Amphetamines are prescription medications that treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and obesity, among other issues. Aside from their medical use, amphetamines can be abused for a variety of reasons. Some people abuse them to focus for an academic advantage or to lose weight, while other people abuse them to achieve a high. Regardless of why these drugs are used, an addiction can quickly develop when someone abuses these drugs. Unfortunately, many people are uneducated about amphetamine addiction, so learn about it to avoid any long-term issues.
Amphetamines Are Controlled Substances
In 1970, the US Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which created five new classifications for all controlled substances. These classifications, called Schedules, specify a substance’s potential for abuse. Amphetamines are Schedule II substances, meaning they have a high potential for abuse, and they may cause either psychological or physical dependence when abused. Aside from amphetamines, other substances in this category include cocaine and opiates.
Amphetamine Cause Strong Withdrawal Symptoms
Because doctors commonly use amphetamines to treat ADHD, many people think these drugs will not cause tolerance or withdrawal symptoms. However, this is a tragic misconception: amphetamines can produce strong withdrawal symptoms when an addict goes long enough without a dose. Withdrawal symptoms occur when the brain’s chemicals demand a drug to meet a chemical need. When the substance is no longer being used, the chemicals are thrown off balance, which produces withdrawal symptoms. Some common withdrawal symptoms of amphetamine abuse include exhaustion, depression, mood swings, poor concentration, increased appetite and drug cravings. It may take several months for amphetamine withdrawal symptoms to disappear.
Amphetamine Abuse Can Cause Psychosis
Amphetamine abuse can have many effects, though most users do not know it can cause psychosis, a mental condition that involves a loss of contact with reality. Amphetamine users that experience psychosis may show symptoms similar to schizophrenia, including paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. These effects can be alarming, especially if users act on their hallucinations, because users may become violent toward themselves or others.
Amphetamine Abuse May Lead to Stroke or Heart Complications
Because amphetamines can increase heart rate and blood pressure, high doses of them can lead to many serious and potentially fatal side effects, like stroke or heart attack. A stroke occurs when blood stops flowing to the brain for a period of time, which prevents it from getting the oxygen it needs to function. Amphetamine users can have strokes due to high blood pressure, which may rupture the brain’s blood vessels. Additionally, heart attacks may occur from amphetamine abuse as a result of high blood pressure, increased heart rate and spasms of the vessels that send blood to the heart. The risk of developing these effects is even higher for those who already suffer from high blood pressure. Unfortunately, many people have high blood pressure and are unaware of it, so someone asks for disaster if she has heart problems and uses these powerful drugs.
Find Help for Amphetamine Addiction
If you or someone you know is addicted to amphetamines, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about amphetamines, addiction and treatment. You can recover with the right help.