In all its variations, hepatitis involves an inflammation of the liver. The swelling can be short-term and self-healing, or it can be severe and damaging to the liver. Hepatitis usually stems from a particular group of viruses, but substance abuse can also cause the inflammation. Amphetamines, a potent central nervous system stimulant, have less direct effect on hepatitis than other substances like alcohol, anabolic steroids, and even aspirin. However, there are exceptions, and amphetamine abuse certainly affects liver health in other ways.
Amphetamines and Hepatitis
Among the various types of amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Ritalin, meth), MDMA/ecstasy is most associated with liver damage when it’s taken in high doses for prolonged periods. Nevertheless, amphetamine abuse can lead to hepatitis indirectly if the user injects the drug intravenously. This process, typically used only by people with severe addictions, allows for an immediate and intense high, but there are risks in using needles, including the following:
- Unclean needles can inject a virus directly into the bloodstream
- Street-bought amphetamine powder can be cut with impure agents
- Straight injection bypasses the body’s many filtration systems
- Sharing needles can also lead to an HIV infection
In some cases, an individual might use amphetamines to self-medicate chronic fatigue, but it should be noted that fatigue, tiredness, and weakness are all symptoms of long-term hepatitis. Other symptoms include the following:
- A yellowing of the skin known as jaundice
- Tendencies to bruise and bleed more easily
- Swelling in the legs and abdomen
If you take amphetamines to deal with long-term fatigue, consider getting tested for hepatitis, especially if these other symptoms are present. Treating hepatitis is also important for recovering addicts as feelings of fatigue can trigger a relapse.
Amphetamine Health Risks
Amphetamine abuse also makes users more susceptible to liver inflammation by attacking their physical health as a whole. This can happen in several ways, including the following:
- The strain on the central nervous system also affects the immune system
- Drug toxins and byproducts build up in the liver with excessive abuse
- Amphetamine-related insomnia adds stress to important bodily functions
- The drug decreases the white blood cell count and suppresses antibody production
- An increase in blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and breathing
- Elevated risk of infection stemming from an inflammatory response
Amphetamines can put stress on the nervous system, immune system, liver, kidneys, and one’s overall health, but professional rehab can help break the addiction and start the healing process.
Amphetamine Abuse Treatment
When stopping amphetamine abuse, the withdrawal symptoms peak around the tenth day, but rehab centers specialize in medically supervised detox that minimizes any discomfort. Rehab also provides the following:
- Physical health screenings to identify hepatitis, organ damage, or other concerns
- Testing for mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder
- Integrated treatments that address all co-occurring issues simultaneously
- Behavioral therapies that generate a more positive outlook and attitude
- Individual counseling to address personal amphetamine use triggers
- Holistic treatments to improve the patient’s overall health
- Group therapy to provide and receive recovery support
Rehab centers naturally provide aftercare assistance in monitoring the patient’s recovery and physical and mental health.
Drug Addiction Helpline
Do you show signs of addiction or amphetamine-related hepatitis? Let our counselors help. We are available 24 hours a day to answer questions, provide support, and explain treatment options. We can also check health insurance policies for rehab coverage. Our helpline is toll-free, so please call now.