10 Strange Facts About the History of Stimulants

Nice to find someone with at least one interest in common with me.

Keri Blakinger

When we think of methamphetamine, we think of Breaking Bad, the bizarre Scott Weiland doppelganger bust and the house next door that blew up from a meth lab gone awry. (Seriously, that happened at the house next to mine this summer.) But those are all recent things, and that is how we tend to see meth—as a recent scourge on society. In fact, meth and other amphetamines—the name refers not only to a specific drug but to an entire class of stimulants—have a much longer history than you might expect. Here are 10 quick and dirty facts that tell the story of this feisty family.

1. Amphetamine was invented in 1887 by Romanian chemist Lazar EdeleanuCoincidentally, in that same year, another drug in that class—ephedrine—was discovered by a Japanese scientist named Nagajosi Nagai, who isolated the chemical from ma huang, a plant used in traditional Chinese…

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