Am I Experiencing Side Effects of Amphetamines or Signs of Dependence?

Am I Experiencing Side Effects of Amphetamines or Signs of Dependence?
Knowing risk factors for dependence can help you determine if what a loved one is experiencing is a side effect or sign of dependence

According to Medline Plus, a website published by the National Institutes of Health, some basic side effects of amphetamine use include the following:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Headache
  • Changes in sex drive or ability
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss

More concerning side effects include the following:

  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Motor tics or verbal tics
  • Believing things that are not true
  • Feeling unusually suspicious of others
  • Hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • Mania (frenzied or abnormally excited mood)
  • Aggressive or hostile behavior

Even using prescribed amphetamine drugs can result in these side effects, and with abuse comes a greater likelihood of experiencing multiple or severe side effects. Since side effects are common and cover a wide range of physical, behavioral and emotional experiences, determining what is the result of use and what is the result of dependence can be difficult.

Risk Factors and Identifying Amphetamine Dependence

Knowing risk factors for dependence can help you determine if what you or a loved one is experiencing is a side effect or sign of dependence. If peers, family members or the community at large view drug use and abuse as acceptable, dependence is more likely. A stressful life involving professional or academic stressors also increases the likelihood of amphetamine abuse and dependence. Co-occurring mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety are at greater risk for dependence. While all of these factors increase risk levels, individuals with stable home and personal lives are not immune to dependence or addiction. Any amphetamine use puts an individual at risk.

Signs of Amphetamine Dependence

If you or a loved one is using amphetamine, the following may indicate dependence has developed or is developing:

  • Building tolerance; needing more of the drug to experience the desired effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
  • Failing attempts to use less or stop using
  • Spending significant amounts of time thinking about, getting and using the drug
  • Using the drug despite experiencing negative physical, mental or social consequences

If you are experiencing these signs of dependence or are concerned about the risk of becoming addicted, call our toll-free helpline. We are here 24 hours a day to provide a free assessment and free information about ending dependence or addiction. Don’t let amphetamine use limit your life any longer; call today.