Amphetamines are manufactured stimulants that treat several mental disorders from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to narcolepsy. If amphetamines are taken as prescribed, addiction will not develop. However, due to the side effects amphetamines can produce, many people begin taking more than their prescribed dosage or too frequently, resulting in addiction.
Amphetamine Facts: How Amphetamines Work
Amphetamines increase mental activity, causing the user to feel energized and alert. These effects are quite similar to adrenaline, but whereas adrenaline only lasts a short while, amphetamines linger in someone’s system for much longer. Amphetamines can linger in a person’s system for an indeterminate amount of time because there is no maximum dosage, which means the more someone takes the more intense the effects of the drug will be. The problem is that one can develop a tolerance to amphetamines, requiring higher doses in order to experience the same intensity. As the drug lingers in the body, creating a tolerance, compelling users to take higher and higher doses of amphetamines, addiction can easily occur.
Many people who become addicted to amphetamines are usually addicted to another symptom rather than just drugs. Some patients liked the energy the drug gave them, becoming addicted to being the life of the party or having fun. Some abuse amphetamine to help them study or focus on work for longer periods of time, becoming addicted to success. Amphetamines also produce a loss of appetite, and some patients have admitted that weight-loss was their primary motivation for abusing the drug. Psychological addiction develops with physical abuse. Treatment, therefore, should address not only physical detox but also psychological rehab.
Physical Detoxification Process for Amphetamine Addiction
Many people believe that, with enough resolve, they can break their addiction to amphetamines. Unfortunately, quitting cold turkey is one of the most difficult ways to detox from amphetamines due to the intense withdrawal symptoms. People steel themselves to experience withdrawals, but, when the intense effects have lasted for days, people succumb to their cravings in order to function in everyday life. Detox is a difficult time and must be approached carefully by preparing for withdrawals and determining how to counteract them. Below are some of the more common withdrawal symptoms:
- Excessive sleeping
- Increased appetite (which can contribute to weight gain)
- Suicidal thoughts
These symptoms are worse enough individually, but they are exacerbated when experienced due to withdrawal. One way to mitigate these effects is to notify your doctor or pharmacist, or finding a drug counselor for detox. In telling one of these professionals, one of them could prescribe weaker drug in diminishing doses in order to wean you off amphetamines. This can lessen the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to continue functioning in everyday life as you taper off amphetamines.
Dual diagnosis programs specialize in treating patients who are trying to detox from a drug while also coping with a mental disorder. Dual diagnosis programs create treatment programs unique to each patient’s needs so that both the addiction and the disorder receive equal attention. These programs are highly successful in rehabilitating patients.
Do not stop at detox and assume your treatment is over. Without addressing the psychological addiction, without discovering the root cause that led to your addiction, relapse in the future is considerably more likely. Coupling detox strategies with rehabilitative counseling or therapy greatly reduces the chances of future relapse, letting patients remain sober for years at a time.
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