The Signs of Amphetamine Addiction
13 January, 2022
Both prescription stimulants and illegal amphetamines can be highly addictive. These substances can take control of individuals’ lives and become highly disruptive for them and the people surrounding them.
However, staying informed gives us a chance to see the problem before it spirals out of control.
What Are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines are central nervous stimulants. Using amphetamines can result in feelings of higher energy, focus, confidence, and euphoria. Typically, amphetamines are prescribed for ADHD, narcolepsy, and sometimes depression.
Types of prescription amphetamines include:
Generic ADHD medications
Although methamphetamine is different from the prescription medications listed above, the two classifications are very similar. Both substances are stimulants and create similar results within the body.
How Addiction Happens
Typically, individuals taking prescription amphetamines as intended do not develop addictions. That being said, amphetamines are highly addictive, and individuals who misuse them run some major risks.
When individuals start taking amphetamines to feel high or improve their performance, they are more likely to begin abusing the substance and develop dependence. The reason these substances are highly addictive is due to their stimulant nature.
Put simply, amphetamines influence dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, neurotransmitters that make you feel good. This good feeling can become addictive, causing individuals to seek it out more and more. This increased usage leads to tolerance and dependence, making living without the substance harder.
Signs of Amphetamine Addiction
The signs of amphetamine addiction can take the form of both physical and mental symptoms. Some signs to look out for include:
Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Paranoia and anxiety
Inability to keep up with work, school, or home responsibilities
Missing pills from a prescription
Loss of interest in previous activities
Decreased appetite and weight loss
Visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
Much of the person’s time spent seeking or using the drug
Changes in groups of friends and difficulties with relationships
Harmful Effects of Amphetamines
Amphetamines have both short- and long-term adverse health effects. However, not every individual will experience the full range of these effects.
Some of the harmful effects of amphetamines include:
Decreased appetite and weight loss
High body temperature and skin flushing
Mood and emotional problems such as aggressive or violent behavior, depression, and suicide
Restlessness and tremors
Heart problems such as fast heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and heart attack.
Memory loss problems thinking clearly, and stroke
Ongoing hallucinations and inability to tell what is real
Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Like any other substance, amphetamines have a range of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. When the human body is used to taking a substance and suddenly stops or slows down, withdrawal symptoms start to take effect.
Withdrawal symptoms of amphetamines include:
Cravings for the drug
Body and muscle pain
Impaired social functioning
Body restlessness or slowing
Loss of interest or pleasure
These effects can be incredibly unpleasant and challenging to deal with alone. For that reason, it is recommended to go through the detoxification process with professional help.
Treatment Options for Amphetamine Addiction
Luckily, there are many treatment options available for amphetamine addiction. First and foremost, treatment will begin with an individual wanting to make a change. Wanting to make a change is the first bold step toward recovery. However, after the initial decision, what options are there for individuals seeking treatment for amphetamine addiction?
Detoxification: For some individuals, detoxification might be the first step towards long-term sobriety. Detox includes safely eliminating toxins from drugs from the body. Detox typically takes place under medical supervision, allowing individuals to undergo the withdrawal process with more ease and comfort.
Therapy: Different forms of therapy can help individuals in their process of achieving long-term sobriety from amphetamines. The goal of therapy is to help individuals realize and understand their behaviors. Through this understanding, they can implement practical changes that bring long-term growth.
Different therapy options can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, group therapy, and more.
Inpatient Programs: Some individuals may benefit from an inpatient program when going through their recovery journey. These programs allow individuals to have a clinical structure, support system, and community when making changes towards long-term sobriety. Inpatient programs vary, but typically you can find programs ranging from short-term 30 day programs to 90 days and longer.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) are another excellent treatment option. These programs allow individuals to receive the benefits of a clinical structure, support system, and community without staying long-term at a facility. This ensures clients can keep up with their day-to-day lives and responsibilities.
Amphetamines Are Highly Addictive
For some individuals, what was once an honest curiosity can become a destructive habit, one which damages not only their life but also the lives around them.
At The Edge Treatment Center, we’re here to help you take responsibility for your life and gain control again. We believe everyone is unique, and the treatment they need should be varied and personalized. We treat our clients with respect, dignity, and without judgment.
If you are ready to take the first step, call (800) 778-1772.