How Continued Drug Use Leads to an Overdose

People begin taking drugs like amphetamine for a number of reasons. Sometimes drugs are originally prescribed by a doctor to treat a medical condition. Sometimes people begin using drugs to manage negative emotions and to escape from the difficulties of life. Often, people originally begin using drugs out of curiosity or a desire to be part of a group. Continue reading How Continued Drug Use Leads to an Overdose

Why Are People Drawn to Abuse Amphetamines?

Amphetamine is a drug primarily used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Other drugs are chemically similar and also known as amphetamines. These include dextroamphetamine, levoamphetamine and lisdexamphetamine. Prescription drugs that contain amphetamine or metabolize into it include the ADHD drugs Adderall, Dexedrine Dextrostat, Desoxyn, ProCentra and Vyvanase and the diet drug Didrex. The most well-known street drug in the amphetamine class is methamphetamine, commonly known as meth. Amphetamines are stimulants which produce a range of physical and psychological effects.

Effects of Amphetamine Drugs

There are many reasons that people may abuse amphetamines including the following:

  • Euphoria – Like most drugs of abuse, amphetamines affect levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, one of the body’s primary feel good chemicals. Dopamine is part of the body’s reward system, and levels are raised in response to activities that ensure the survival of the species, like eating and procreation. Drugs of abuse can hijack this system and produce dopamine in amounts many times greater than what is produced by natural rewards. Because people learn to repeat actions that raise dopamine, a drug’s effect on the neurotransmitter plays a role in the development of addiction.

Amphetamines increase the amount of dopamine in the synaptic gap, the tiny space between nerve cells, through multiple mechanisms. Because the drugs are similar in structure to dopamine, they can enter cells and force dopamine molecules to be released. They may also be able to reduce the rate at which dopamine is taken back into cellular storage. People abusing amphetamines for their euphoric effects may take the drugs orally or may crush the pills to snort them or mix with water and inject.

  • Energy and alertness – Amphetamines may be abused because they give users increased energy. The website Drugs.com notes that the mechanism by which amphetamines and other central nervous system (CNS) stimulants exert their effects is not fully known. An online medical dictionary notes that some stimulants are chemically similar to the body chemical norepinephrine and can stimulate the body’s fight-or-flight system. Stimulants can open breathing passages, constrict blood vessels and increase heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels. The energy and alertness produced by amphetamines may be sought by a variety of people including those who work night shifts or drive long distances.
  • Mental focus – Amphetamines are often prescribed to treat ADHD, and because of this, the drugs are frequently abused by students and others who believe they will give them a mental boost when studying. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports, however, that despite the widespread belief that the drugs can provide cognitive enhancement, studies have found that they do not improve learning or thinking ability in people without ADHD. NIDA further notes that students who abuse prescription stimulant drugs actually have lower grades in high school and college than those who do not.
  • Weight loss – Amphetamines suppress the appetite and for this reason, they may be abused by people who want to lose weight.

Consequences of Amphetamine Abuse

Unfortunately, amphetamine abuse can have serious consequences. NIDA reports that abuse of prescription stimulants can lead to serious cardiovascular problems including stroke. They can also cause hostility and paranoia and contribute to malnutrition.

Amphetamine overdose symptoms include rapid breathing, aggression, panic, restlessness and shaking or seizures. There may also be gastrointestinal effects such as vomiting or diarrhea. Stimulant psychosis may occur, which includes visual and auditory hallucinations, confusion, delusions and extreme agitation. Usually stimulant psychosis resolves within a week or two, but a small percentage of people will continue to experience intermittent symptoms for months or even years.

Amphetamines also have significant addiction potential. When people become physically addicted to the drugs, they suffer withdrawal symptoms when they are not consumed on a regular basis. Withdrawal symptoms are a result of the body’s adaptations as it pushes back against a drug’s effects and are generally opposite in nature to them. For stimulant drugs like amphetamines, withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, increased appetite and depression. Early withdrawal symptoms include excessive sleep, but that may be followed by a period of insomnia. Occasionally, a condition known as amphetamine withdrawal psychosis occurs.

We Can Help You Find Treatment

If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to amphetamines or any other substance, let us help you find the treatment you need. Our helpline is toll-free and staffed with caring and knowledgeable consultants who can answer your questions and help you identify your options and find your recovery path. They can even check your insurance coverage for you if you wish at no cost or obligation. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, so there is never a wrong time to call. Why not call now?

How Do I Know If I Need Immediate Treatment for Amphetamine Abuse?

How Do I Know If I Need Immediate Treatment for Amphetamine Abuse?
While starting treatment sooner is always better, some amphetamines addicts may require immediate treatment

The sooner you receive treatment for addiction the better, but at what point does the need for treatment become immediate? In cases where the user experiences severe physical or psychological effects or the user is in life-threatening danger, it may be important to access treatment as soon as possible. Urgent treatment may prevent further complications and help the user avoid problems such as suicide or other fatal situations.

Am I Addicted to Amphetamines?

Considering whether you have an amphetamine addiction is often the first sign that you have a problem. But there are other signs you can look for that will give you a better idea if addiction has developed. When you first started taking amphetamines it may have taken one pill to get high, but have you developed a tolerance since then? If you require more amphetamines to get high, you may have developed a tolerance. If you continue using more amphetamines because of this tolerance, you can become dependent. If you are dependent on amphetamines you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t take more. Withdrawal symptoms may include sweating, headaches and anxiety. Another sign of amphetamine addiction is continuing to use amphetamines when they interfere with your life. If you continue getting high despite amphetamines causing problems at work or in your relationships, you may have a problem.

Do I Need Immediate Amphetamine Addiction Treatment?

While some amphetamine users may have relatively minor addictions that require treatment but are not as disruptive, others are unable to function without amphetamines and are faced with imminent danger if they do not seek treatment. Amphetamine addiction is not the same for everyone, but if you experience thoughts of self-harm, engage in risky behavior or are having physical effects such as heart problems as a result of amphetamine abuse you may need immediate addiction treatment. Speak with a therapist or counselor today about your situation to determine if you need immediate treatment.

Get Help for Amphetamine Addiction

Stop putting off treatment and get the help you need for amphetamine addiction by calling our toll-free helpline today. A trained addiction expert is here to speak with you 24 hours a day about your addiction and the benefits of amphetamine addiction treatment. We can even help you determine if your health insurance will help pay for rehab and will provide more details about the types of treatment available. Call now for more information so you can begin your recovery today.

How Does Rehab Break the Physical Addiction to Amphetamine?

How Does Rehab Break the Physical Addiction to Amphetamine?
Most rehab centers offer full-time inpatient or part-time outpatient care utilizing a variety of therapies

Amphetamine is a class of central nervous system stimulants that include methylphenidate, diethylpropion and brand name formulations like Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine. Though the medication treats health issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, some people take amphetamines for nonmedical reasons such as to gain an academic or athletic advantage, rapidly lose weight or pursue euphoric highs. Amphetamine abuse can affect the brain reward system in ways similar to illicit stimulants like cocaine and crystal meth, and findings from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that millions of people abuse amphetamines each year. The medication falls within one of the most restricted classes of controlled substances, Schedule II, due to its addiction potential. For those who abuse the drug, professional rehabilitation is the most effective treatment option to break a physical addiction.

Physical Addiction to Amphetamines

Amphetamines have a similar chemical structure to the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, and they are able to enter presynaptic neurons through dopamine transporters and act directly on the neural membrane itself. The drug pushes dopamine into the synaptic gaps, reduces the body’s ability to reabsorb it and possibly impairs inhibiting effects that might otherwise limit excitability. In addition to playing a key role in brain reward, dopamine is also involved in motor control, motivation and concentration, among other functions. Amphetamines also increase the synaptic levels of other neural chemicals, including biogenic amines, norepinephrine and serotonin.

With extended amphetamine abuse, the excessive dopamine concentrations cause the body to reduce its natural production, desensitize receptors and develop a physical need in which the person’s neurobiology comes to depend on stimulant drugs. Amphetamine abuse can produce toxic psychosis, cardiac arrhythmias, convulsions, palpitations and respiratory issues, yet the physical dependence causes withdrawal symptoms whenever addicts attempt to quit. As the physical dependence becomes worse, the addict often experiences obsessive behavior, compulsive cravings, consuming thoughts, social strains and the onset or acceleration of mental health disorder symptoms. A physical addiction to amphetamines is a high-risk disease that progressively worsens if left untreated, but rehab centers are equipped with numerous treatments to affect positive recovery outcomes.

Rehab Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

Depending on the patient’s particular needs, most rehab centers offer full-time inpatient or part-time outpatient care utilizing a variety of potential therapies. After initiating a supervised detoxification, rehab staff typically screen for co-occurring mental health disorders, past traumas and other potential risk factors and then formulate personalized recovery plans based on the patient profile. The therapies applied will differ between patients, though several types are commonly used, including the following:

  • Behavioral therapies that help reduce negative beliefs and maladaptive thought patterns
  • Dialectical therapies that balance self-acceptance and the need to make changes
  • An examination of the underlying motivations behind the amphetamine abuse
  • Motivational therapies that empower patients to find personal catalysts for change
  • One-on-one counseling to address unresolved trauma and deeper personal issues
  • Strategies to identify, avoid and neutralize cues that trigger amphetamine cravings
  • Optional holistic therapies such as acupuncture, hypnosis, herbalism and massage

Many amphetamine addicts have co-occurring mental health disorders like depression, anxiety and bipolar, and in such cases, rehab centers typically utilize integrated therapies that can treat co-occurring disorders at the same time.

Amphetamine Abuse Hotline

Call our toll-free helpline if you or a loved one struggles with amphetamine addiction. Our admissions coordinators can answer questions, provide information, recommend facilities and even check health insurance policies for rehab benefits. We are available to help 24 hours a day so please call now.

Are More Young People Becoming Addicted to Amphetamines?

Are More Young People Becoming Addicted to Amphetamines?
Growing access and availability contribute to the development of amphetamine addiction among young adults

Amphetamine-based drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall are commonly prescribed for the treatment of ADHD. While some young people benefit from taking these prescriptions, others turn to these easily accessible drugs for non-prescription purposes. ADHD diagnoses have increased exponentially. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, only 3% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 were diagnosed with ADHD in 1997. By 2007 that percentage was 9.5, and by 2011 it was 11. With increased use comes increased opportunity for addiction to develop. Children learn from an early age to turn to drugs as first-line solutions to problems rather than secondary or supplemental resources for physical and mental wellness. They learn that prescription drug use is acceptable or even encouraged, and they may continue to approach drug use nonchalantly even when a medical diagnosis and prescription is not involved.

Amphetamines, ADHD and Abuse

Attitude toward amphetamine and other drug use is not the only contributing factor to increasing amphetamine addiction rates among young people. Increasing numbers of diagnoses mean the volume of prescription amphetamines available has increased. Growing access and availability, as well as a national attitude that ignores or even encourages amphetamine use despite clear potential for physical and psychological harm, contribute to the development of addiction. According to the American College Health Association, only “4% to 10% of high school and college students suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” At the same time, Addiction shares that even in 2005, “The life-time prevalence of non-medical prescription stimulant use was 6.9%, past year prevalence was 4.1%” (“Non-Medical Use of Prescription Stimulants Among US College Students”). These abuse rates have only increased, and this means as many people misuse prescription stimulants as need the drug for legitimate medical reasons. Young people may falsify ADHD symptoms to get a prescription, or buy these drugs from friends with prescriptions. Amphetamine abuse changes misconceptions about addiction. Young people do not have to meet with shadowy dealers in alleyways to get amphetamine, and addiction is not relegated to drop-outs or those with disrupted home lives. Addiction shares that, “non-medical use was higher among college students who were male, white, members of fraternities…Rates were higher at colleges located in the north-eastern region of the US and colleges with more competitive admission standards.” Amphetamine addiction is a growing problem, but it is not an isolated problem. Increasing awareness, prevention strategies and treatment opportunities will only help reverse this addiction trend.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

If you or the young adult in your life is struggling with amphetamine abuse or addiction, do not deny, minimize or ignore the problem. Take early and immediate action to stop addiction. Call our toll-free helpline to learn more about recovery resources for young adults. We will help you find addiction treatment options geared towards young adults that can work with and around school and college schedules. We are here for you 24 hours a day, so please call now.

What Measures Have Been Taken to Reduce Amphetamine Abuse?

What Measures Have Been Taken to Reduce Amphetamine Abuse?
Serious measures have been taken to reduce crime, injury and fatalities related to amphetamine use

Amphetamines are drugs that stimulate the brain’s central nervous system. Numerous amphetamines exist which are prescribed to treat several conditions. These drugs increase both physical and mental alertness. People feel energized, stimulated and even euphoric while under the influence of these drugs, and these effects contribute to the high risk for abusing the drug. The appeal of amphetamines is universal; people from all walks of life abuse this drug, and illegal production and sales skyrocketed during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. However, research from the National Institute of Drug Abuse shows that amphetamine abuse has recently declined steadily.

What Has Caused the Decline of Amphetamine Abuse in the US?

To crack-down on prescription drug abuse and illegal drug sales, the government has implemented better prescription drug monitoring programs; states can now rapidly and efficiently gather data on prescription drug use. Drug monitoring programs collect and analyze information on prescribing, dispensing and the use of prescription drugs, which minimizes doctor shopping and other means of obtaining large quantities of amphetamines. In other words, prescription drug monitoring programs reduce the rates of drug abuse and the supply of drugs that are available.

Furthermore, law-enforcement has bulked up on regulating prescription drug abuse. Amphetamines are schedule II controlled substances according to the Food and Drug Administration, which means that they are only legal to use with a prescription. The use, distribution, manufacturing and possession of amphetamines without a prescription merits legal fines, penalties, jail time and even court-ordered treatment.

For minor drug-related offenses it is becoming more and more common to bring the offender to a drug court to avoid jail time if she chooses to get treatment. These methods are highly praised, as several individuals who abuse prescription drugs would benefit from rehab rather than jail time. Drug-ordered treatment can put people on the right track toward sobriety. Several people are unfamiliar and uneducated about the realities of drug abuse and addiction, but court-ordered treatment can provide the knowledge, tools and resources that are necessary to overcome drug or alcohol abuse.

Help Quitting Amphetamine Abuse

It is never too late nor too soon to get help for amphetamine abuse. Recovery is easier the earlier you decide to get help, so take action now if you think you are ready to recover.

Our toll-free helpline is operated 24 hours a day by admissions coordinators. Our staff is happy to answer your questions, address your concerns and to discuss treatment options. It is difficult to move toward treatment when you are uncertain what it entails, so reach out for help right now to begin learning how you can get and stay clean from amphetamines. Call today to speak with a recovery professional as soon as possible.

The Elements of Amphetamine Addiction

The Elements of Amphetamine Addiction
Behavior, use habits and more contribute to addiction development

Amphetamine addiction begins with amphetamine use. This is the only uniform and necessary element of amphetamine addiction. Personality, behavior, use habits and more contribute to addiction development, yet none of these variables are identical for any two individuals. Anyone can become addicted to any drug, and every addiction begins with use, even if that use is prescribed, seemingly minimal or only done under social circumstances.

Prescribed Amphetamine Use

Individuals who are prescribed amphetamine drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin may believe the drug is harmless or cannot cause addiction if used as prescribed. However any long-term amphetamine use comes with the risk of addiction. Continued use results in tolerance, as the body adjusts to the drug’s presence and balances itself so as to function as though the drug is not there. More or more frequent doses of the drug will be required for it to continue to function as needed. This increases the risk of dependence or the need to continue use of the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Patients prescribed amphetamines should not increase their use without medical approval and supervision, as taking a drug outside of the specific parameters of a prescription is considered drug abuse and escalates the rate at which dependence and addiction develop.

Recreational Amphetamine Use

Those who use amphetamine drugs without a prescription are already abusing the drug. Even if the individual has self-diagnosed a mental or physical health disorder that may require such medications, use without a prescription is still abuse. Without medical supervision the risks of dependence and addiction increase greatly as do the risks for experiencing unwanted side effects. Individuals who are self-medicating with amphetamine are often treating symptoms rather than causes, and underlying issues will worsen if they do not receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety can create feelings of lack of focus or energy which amphetamine may seem to treat. However drug abuse worsens mental health concerns, and amphetamines increase anxiety and depression symptoms overall. Individuals may then take more of the drug to mask new or stronger symptoms, not realizing the amphetamine they are taking is causing or worsening the underlying problem. This cycle can quickly escalate use into regular abuse, dependence and addiction.

The Basics of Ending Amphetamine Addiction

If you or a loved one is dependent on or addicted to amphetamine, do not let the cycle of abuse continue. Call our toll-free helpline and end all elements of addiction. We will help you find resources to address substance abuse and all underlying and co-occurring concerns, and we are here 24 hours a day to do so. Please do not hesitate to call and learn more today.

Is Amphetamine Addiction Chronic?

Is Amphetamine Addiction Chronic?
Amphetamine addiction is a condition that never truly goes away

Addiction can be a controversial subject because many people misunderstand it, but learning about addiction is important if you want to overcome or avoid it. Anyone can become addicted to a drug like amphetamines, but you may wonder if you will be addicted to them forever once you develop dependence. In many ways amphetamine addiction is a chronic condition, meaning it does not go away with time. You can manage and move past your addiction, but relapsing on amphetamines can quickly lead to addiction once again. No matter how long you have stayed clean from amphetamines, remember that one slip up could be all it takes to become addicted again.

Am I Always Addicted to Amphetamines?

A common mistake that recovering addicts make is thinking that they have overcome addiction, so it is okay to abuse drugs again. Even if you are no longer experiencing cravings for amphetamines, abusing them can trigger the return of your addiction. When you became addicted to amphetamines, your brain set up a reward system so that every time you used drugs it read the experience as a benefit, which later sent your body signals to use more drugs. This system means that, when you go without drugs, then this reward system is inactive; the problem is that relapsing activates it once again, so you will find yourself craving more amphetamines after abusing them once in recovery.

Living with Amphetamine Addiction

Although amphetamine addiction is something you must be aware of for your whole life, with continued treatment after rehab it will become a condition that will affect your life less and less. Staying involved in aftercare will reinforce everything you learned in rehab, and it will continually get easier for you to deal with cravings and to avoid triggers that could lead to relapse. Living with amphetamine addiction means you may have to change some things about your life—such as the environment you are in or the people you hang around—but avoiding amphetamine abuse will result in a higher quality of life.

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

If you are addicted to amphetamines, then call our toll-free helpline today to find out how amphetamine addiction treatment can help you quit using drugs. Our admissions coordinators are here for you 24 hours a day to discuss your addiction and to let you know more about your treatment options. They can let you know if your health insurance will pay for rehab, and they can even direct you to an effective treatment center where you can begin your recovery from addiction. Call now to begin recovery as soon as possible.

Can Amphetamine Make People Violent?

Can Amphetamine Make People Violent?
Irritation, aggression and violence are common effects of amphetamine use

Amphetamines are one of the most common drugs used in the United States. While many people use this drug appropriately for medical conditions, many others abuse it for a quick high or an academic advantage. It may seem harmless to use this prescription drug until adverse effects present. Sometimes, amphetamine users may begin acting more aggressively and become violent. Many people try to attribute this violence to other factors in their lives, though it very well could be a direct effect of using this particular drug.

Effects of Amphetamine Abuse

Amphetamine is a stimulant drug, meaning that it temporarily boosts activity in the brain. This is why it is prescribed to treat disorders like narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The use of this drug can result in many side effects, which may include the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Alertness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased pulse
  • Increased respirations
  • Aggression and violence

Many of these amphetamine effects are noticed only by the person abusing the drug. Aggression and violence, however, are easily noted by others and can quickly escalate to an unsafe situation.

Amphetamine and Violence

Those who use amphetamines risk experiencing aggression as a normal side effect of the drug, whether they are taking it with a valid prescription or not. Long-term users, however, are even more likely to act violently. This is due to the development of amphetamine psychosis, which occurs with consistent, long-term use. Amphetamine psychosis may present with delusions or hallucinations. The related paranoia may lead those with this condition to act violently out of fear and worry.

Amphetamine use and abuse can lead those who are usually level-headed to develop a dangerous temper. However, those with a history of violence may be at a greater risk of displaying aggression under the influence of amphetamines. For this reason, special precautions should be taken when around an amphetamine user who has previously committed acts of violence.

Dealing with Amphetamine-Related Violence

If a loved one uses amphetamine, it is important to have a plan in mind in case he or she begins to act aggressively. Many people mistakenly believe that they can reason with an amphetamine user who has become violent. It is essential that you remind yourself that the violent person is under the influence of a substance that is affecting how the brain operates. You likely will not be able to have a rational discussion once irritation has progressed to aggression. For this reason, you should always consider your own safety above everything else. Be ready to leave the area with any children or pets that are also under threat.

If for some reason you are unable to distance yourself from the violent person, you should remain calm and confident to prevent further escalation. Reciprocating the amphetamine user’s anger and violence will only show him or her that it is acceptable. Instead, speak in a low and gentle voice, giving special attention to your body language. Avoid quick, sudden movements that may trigger paranoia. Once the violent person has calmed down and is no longer under the influence of amphetamines, you should consider discussing substance abuse and addiction treatment.

Get Help for Amphetamine Addiction

If you or someone you know has become addicted to amphetamines, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about amphetamine addiction treatment.

Can Amphetamine Cause a Hangover?

Can Amphetamine Cause a Hangover?
Amphetamine abuse can cause side effects that linger into the next day, similar to a hangover

Addicts often get lost in the moment when they use drugs, so they do not worry about the side effects they will experience after the high is gone. Some addicts may not experience severe hangover symptoms, but others may have to seek medical help to stabilize their conditions.

Can Amphetamine Abuse Cause a Hangover?

Chronic amphetamine abuse can cause an array of side effects, and the following list includes examples of the hangover symptoms from these drugs:

  • Body aches
  • Tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations

Like alcohol, amphetamine abuse can cause mild to severe side effects, which can be referred to as a hangover or the remaining effects that were caused by using drugs. These effects will range in severity in relation to an individual’s drug use, age and if she had any additional health issues which the drugs could affect. Hangover side effects can include body aches, extreme fatigue or tiredness, fear and anxiety, along with rapid heartbeats or heart palpitations. In other words, these drugs are quite dangerous.

How Can I Alleviate Amphetamine Hangover Symptoms?

There is no instant fix to any form of hangover, whether it is from alcohol, amphetamines or other substances. However, included in the following thoughts are some tips for alleviating the pain of drug abuse:

  • Do not take additional substances to offset the effects
  • If you must take a medication, herbal supplements are recommended
  • Eat and stay hydrated

No remedy for an amphetamine hangover is both healthy and instant; in fact, it is highly recommended that recovering drug users avoid additional substances and other medications to offset the effects, because users cannot know for sure what their amphetamines were cut with. When drug users do not know what other substances were mixed in with the amphetamines they used, it can be extremely dangerous and cause severe complications, especially when mixed with other substances. For this reason, if one must take some form of medication, it is recommended to stick to herbal remedies, which are plant based. Lastly, eating healthy and staying hydrated will help the body detox faster when compared to an individual who dehydrates himself due to his symptoms. Seek professional help to quit using and to heal from these powerful drugs.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with an amphetamine addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment available. Stop asking if your life could be better and call us today to make it so.