AMPHETAMINE TYPE STIMULANTS (ATS)
Over the past decade, rates of ATS* use have increased more than any other drug group worldwide…
Methamphetamine is the leading substance of concern in South-East Asia…
- ATS are the next most commonly used illicit substance after cannabis among high school students in every place where information is available. Its lifetime prevalence** is about 10%;
recent data has shown a decline in ATS use in the regions of the Americas and Europe, while the highest levels of abuse worldwide have emerged in East Asia and Oceania;
- according to a review of ATS by UNDCP (the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention) in 1996, there are about 20 countries in which the abuse of ATS is more widespread than that of heroin and cocaine combined. Japan, Korea and the Philippines all register 5-7 times the rate of ATS use compared with heroin and cocaine use.
15-year-olds who have used amphetamines (1999)
- in Thailand, the number of methamphetamine users now represents the majority of all new drug treatment cases;
- 29% of Thai students used methamphetamine: among them, 39% are males and 18% females.
| country/region ||%|
|Europe - (highest country)||8|
|Europe - low(lowest country)||0|
What are the effects?
- The initial effects of amphetamines are often feelings of euphoria and energy because the drugs are strong stimulants. About 24 hours after taking amphetamines, users normally feel tired, irritable and depressed and this can last for a couple of days as the effects wears off.
- In the short term the effects range from alertness, lack of appetite, dilated pupils, irritability and sweating to tiredness, paranoia and fits.
- Longer term use can result in chronic sleep problems, anxiety and problems with the heart and blood pressure. Some long term users become anorexic and frequent heavy use can lead to ‘amphetamine psychosis’ involving paranoia, hallucinations and bizarre behaviour. This usually disappears when a person stops using the drugs.
* Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) refer to a group of drugs whose principal members include amphetamine and methamphetamine. However, a range of other substances also fall into this group, such as methcathinone, fenetylline, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, methylphenidate and MDMA or ‘Ecstasy’ – an amphetamine-type derivative with hallucinogenic properties.
** Any use during a person’s life.