History and culture of substituted amphetamines
Amphetamine and methamphetamine are pharmaceutical drugs used to treat a variety of conditions; when used recreationally, they are colloquially known as "speed." Amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887 in Germany by Romanian chemist Lazăr Edeleanu, who named it phenylisopropylamine. Around the same time, Japanese organic chemist Nagai Nagayoshi isolated ephedrine from the Ephedra sinica plant and later developed a method for ephedrine synthesis.[note 1] Methamphetamine was synthesized from ephedrine in 1893 by Nagayoshi. Neither drug had a pharmacological use until 1934, when Smith, Kline and French began selling amphetamine as an inhaler under the trade name Benzedrine for congestion.ISOPROPYLBENZYLAMINE
During World War II, amphetamine and methamphetamine were used extensively by Allied and Axis forces for their stimulant and performance-enhancing effects. As the addictive properties of the drugs became known, governments began to place strict controls on the sale of the drugs. During the early 1970s in the United States, amphetamine became a schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Despite strict government controls, amphetamine and methamphetamine have been used (legally or illegally) by individuals from a variety of backgrounds for a variety of purposes.
Due to the large underground market for these drugs, they are often illegally synthesized by clandestine chemists, trafficked, and sold on the black market. Based on drug and drug precursor seizures, illicit amphetamine production and trafficking is much less prevalent than that of methamphetamine.