The Amphetamine Explosion – Gail Sheehy (July 21, 1969)


“‘Savages. Look at ’em. They’ve turned into savages.’  The cabbie, driving through the East Village, is talking about a group of our young New Yorkers who used to be cursed for their interest in love, peace and flowers. ‘Buncha savages, these kids today.’ Where have all the flowers gone? Whatever happened to hippies, Yippies and the marshmallow-eyed mystics? What changed them is not politics. It is not the military-industrial complex, too much money or the long, hot summer—though it’s a silent partner to all these. It is beyond pot, LSD and alcohol. It is a change of drug. Amphetamines—or speed, ups, stimulants, diet pills—are science’s latest contribution to the turn-on generation. These little pills are quietly building toward the next major drug explosion in America. In communal enclaves like the East Village, amphetamine is already the No. 1 drug. It has left LSD in the dust. A restaurant on Second Avenue once known as The Eatery is now fondly called The Speedery. Hell’s Angels grew up on speed. It is a staple of motorcycle gangs now in residence in the East Village. Speed has a paradoxical effect. In a peaceful country, like Sweden, it brings out the hedonism. In a violent country (or city, like this one) it activates the violence. Metropolitan-area doctors find that during withdrawal, for instance, users are just as likely to be homicidal as suicidal. But the appeal of amphetamine extends beyond the young and beyond the Village. Eight billion amphetamine tablets are officially produced in the U.S. annually, enough to supply 40 doses to every man, woman and child. …”
New York Magazine
W – History of Benzedrine
W – Amphetamine
W – Propylhexedrine

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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