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Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine is in a class of synthetic drugs known as central nervous system stimulants. Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine sulfate) are stimulants commonly prescribed for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. However, millions of Americans men and women ages 18-30 suffer from amphetamine addiction.

Amphetamines (AMPHs) are also used and abused illegally. Illegal use of a pharmaceutical drug means using it without a prescription or for recreational purposes. AMPHs are supplied illegally as pills, capsules, liquid, crystals, powder, and paste. Whatever the means of possessing these drugs and whatever the form, abusing them can lead to dependency and addiction to amphetamine. In fact, the illicit drug methamphetamine is responsible for a high rate of addiction. It is chemically similar to amphetamine, has a powerful euphoric effect, and is highly addictive and dangerous.

You or someone you love can quit using amphetamines by getting professional help. Amphetamine Addiction Treatment can be done at an inpatient or outpatient addiction center. There, you can undergo detox and cognitive behavioral therapy along with other treatments to assist you in ending addiction.

Types of Illegal Amphetamines

  • Amphetamine (street name: speed, whiz, gooey)
  • Methamphetamine (street names: crystal, glass, ice, meth)
  • Dextroamphetamine (street names: kiddie-speed, pep pills, uppers)
  • Ecstasy (street names: Molly, MMDA)

Addiction to Amphetamine

Addiction to amphetamine is a substance use disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes this disorder as one that affects the brain and causes the user to seek and use drugs compulsively. Once hooked on these drugs, you will continue to abuse them despite their harmful effects on your health, personal relationships, or career.

Going by the popular nickname “speed,” amphetamine is known to provide a rush of energy that results in a boost in cognitive and physical functions. Adolescents, teens, and young adults who wish to improve their academic, job, or sports performance commonly use the drug. Others abuse it for the euphoria and false sense of happiness or self-confidence it provides. Amphetamine abuse increases tolerance level making you crave the drug if you miss a dose or try to stop using it.

How Amphetamine Affects the Brain to Cause Addiction

The euphoric feeling and the energy boost occur when the drug acts on the central nervous system and releases dopamine, a brain chemical that transmits good sensations. It also causes faster transmission of messages between the brain and body. This stimulating effect enables quick thinking and movements, alertness, focus, and improved mood.

Amphetamine also reduces fatigue and sleepiness allowing you to stay up and work or study for abnormally long hours. Because these drugs are highly addictive, dependency develops causing you to always need them in order to function and feel pleasure. As time goes by, you’ll also need larger quantities to get the desired “high” you seek.

Risk Factors of Addiction to Amphetamine

People with a stressful life or who trouble with mental health disorders, e.g., anxiety or depression, are at risk of addiction when they abuse the stimulant to cope. Taking larger doses than prescribed or changing the method of use are other risk factors for anyone who abuse prescription amphetamine.

For example, crushing the pills or using the capsule powder to ingest, smoke, snort, or make a solution for injection exposes the potent chemicals in the drug. Manipulating and illicitly using the medication in this way allows it to enter your bloodstream and brain faster and produce the desired effects quickly.

Long-term use of amphetamine can cause health complications or overdose. Using the drug with other substances such as alcohol, marijuana, or heroin increases its effects and overdose risks.

Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction

Addiction to these stimulants can be identified and diagnosed based on the symptoms that manifest. The following effects may manifest and usually depend on the type of amphetamine, amount, frequency, and method of use, and overall length of time it was abused:

Physical Symptoms

  • Strong cravings
  • A rise in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Stroke or seizure
  • Heart attack
  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low sex drive
  • Malnutrition
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin disorders, e.g., rash or sores

Psychological Symptoms

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Amphetamine-caused psychosis

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Speaking quickly
  • Unusually talkative
  • Hostility or aggression
  • Taking amphetamine to stay awake or reduce fatigue
  • Having an attitude of grandiosity
  • Missing work or school or drop in performance
  • Devoting a lot of time to find and use the drug
  • Spending less time with friends and family

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms and their severity vary from patient to patient. Variances depend on the level of use, how long amphetamine abuse occurred, and whether other substances such as alcohol, heroin, or marijuana is involved. These factors make it difficult to quit on your own. They also affect the withdrawal timeline for each patient. These symptoms may develop during detox and withdrawal:

  • Overpowering cravings
  • Muscle aches, pains, or spasms
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Increased appetite
  • Depression
  • Aggression, hostility, or violence

Treating Amphetamine Addiction

Addiction treatment is intricately structured to help you conquer drug abuse and get sober. Once you get admitted to an inpatient or residential treatment center, you can go through detox and withdraw from amphetamine in a safe manner with the help of medical and mental health professionals. Therapy should then follow to treat the psychological issues linked to drug abuse.

Detoxification for Addiction to Amphetamine

The core aspects of addiction treatment begin with detoxification, the process of getting the drug and toxins out of your system. Residential treatment allows you the opportunity to be monitored by your doctor and therapist who will also help you manage painful or severe withdrawal symptoms. You may be given medication to help reduce the physical and psychological effects of withdrawal.

For example, anti-depressants may be administered to treat anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Even after you stabilize, you may continue to experience cravings and may require maintenance drugs to prevent relapse. The longer you stay off amphetamines, the better the chance for restoring the chemical balance in the brain and maintaining sobriety.

Therapy for Addiction to Amphetamine

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is usually required for patients whose amphetamine abuse is linked to mental health disorders such as anxiety disorder or depression. It helps you understand the link and walks you through behavioral changes that can decrease your risk of going back to drug abuse.

CBT is usually done in combination with other therapies. They include holistic therapy such as sports and meditation. Family counseling is another treatment type that allows you and your family members to get together and discover how addiction affected the family. It educates everyone on the role they may have played in enabling you and how they can help you manage substance use triggers in your environment after formal treatment ends.

Overcoming Addiction To Amphetamine At The Detox Center of L.A.

Using stimulants such as amphetamine to boost school, sports, or work performance may seem like a good idea initially. But this can backfire into abuse and addiction and may cause you to lose control of your life. Help is here. You can return to a sober life by getting treated at The Detox Center of L.A..

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment is delivered by our trained doctors, nurses, and therapists who take a comprehensive approach to increasing your chance of recovery and reducing the risk of relapse during and after rehab. Give us a call today and let our professionals tell you about our various treatment programs that can help meet your recovery needs.

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Residential Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

The Detox Center of LA Residential facility in Los Angeles, California offers an in-house detox programs and rehabilitation programs for those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Out patients reside at the facility full-time in a highly structured environment with knowledgeable, experienced staff that can relate to each resident. Individuals can expect personalized care and programming throughout each day of the week.
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