The first generation of antipsychotic drugs created a drug-induced brain pathology by blocking the neurotransmitter dopamine and essentially shutting down many higher brain functions This is the key thing everyone needs to understand. It really is the answer that unlocks this mystery of why the drugs would have this long-term problematic effect. Start with schizophrenia. They hypothesize that these drugs work by correcting an imbalance of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.  The antipsychotics profoundly block dopamine receptors. They block 70-90 percent of the dopamine receptors in the brain. In return, the brain sprouts about 50 percent extra dopamine receptors. It tries to become extra sensitive.  So in essence you've created an imbalance in the dopamine system in the brain. It's almost like, on one hand, you've got the accelerator down -- that's the extra dopamine receptors. And the drug is the brake trying to block this. But if you release that brake, if you abruptly go off the drugs, you now do have a dopamine system that's overactive. You have too many dopamine receptors. And what happens? People that go abruptly off of the drug, do tend to have severe relapses.
     And by the way, we sort of understood that if you muck with the dopamine system, that you could cause some symptoms of psychosis with amphetamines. So if you give someone amphetamines enough, they're at increased risk of psychosis. This is well known. And what do amphetamines do? They release dopamine. So there is a biological reason why, if you're mucking up the dopamine system, you're increasing the risk of psychosis. That's in essence what these antipsychotic drugs do, they muck up the dopamine system.
    Ritalin is methylphenidate. Now methylphenidate affects the brain in exactly the same way as cocaine. They both block a molecule that is involved in the reuptake of dopamine. [2005] Psychiatric Drugs: An Assault on the Human Condition Street ---Robert Whitaker

Let's talk about bipolar disorder among kids. As one doctor said, that used to be so rare as to be almost nonexistent. Now we're seeing it all over. Bipolar is exploding among kids. Well, partly you could say that we're just slapping that label on kids more often; but in fact, there is something real going on. Here's what's happening. You take kids and put them on an antidepressant -- which we never used to do -- or you put them on a stimulant like Ritalin. Stimulants can cause mania; stimulants can cause psychosis.
    so the kid ends up with a drug-induced manic or psychotic episode. Once they have that, the doctor at the emergency room doesn't say, "Oh, he's suffering from a drug-induced episode." He says he's bipolar
    they give him an antipsychotic drug; and now he's on a cocktail of drugs, and he's on a path to becoming disabled for life. That's an example of how we're absolutely making kids sick.
    Ritalin is methylphenidate. Now methylphenidate affects the brain in exactly the same way as cocaine. They both block a molecule that is involved in the reuptake of dopamine.
    So methylphenidate is very similar to cocaine. Now, one difference is whether you're snorting it or if it's in a pill. That partly changes how quickly it's metabolized. But still, it basically affects the brain in the same way. Now, methylphenidate was used in research studies to deliberately stir psychosis in schizophrenics. Because they knew that you could take a person with a tendency towards psychosis, give them methylphenidate, and cause psychosis. We also knew that amphetamines, like methylphenidate, could cause psychosis in people who had never been psychotic before.
    So think about this. We're giving a drug to kids that is known to have the possibility of stirring psychosis. Now, the odd thing about methylphenidate and amphetamines is that, in kids, they sort of have a counterintuitive effect. What does speed do in adults? It makes them more jittery and hyperactive. For whatever reasons, in kids amphetamines will actually still their movements; it will actually keep them in their chairs and make them more focused. So you've got kids in boring schools. The boys are not paying attention and they're diagnosed with ADHD and put on a drug that is known to stir psychosis. The next thing you know, a fair number of them are not doing well by the time they're 15, 16, 17. Some of those kids talk about how when you're on these drugs for the long term, you start feeling like a zombie; you don't feel like yourself.
    Millions of kids! Think about what we're doing. We're robbing kids of their right to be kids, their right to grow, their right to experience their full range of emotions, and their right to experience the world in its full hue of colors. That's what growing up is, that's what being alive is! And we're robbing kids of their right to be. It's so criminal. And we're talking about millions of kids who have been affected this way. There are some colleges where something like 40 to 50 percent of the kids arrive with a psychiatric prescription. Psychiatric Drugs: An Assault on the Human Condition Street Spirit Interview with Robert Whitaker

"The amphetamines are potent psychomotor stimulants. Their use causes a release of the excitatory neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) from storage vesicles in the CNS. Amphetamines may be sniffed, swallowed, snorted or injected. They induce exhilarating feelings of power, strength, energy, self-assertion, focus and enhanced motivation. The need to sleep or eat is diminished. The release of dopamine typically induces a sense of aroused euphoria which may last several hours: unlike cocaine, amphetamine is not readily broken down by the body. Feelings are intensified. The user may feel he can take on the world.
        The euphoria doesn't last. There follows an intense mental depression and fatigue. Amphetamine depletes the neuronal stores of dopamine in the mesolimbic pleasure centres of the brain.
        More than any other illegal drug, speed is associated with violence and anti-social behavior. Occasional light and infrequent use is probably relatively harmless; but heavy chronic use can lead to stereotypies of behavior, depressive disorders, "meth bugs" akin to cocaine-induced formication, strain on the cardiovascular system, increasing behavioral disintegration, and outright "amphetamine psychosis".
    Amphetamine is structurally related to ephedrine, a natural stimulant found in plants of the genus Ephedra. It is also structurally related to adrenaline, the body's "fight or flight" hormone. Amphetamine was first synthesised by Edeleano in Germany in 1887, but it only entered clinical medicine in the late 1920s when its psychostimulant effect was recognised. The US medical and pharmaceutical establishment was worried that supplies of ephedra in faraway China would be exhausted. Amphetamine promised a cheap and synthetic substitute. Like ephedrine, amphetamine dilates the bronchial small sacs of the lungs, a great blessing for sufferers from breathing disorders. So in 1932, Smith, Kline and French introduced the famous Benzedrine Inhaler.
        Amphetamine sulphate was aggressively marketed for asthmatics, hay-fever sufferers and anyone with a cold. Amphetamine was soon available in pill form too. "Pep pills" were sold over the counter for all manner of ailments. Doctors prescribed amphetamine for depression, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, travel-sickness, night-blindness, hyperactive disorders of children, obesity, narcolepsy, impotence, and apathy in old age.
    Soldiers on both sides in World War Two consumed millions of amphetamine tablets. This practice sometimes caused states of quasi-psychotic aggression in the combatants.
        From 1942, Hitler received daily methamphetamine injections from his quack doctor Morell. This corrupted his judgement, undermined his health and probably changed the course of the War."