Amphetamine refers to a group of synthetic chemicals with psychoactive stimulant effects. There are two forms, dextro-amphetamine (d-amphetamine) and levo-amphetamine (l-amphetamine), of which d-amphetamine is the more biologically active. Chemical modifications to the basic structure have produced derivatives with even more potent psychoactive properties. For example, addition of a second methyl group to the chemical structure creates methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug. Modification of the benzene ring of the amphetamine structure creates methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) or Ecstasy, another drug with high addiction and abuse potential (Iversen, Iversen, Bloom, & Roth, 2009).
The behavioral effects of amphetamine include increased alertness, confidence, and euphoria. The drug also reduces fatigue and enhances performance on cognitive tasks, possibly by increasing attention and working memory. However,...
References and Readings
- Feldman, R. S., Meyer, J. S., & Quenzer, L. F. (1997). Stimulants: Amphetamine and cocaine. In Principles of neuropsychopharmacology (pp. 549–568). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.Google Scholar
- Iversen, L. L., Iversen, S. D., Bloom, F. E., & Roth, R. H. (2009). Psychostimulants. In Introduction to neuropsychopharmacology (pp. 447–472). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Meyer, J. S., & Quenzer, L. F. (2005). Psychomotor stimulants: Cocaine and the amphetamines. In Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the brain and behavior (pp. 292–300). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.Google Scholar