Pep Pills

In 1946, amphetamines were the number one prescribed medicine for 39 different ailments, including seasickness, migraine, impotence, weight-loss and fatigue.

Most amphetamine-based cures were available over the counter until 1956, when the UK government, after news of rampant addiction in Japan, made them prescription only.

just inhale

However, there was one exception: the bronchial inhaler, which is still for sale, not just in chemists but any and every shop.

Thousands of users who needed to salve their addictions took to buying the inhalers, as it contained hundreds of times more amphetamine than the pills. Sales skyrocketed.

no stopping

Meanwhile, doctors were overwhelmed with demand. Over 5.5 million benzedrine pills were prescribed in 1966. One doctor prescribed a staggering 24,000 ampoules of Methedrine to just 100 patients in one year.

Amphetamine sales peaked in 1968-69, when cocaine and heroin were abruptly removed from the medicines list. Doctors dished out tons of injectable, highly addictive methyl amphetamine instead.

The government pressured doctors to stop but production continued in back street labs. Its products then spilled onto the black market and into mainstream culture.

There was no stopping it.


what is it good for?

Amphetamine use peaked during World War II. Over 72 million Benzedrine pills were used by the British army alone. Apparently, soldiers could fight longer and harder while on the drug. Politicians and commanders matched the pace with their own personal supplies.