Dextroamphetamine: History notes

Last modified: Saturday, 30. May 2009 - 3:26 pm

Dextroamphetamine has a long history of use by the military. After distribution of the drug in the fields and foxholes of World War II, the American Armed Forces started zealously testing the drug on their pilots and other personnel. One study of amphetamine use in the military reported that between 1966 and 1969, the U.S. military consumed more amphetamines than the British and American armed forces combined during World War II.
Amphetamine research continued into the twenty-first century. A study performed by the United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory and published in 2000 describes the use of Dexedrine in a pilot kept awake for 64 hours. Other research has reported dex-troamphetamine’s success in improving alertness and flight performance by fighting fatigue, confusion, and air sickness in the cockpit without the presence of detrimental side effects. A 1995 report from Langley Air Force Base revealed widespread amphetamine use in Operation Desert Storm. Sixty-five percent of U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command pilots surveyed reported taking amphetamines during their missions, with 58-61% of users considering amphetamine use essential to the operation. Indications for use of the drug included “aircrew fatigue” and “mission type.”

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