While all substance use disorders and addictions share many characteristics, signs and symptoms do vary depending on the drugs being used and the individual using them.
Identifying Physical Amphetamine Use Symptoms
If you suspect a loved one is experimenting with amphetamines, physical signs and symptoms of use may be the first you can identify. These symptoms include the following:
- Dilated pupils
- Decreased appetite
- Increased breathing rate
- Dry mouth
While no one of these symptoms guarantees your friend or family member is using amphetamine, if they occur in combination or with other signs of amphetamine use, you may want to talk to an addiction professional about approaching your loved one.
Identifying Psychological Amphetamine Use Symptoms
While you can’t directly observe the psychological effects of amphetamine use, you can listen to what your loved one has to say and watch how he or she acts to determine if the following symptoms are being experienced:
- False sense of confidence or power
- Extreme suspicion
Loved ones expressing, complaining about or otherwise indicating experiencing these symptoms may be experimenting with amphetamine use.
Identifying Behavioral Amphetamine Use Symptoms
While the physical and psychological signs of amphetamine abuse often have behavioral components, additional behavioral signs of amphetamine abuse include increased violence (often resulting from delusions or paranoia related to use) and risk-taking. Cautious individuals may suddenly become bold and over-confident. Calm individuals may become restless and overly alert. Abrupt changes in behavior and activity level can indicate amphetamine abuse.
Identifying Amphetamine Use Patterns
While you may not see your loved one actually taking drugs, he or she may disappear into the bathroom, claim to run a quick errand or otherwise disappear for a short period of time. If he or she is acting differently shortly thereafter, you may assume drug experimentation. Observing use patterns and habits can tell you more about the drug being used. For example, the effects of amphetamines typically last several hours, which is longer than the one-hour high typically provided by cocaine, so longer periods of time between use suggest amphetamine abuse.
The University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research states that injected methamphetamine takes effect immediately, snorted versions of the drug take 3 to 5 minutes to work and oral use of the drug takes 15 to 20 minutes to begin to work. If you suspect a loved one is using amphetamines, you can learn more about how he or she is using the drugs by noticing when changes in behavior and personality begin to take place.
Identifying Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
While symptoms and patterns of use may signify amphetamine experimentation, the times your loved one is not using amphetamines may be the clearest indicators of use. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms last one to two weeks and make an individual who was once vibrant and energetic slow and unhappy. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Mental slowness
- Interpersonal withdrawal
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
If your loved one is experiencing a dramatic change in mood and energy, he or she may be withdrawing from amphetamines.
Amphetamine Abuse Help
If you suspect that your loved one is abusing amphetamines and are ready to take action and offer real help and support, call our toll-free helpline. We can confirm signs and symptoms of amphetamine or other drug use, connect you to family mediation or intervention resources and find the right addiction treatment match for your unique situation, budget and personal preferences. Our admissions coordinators are here 24 hours a day, and all phone services are free and confidential. Please call now, and start helping your loved one today.