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How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Amphetamines & Barbiturates

Updated on August 21, 2010

(including methamphetamines, dextroamphetamines and similar products such as Preludin)
Street Names: 
Bennies, Black Beauties, Copilots, Crystal Meth, Dexies, Lid Poppers, Meth, Pep Pills, Speed, Thrusters, Truck Drivers, Uppers, Wake Ups, Whites.
What It Does: 
Amphetamines are drugs that affect the central nervous system. They increase alertness, relieve fatigue, delay the need for sleep and suppress appetite (hence their use for weight control). They are commonly taken for the euphoric feelings they produce and the sense of enhanced physical and mental capacities.
How It's Done: 
Amphetamines are taken orally or snorted. In extreme cases they are injected.
How A User Looks & Acts:
Depending on the dose, the amphetamine user may appear nervous, very active and very talkative. Loss of appetite, long periods of sleeplessness (frequently followed by long periods of sleep) and heavy sweating are also common. The user's eyes will seem bright and shiny, and the pupils will be dilated. Weight loss and chain-smoking are common among chronic abusers.

Paraphernalia Used:
Amphetamine users will have pills and capsules of various shapes, sizes and colors. Heavy speed users may eventually inject the chemicals, so syringes may be a sign of this use.
How Addictive / Dangerous Is It?
Amphetamines are considered only slightly physically addictive, but carry a high risk of psychological addiction. The abrupt cessation of amphetamine use may lead to apathy, depression, long periods of sleep and irritability. After taking speed for a couple of days or more and then stopping, users almost always "crash". The deep depression which follows heavy, regular use can lead to suicide. Users may alternate taking uppers to function and downers or barbiturates to relax and sleep, which is an extremely dangerous cycle. If injected, amphetamines can raise blood pressure, cause convulsions or death.
Effects On The Pregnancy:
The fetus can be deprived of oxygen, stunting its growth and development. Amphetamine use can also cause placental abruption which can lead to severe bleeding, premature birth, and fetal death. Babies usually have a smaller head, can have a cleft lip or cleft palate and defects of the heart, brain, kidneys and genitals; and face growth problems later in life. They may also be born dependent, thus suffering from various withdrawal symptoms as muscle spasms, tremors, sleeplessness and feeding difficulties.

(Amytal, Seconal, Tuinal, Methaqualones / Quaaludes)
Street Names:
Barbs, Blue Devils, Downers, Goof Balls, Phennies, Pink Ladies, Rainbows, Reds, Red Devils, Sleeping Pills, Stumblers, Yellow Jackets, Yellows, and Ludes, Quads, 714s.
What It Does:
Barbiturates and methaqualones, also known as depressants, are generally prescribed for their calming and sleep-inducing effects. They affect the central nervous system by slowing down breathing, the heart rate and thinking. Users claim feelings of elation, tranquility and well-being when taking these drugs. Some people take Quaaludes because they mistakenly believe them to be an aphrodisiac.
How It's Done:
Depressants are usually taken orally, but they can be injected.
How A User Looks & Acts:
Depressants have a calming effect, causing an intoxication similar to that from alcohol. Speech may be slurred, judgment impaired and the user may stagger. Heavy users feel extremely tired and fall asleep at inappropriate times. They exhibit confusion and increased sweating. As doses increase, shallow respiration and a weak but rapid pulse ensue. Overdoses may lead to convulsions and death.
Paraphernalia Used:
Depressants are almost always found in pill or capsule form. The shape, size and color may vary. Heavy users may eventually inject the drug, so needles could be a sign of use.
How Addictive / Dangerous Is It?
Barbiturates and methaqualones are highly addictive, both physically and psychologically. Excessive doses over long periods of time can cause irrationality, paranoia, psychosis and personality change. Withdrawal from these drugs can cause headaches, loss of appetite, severe cramps, stomach pain, anxiety, insomnia, tremors and sweating. Convulsions and delirium may result. If taken with alcohol, the result could be lethal. If injected, barbiturates and methaqualones can cause convulsions or death.
Effects On The Pregnancy:
Barbiturate use during pregnancy can cause a wide variety of congenital malformations in the baby such as cleft lip and cleft palate; missing or misshaped heart valves; defects in the development of the brain and spinal cord; mental retardation; convulsions and seizures; and muscular dystrophy; as well as difficulties in feeding, hyperactivity and stiffness of the muscles. The baby can also undergo withdrawal symptoms which include muscle spasms, tremors, and sleeplessness.

Read The Entire Guide To Spotting & Preventing Drug Abuse!

How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Marijuana & Glue Sniffing
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Cocaine & Heroin
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Amphetamines & Barbiturates
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - LSD & PCP


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