How Amphetamine Abuse Complicates Mental Health Issues

How Amphetamine Abuse Complicates Mental Health IssuesAmphetamine-related mental illnesses are conditions resulting from long-term use of amphetamines. Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants and appetite suppressants. The most common uses for amphetamines are to treat the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and to treat narcolepsy, a condition causing increased sleepiness throughout the day. The most common amphetamines used to treat these conditions are Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta. Although illegal use of amphetamines in the form of methamphetamine has stabilized over the past few years, methamphetamine remains a popular street drug. If undiagnosed mental illness is present in a person who uses amphetamine, whether by prescription or illegally, the risk of complications from dependence or addiction to the drug increases.

Mental Illnesses Linked to Amphetamine

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, by the American Psychiatric Association, there are 10 amphetamine-related psychiatric disorders, which are as follows:

  • Amphetamine-Induced Anxiety Disorder: a pattern of constant worry over activities or events
  • Amphetamine-Induced Mood Disorder: depression, mania, seasonal affective disorder or bipolar disorder
  • Amphetamine-Induced Psychotic Disorder with Delusions: the inability to tell what is real from what is imagined
  • Amphetamine-Induced Psychotic Disorder with Hallucinations: unusual sensory experiences or perceptions of things that are not there
  • Amphetamine-Induced Sexual Dysfunction: difficulty experienced during any normal sexual activity
  • Amphetamine-Induced Sleep Disorder: a range of sleeping problems from insomnia to narcolepsy
  • Amphetamine Intoxication: intoxication from excessive or long-term use of amphetamines
  • Amphetamine Intoxication Delirium: confusion that comes on rapidly
  • Amphetamine Withdrawal: a variety of physical and psychological symptoms brought on by the discontinuation of amphetamines
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorder: a disorder not otherwise specified

Amphetamine-induced psychiatric disorders that resolve after the medication is discontinued are directly related to the medication itself. If the symptoms of any of these disorders do not resolve within two weeks of the medication being discontinued, it is possible that a mental illness is present that is not related to the medication. If the person is recovering from an addiction to amphetamine, treatment of the mental illness should begin as soon as a proper diagnosis is determined.

Mental Illness and Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery can be complicated by mental illness. It takes time and a proper diagnosis to determine whether or not the addiction is being caused by the mental illness or whether there is an amphetamine-induced psychiatric disorder present. Using a treatment facility that offers Dual Diagnosis treatment is important. In this type of facility, the body is first given the opportunity to rid itself of the toxins of the drug during detox. After detox, a team of psychotherapists, doctors and counselors work to determine whether or not an underlying mental illness exists. After diagnosis, the recovery team builds a treatment plan that addresses both the mental illness and the addiction. Through this holistic approach, the risk of addiction relapse is greatly reduced.

Find Help for Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamines can be an important part of treatment for ADHD and narcolepsy. When the drug is misused or there is an undiagnosed mental illness present, the risk of addiction to the drug increases. If you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamines and have an undiagnosed metal illness, we are here to help you. Our trained helpline counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about amphetamine addiction and help you find a treatment program. Call our toll-free number now.