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Although Amphetamines are prescribed to treat Parkinson’s Disease, ADHD, and narcolepsy, amphetamines are highly addictive and their effect is to stimulate the central nervous system.

Amphetamines can be detected for 1-3 days after use with a urine test. Most amphetamine panels will detect prescribed medications as well as methamphetamine and MDMA (aka Ecstasy). You can test for amphetamine in a 5 or 10 panel drug test.

What is Their Origin ?

Amphetamine was first available in the 1930s as Benzedrine as an over-the-counter inhaler to treat nasal congestion. By 1937 amphetamine was available by prescription in tablet form and was used in the treatment of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy and ADHD.

Over the years, the use and abuse of illegally produced amphetamines have spread. Today, clandestine laboratory production of amphetamines has exploded, and the abuse of the drug has increased dramatically.

Recognizing Amphetamine Use

The following signs and symptoms may be noted by a supervisor:

  • Agitation/Irritation

  • Excited speech

  • Little appetite for lunch

  • Increased physical activity levels

  • Dilated pupils

  • Mood swings

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Occasional episodes of sudden and violent behavior

  • Intense paranoia

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations

  • Inability to rest

  • Compulsive cleaning and grooming

  • Tendency to repetitively sort and disassemble objects

What do they look like?

The following signs and symptoms may be noted by a supervisor:

Amphetamines can look like pills or powder. Common prescription amphetamines include methylphenidate (Ritalin or Ritalin SR), amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine).

Powdered methamphetamine, often referred to as “speed,” “meth,” “crank” or “chalk,” is a white, odorless, bitter tasting chemical that can easily be dissolved in water or alcohol or can be snorted, injected or swallowed. In the 1980s, “ice,” a smokable form of methamphetamine, was commonly available. “Ice” looks like a small chip of frozen water/ice and is usually clear (like ice!). It is so pure that “ice” can be heated and its smoke/vapors can be inhaled without significant loss of effect. The odorless smoke leaves a residue that can be re-smoked, and can produce a high that may last for 12 hours or more.

How amphetamines affect the human body

Physical effects of amphetamine use include increased blood pressure and pulse rates, insomnia, loss of appetite, and physical exhaustion.

Overdose effects include agitation, increased body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, and possible death

Meth and Ecstasy

Amphetamine and or methamphetamine are a carefully regulated class of illegal drugs. (Meth is the most powerful of them.) MDMA/Ecstasy/X/E/XTC/Molly is also a member of the amphetamine family and today the drug is one of the most popular first-time initiated substances, and thereafter continually abused drugs. Recently a new version has become popular and it is known as “Molly.”

How Do You Conduct an Amphetamine Drug Test?

Amphetamines remain detectable in urine from 2-3 hours to 2-4 days. 

The amount of detectable amphetamine also depends on many factors such as the weight, age, metabolic activity, regularity of amphetamine consumption and the test method adopted for detecting amphetamine.

Amphetamines can also test positive in hair drug test, which can detect up to 90 days of history.

Amphetamines can be detected in blood, hair, urine and oral fluid. Most employee drug testing is urine, but oral fluid and hair drug testing are on the rise.

Amphetamines are used both medicinally and recreationally,  and can change human behavior very intensely. Users can appear edgy or high strung and have difficulty concentrating.  Some amphetamines are prescribed, so it’s important to make sure an MRO reviews all positive test results. To maintaing a safe, drug-free workplace, amphetamine drug testing must be included with any drug testing program.

Oral fluid samples: Generally, saliva samples are collected through mouth swabs and are tested for the presence of amphetamine. This is the best-suited method for detecting recent use of amphetamine.

Urine samples: Urine testing can detect the presence of amphetamine and other drugs too. Urine is the most common sample used for drug tests.

Hair samples: Best suited for detecting the long term usage of amphetamine, this method is costlier, however, non-invasive. The drawback of this test is that it cannot detect the usage of amphetamine in the last 5 days.

An employer may test an employee for amphetamine under any of the following circumstances:

Pre-employment drug test:  Passing a drug test is a requirement to begin work.

Random drug test: Statistically random drug testing is the most effective deterrent to drug use in the workplace.

Post-accident drug test: A failed drug test for amphetamine following a workplace accident can invalidate a workers comp claim.

Reasonable Suspicion: If the employee has been behaving abnormally and displaying symptoms of amphetamine usage, employers can require a amphetamine drug test. 

Consequences for any failed drug test are described in the company’s substance abuse policy.

Amphetamine drug testing is best done through accredited and licensed laboratories that are experts in both onsite and laboratory drug testing.