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Jan 18, 1887 Amphetamine was first synthesized at Universität Berlin by Romanian chemist Lazar Edeleanu 1861-1941 and originally named phenylisopropylamine. It was then largely forgotten for the next 40 years. 1   [Details]
1919 Methamphetamine is first synthesized by Japanese scientist A. Ogata.   
1930 Amphetamine was discovered to increase blood pressure. 2  
1932 Amphetamine is first marketed as 'benzedrine' by Smith, Kline & French, in an over-the-counter inhaler to treat congestion. 2  
1935 Amphetamine's stimulant effect is first recognized and physicians successfully use it to treat narcolepsy. 2  
1937 Amphetamine is first approved by the American Medical Association for sale in tablet form. It is sold by prescription for use in the treatment of narcolepsy and hyperactivity disorders (later named ADHD "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder").   
1939-1945 During World War II, at least four major participant countries The U.S., Germany, the U.K., and Japan are documented as having used amphetamine and methamphetamine extensively for performance enhancement. While Japan and Germany most often used methamphetamine, the U.S. and U.K. primarily used dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. 3, 4   [Details]
1940 Methamphetamine is marketed under the trade name "Methedrine" by Burroughs Wellcome.   
1942 Dextro-amphetamine and methamphetamine become commonly available.   
1950 - 1953 U.S. dispenses amphetamine to troops in Korea.   
1954 Height of the Japanese amphetamine epidemic. There are estimated to be over 2 million amphetamine users in a population of 88.5 million. 2  
1959 First report of IV injection of contents from Benzedrine inhalers.   
1963 Illicit speed production begins when the Attorney General of California requests that injectable ampules be removed from the market.   
1960's Methamphetamine use rises in the United States.   
Jul 15, 1965 U.S.: Drug Abuse Control Amendment (DACA) prohibits the unregistered possession, manufacture, or sale of barbiturates, amphetamines and any drug designated by regulation as having "a potential for abuse because of its depressant or stimulant effect on the central nervous system or its hallucinogenic effect"...unless they were for the personal use of the possessor or a member of their household, or were for administration to an animal. Went into effect approximately Feb 15, 1966. 5   [More Info]
1970 Amphetamine becomes schedule II in the U.S. with the passage of the 'U.S. Drug Abuse Regulation and Control Act of 1970'. This makes it illegal to possess without a prescription.    [More Info]
Oct 27, 1970 The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is passed. Part II of this is the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) which defines a scheduling system for drugs. It places most of the known hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, peyote, cannabis, & MDA) in Schedule I. It places coca, cocaine and injectable methamphetamine in Schedule II. Other amphetamines and stimulants, including non-injectable methamphetamine are placed in Schedule III.   
Jul 7, 1971 Amphetamine and Methamphetamine (non-injectable) are moved from Schedule III to Schedule II.   
Feb 11, 1980 The popular precursor for making methamphetamine phenyl-2-propanone p2p is added to Schedule II. It takes another decade for p2p to become unavailable, at which point ephedrine and pseudoephedrine became the top precursors used to synthesize methamphetamine.    [More Info]
Late 1980's Smoked Methamphetamine becomes more popular.   
c.1990 In the first Gulf War, British RAF Royal Air Force and American Air Force introduced Dexedrine for pilots engaging in long air-raids/battles - a practice still used through at least 2010 by both countries.   
1996 U.S. Congress passes the Methamphetamine Control Act establishing new controls over key ingredients and strengthening criminal penalties for possession, distribution and manufacturing.   
1997 Agricultural researchers at Texas A and M University documented that methamphetamine (among other phenethylamines and amphetamines) was naturally produced by both Acacia berlandieri and Acacia rigidula Benth. known as "blackbrush". 6  
Jan 18, 2003 After U.S. pilots accidentally bombed Canadian forces in Afghanistan, some pilots mentioned sleep deprivation and taking amphetamines they were given by the US Air Force as part of their defense. 7, 8   [Details] [More Info]
Early 2000s In the United States, states began to restrict sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine at the urging of the DEA to try to reduce local methamphetamine production.    [Details]
Jan 1, 2006 In the United States, DEA restrictions added to require sellers of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine-containing products to collect signatures of every purchaser and check identification.    [Details]
Jul 2, 2007 Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate is released onto the market under the trade name Vyvanse by Shire. Their goal is/was to have Vyvanse take Adderall XR's place as the top-selling ADHD medicine [in the U.S.].    [More Info]
2011 The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime declares that 2011 saw the highest level of law enforcement seizures of amphetamine-type stimulants in history. Global amphetamine-type stimulant ATS seizures rise to highest level ever recorded. [...] The overall increase in ATS seizures is mainly due to surging methamphetamine seizures, which grew by 73 per cent from 51 tons in 2010 to 88 tons in 2011. 9  

  1.   Edeleanu L. "Uber einige Derivate der Phenylmethacrylsaure und der Phenylisobuttersaure". Ber Deutsch Chem Ges. 1887;Vol 20:616.
  2.   Lukas SE. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs: Amphetamines. Chelsea House, 1985.
  3.   Rasmussen N. "Medical science and the military: The Allies use of amphetamine during World War II." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 42: 205-233, 2011.
  4.   Ulrich A. "Hitler's drugged soldiers". Der Spiegel. May 5, 2005
  5.   Drug Abuse Control Amendment. Jul 15, 1965.
  6.   Clement BA, Goff CM, Forbes TDA. "Toxic amines and alkaloids from Acacia berlandieri". Phytochemistry. 1997;46(2).
  7.   Borin E. "The U.S. Military Needs Its Speed". Feb 10 2003.
  8.   The Age. "Air force rushes to defend amphetamine use". Jan 18 2003.
  9.   UNODC. "World Drug Report 2013". June 2013. PDF