until the ’s when the drug was first noticed to dilate the bronchial sacs of the lungs and clear breathing passages for those who suffer from asthma, hay fever or the common cold.
By , the Benzedrine Inhaler was introduced on the market for use and quickly. Testing of 6 patients taking trazodone showed that 3 tested falsely positive for amphetamines.
14 Labetalol, promethazine, chlorpromazine, and metformin also have been associated with false positive amphetamine screenings.
Fenofibrate was identified as the cause of a false positive urine amphetamine screening in a patient after 2 separate immunoassays were positive. 17 In that case, .